Book Reviewer Blogger Liis Pallas Reviews “The Obsidian Mirror”

Liis Pallas reviews “The Obsidian mirror”–and I am thrilled!

Cover to Cover

Environmental issues, power-play, ancient Mayan gods, a Coyotl (yes, Coyotl) that turns into a drop-dead-gorgeous young man, a green being of mannegishi, vodun (no, not voodoo), and a bit of reality- admit it- it sparked some interest in you!

from Goodreads

A few days ago I published an interview K.D. was so very kind to tackle.

You know what? It feels strange how some times you read a book, or watch a film, on a serious issue (such as environmental problems, a nuclear power plant worry, fracking causing earthquakes, rubbish in the vast oceans, etc) and when we read about these issues in books, or see them in the movies, we tend to take them as someone’s brain-children, or brain-babies. But I really am humbled and in awe and in the process of having my faith restored because people notice! Authors notice the issues, the global issues that should…

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Book Clubs Take Note: Discount Offer on “The Obsidian Mirror”

Chaco #1

Chaco #1

I am offering a special discount on “The Obsidian Mirror” to book clubs while supplies last. Book clubs get a 28% discount to $9.49 ($5 off retail!) plus shipping (retail price is $14.49).

The conditions:

  • Book clubs only;
  • Minimum order of five paperback copies;
  • All books shipped to a single address;
  • Single payment through PayPal for all books shipped to a given book club.

Here are some of the reviews so far:

“Native American mythology is often understated and you can never find enough of it in Fantasy Literature. But don’t worry, K.D. Keenan is here to fix that with The Obsidian Mirror.

What makes the author so special? Well, let’s just say that her best childhood friend was a Native American skull, which she received when she turned six. Show me a better qualification and I’ll eat it! And before you ask, yes, she did return the skull to its proper place when she got old enough to know better.

The story turned out so well and it is so rich in detail that one can almost suspect the author learned more than a few tales from said skull. Add a little bit of Voodoo to the mix and you are well on your way to an all-star American pantheon, echoing Neil Gaiman’s American Gods in a most interesting manner.

Oh, and for all that the author won’t admit it, The Obsidian Mirror has tons of humor. This is skillfully done, with the jokes lurking in the backdrop, tiptoeing behind the text and seldom breaking the surface of the mirror. More often than not you will recognise the joke the same way scientists recognise dark matter – by its effect on the surroundings rather than by its blatant presence.”—Sorin Sociu, author of “The Scriptlings”

“A riveting blend of ancient myth and modern intrigue. Supernatural thrills, corporate espionage and great characters make for a thrill-ride read!”—Gail Z. Martin, author of “Reign of Ash”

“Any fan of mythology and good old fantasy will greatly enjoy this novel. Keenan manages to hook the reader from page one, throwing in some unusual characters (and tropes), mixing it up with a villain that has a brand new bag of toys. I won’t spoil – but it is a new take on the whole good vs evil fight. I love the fact that Keenan picked Meso-American mythology – and rocked the world with it. She clearly knows her stuff and has the potential to take on seasoned authors with her mastery of language and modern twists on some of the most awesome fictional gods around. Looking forward to the sequel.”—Ryan Attard, author of “Firstborn”

“I really enjoyed this book! K. D. Keenan wrote fantasy and characters that were enjoyable! Fred, Chaco, Clancy, Kaylee, and Sierra were my favorites! It has humor, conspiracy, good and evil. K.D. Keenan has a vivid imagination with her characters all through the end. So descriptive in forming a man from a coyote! It’s a great story that kept me hanging on the edge to see who was going to be saved! Her writing has an easy flow, that made me go chapter to chapter! I look forward to her next book!”—Dora E. Gil

“What a wonderful book! I loved reading every minute of it and I am hoping that there will be a sequel soon. There was never a lull or moment’s boredom in the story. It was fascinating learning about the ancient American myths and folklore. The author did an excellent job blending the ancient folklore it into a plausible contemporary setting. The story was so well crafted and the characters albeit mythical came to life and they were so believable. A good read is so hard to find and I am thrilled when I find it.”—J.B. Dow

“’The Obsidian Mirror’ is an urban fantasy based on New World mythologies and legends. It’s an action-packed page-turner, but it doesn’t take itself too seriously. There are plenty of tense moments and some really evil bad guys, but it’s all enlivened by the author’s ability to weave humor throughout the drama.

