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Saturday, March 5, 2011

Sepulchral Earth: The Temple Of The Dead by Tim Marquitz (Reviewed by Mihir Wanchoo)

Official Author Website
Order the book HERE
Read an excerpt HERE
Read FBC interview with the author HERE
Read FBC review of Sepulchral Earth: The Long Road

AUTHOR INFORMATION: Tim Marquitz is the author of the previously released Armageddon Bound, the 1st book in the Demon Squad series and “The Long road” chapter 1 of the Sepulchral Earth. He is also an editor, a heavy metal aficionado. He lives in El Paso, Texas with his wonderful family. He’s currently writing the next chapter in the Sepulchral Earth series.

PLOT SUMMARY: Two years after the dead rose up to murder the living, the remnants of humanity face a brutal extinction. They are hunted day in and out with nowhere to turn to. The survivors have learnt to suffer under the inevitable shadow of death and survive at any cost. In such a brutal reality Harlan Cole wages a continuous war against the vast and destructive forces of the undead, aided by friendly spirits he tries his best to remain humane and yet survive. Driven to bring peace to the souls of his wife and daughter, Harlan vows to return the dead to the ground once again, or join them in the process!

In the first chapter we meet Harlan Cole a ragged survivor who is trying to live in the world wherein the dead are awakened and now hunt the living, he’s a necromancer of sorts with a ghostly partner whom he refers to as Professor. His only mission is to return the undead back to their earlier status as dead. However he’s just one man and can he survive in this brutal world … wherein humanity is on its lasts dregs and the only humans left are perhaps the most inhuman after all!

FORMAT/INFO: The e-novella consists of about 38 pages which runs like a singular chapter. Narration is via Third person, and features Harlan Cole as the protagonist. This is episode two of a possible 3-4 episode story.

December 1, 2010 marked the e-book release via Damnation Books. Cover art is provided by Jessica Lucero.

ANALYSIS: I’m a fan of Tim Marquitz and his previous books have always left me wanting for more. “Sepulchral Earth: The Long Road” was an exciting start to a new tale and it did not disappoint. I was going to review this chapter near its release however could not do so due to personal effects. So before I jumped in to chapter Two, I reread The Long Road, just to have a bit of continuity with the tale.

We begin again with Harlan as he flees battered from the events in the climax of the Long Road, Harlan walks toward his quarry as told to him by the spirit of Walter. He meets up with another kindred soul near the oracle and soon finds that his task might be much more difficult than previously thought out. As he finds out that not only is science involved in raising the avalanche of the dead but also there have more conspirators including someone who he met in the recent past. The problem is compounded by the fact that to shut down the Breach will now involve taking on the human and inhuman opponents.

His mission now, is to not only close the Breach but also to face people who might be stronger than him and have better incentives for keeping the world as it is! Thus begins Harlan’s attempt to abort the unnatural happenings and perhaps be at peace!

The pace is quite ratcheted in the second chapter and the prose remains the same as before. What is different from the previous chapter is the melancholy and gloom in this one. Things were already worse to begin with and in this chapter things take a deadly turn. Harlan Cole is still the eyes for the reader and one can surely empathize with him as he strives to finish his task and hopefully join his dead family. He’s a survivor but one who’s slowly and surely losing his sanity and humanity as thoughts of his family drive him forward while at the same time weakening him. We also get a bit of background on the events leading up to the resurrection of the dead and this also lays bare a few things about Walter and the person who caused the Breach to occur.

The ending is a cliffhanger and now it only remains to be seen how Harlan accomplishes his tasks or whether he perishes trying to accomplish his heart’s desire. Tim Marquitz does not disappoint with the second chapter of Sepulchral Earth as the pace of the story never lets up. However the only small disappointment is that the chapter ends rather quickly [in fact too quickly for some readers] and leaves the reader desperately wanting for more. Readers will be well advised to read both chapters back to back to help with the wait for release of chapter three.

CONCLUSION: A dark and fast read but a bit short for my liking, The Temple of The Dead is what it is promises to be, an express-paced, grim thrill ride about one man’s sojourn to make the dead, dead again!


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