I enjoyed the well-rounded characters—especially Fred, who’s a mannegishi (sort of a Native American leprechaun). Fred’s a greedy, irresponsible little thief, but you’ll wind up loving his brand of goofy innocence. Chaco, another supernatural character, is another of my favorites. Chaco is kind of a lech, but he’s so cheerful and good-natured that he never offends.
The action mostly takes place in modern-day Silicon Valley, and at the heart of the story is how an evil Aztec/Mayan god takes advantage of modern technology to execute his dark plans. For those familiar with Silicon Valley or Northern California, you will recognize the locale and the culture of the Valley. If you aren’t familiar with this area, take my word for it—the local color is dead-on accurate.

There’s a friendship that forms among three secondary female characters that I particularly enjoyed. None of the three are acquainted before the story begins, but as it unfolds, they form a sort of sisterhood that I found very appealing. I found myself believing in their role in the story and cheering them on.

I truly enjoyed reading this book. It has basically everything I love in a story: characters I care about, action, drama and humor, all tied up with creative storytelling that has enough unexpected twists and turns to keep me interested—and make me genuinely sorry when the story ends. I hope there’s a sequel.”—Linda M. Duyanovich

Interested? Contact me at kdkeenan@theobsidianmirror.net. You can read the first chapter here.

 

Looking Back: “A Canticle for Leibowitz”

A_Canticle_For_LebowitzI have decided to write a few book reviews from time to time. I don’t intend to turn this into a book review blog, but I’d like to be able to set down my musings on random books as the fancy strikes me.

I recently re-read (listened to an audiobook version of) “A Canticle for Leibowitz,” by Walter M. Miller. I read it as a teenager, but I’ve noticed I get a lot more out of everything I read now than I did when my system was awash with raging hormones. (For example, I discovered that Thomas Hardy, far from being an incredible drag, was a funny, vivid and poignant writer.)

“A Canticle for Leibowitz” has been called a classic of science fiction. It’s also a classic in post-apocalyptic fiction, equal to George Stewart’s “Earth Abides” (which has held up remarkably well), “The Death of Grass” by John Christopher or “Malevil” by French writer Robert Merle. It has all the elements I look for in a great read: well-delineated characters, drama, mystery, humor and sorrow.

“A Canticle for Leibowitz” was published in 1960, at the height of the terror of nuclear annihilation. I remember “duck and cover” quite well; while crouching under my desk in my middle-school classroom, I was fairly certain that a blackout curtain and a wooden desk were not going to preserve me from frying to a crisp if an atomic bomb landed on, say, Los Angeles. At the time, nuclear catastrophe was a chill breath on the back of everyone’s vulnerable neck.

Miller’s opus opens after a nuclear apocalypse has literally bombed all of mankind back to the Stone Age. There’s a backlash against science, knowledge, and everything associated with the catastrophe buy anti-intellectuals who proudly call themselves “Simpletons.” Those perceived as intellectuals or scientists are murdered. Books are burned. Mankind descends into another Dark Age. Mutated humans, called “Children of the Pope,” are more or less accepted, because there are so many of them.

But there is one beacon of intellectual light left in the world: the Catholic Church, which resumes its ancient tradition of preserving past knowledge. The story opens with Brother Francis, a young postulant in the Albertian Order of Leibowitz, somewhere in the Southwestern desert of the United States. Leibowitz was one of the scientists murdered by the Simpletons, and after his martyrdom, miracles are said to have happened under Leibowitz’s aegis. The monks of the monastery want to canonize Leibowitz as a saint, but there hasn’t been enough evidence of his sanctity to satisfy New Rome. Brother Francis stumbles upon a cache of ancient papers, some of which appear to be pre-apocalyptic shopping lists—but others are blueprints. It becomes obvious to the reader (but not to the monks) that Leibowitz was an engineer, a designer of electronic circuits.

Poor Brother Francis meets his end as the first section of the book closes, having delivered his copy of one of the blueprints (suitably adorned with fanciful illuminations) to the Pope in New Rome.

The second section of the book takes place a few centuries later. An esteemed scholar visits the abbey to study the Leibowitzian relics and is able to tease out some of the technology from the ancient manuscripts. Technology is clearly in a renaissance as one of the monks has succeeded in building a generator to power an arc light. The scholar departs to New Rome to share his new-found insights and to recommend the canonization of Leibowitz.

The third section takes us another six or seven centuries into the future. Technology—much of it based on the study of old documents like the Leibowitzian relics—has developed to the point where space flight is practical. But nuclear weapons have been reinvented, as well—in all likelihood directly due to the knowledge preserved by the Order of St. Leibowitz—and nuclear war is imminent. The last abbot of the order perishes after an atomic blast brings his church down in ruins as he tries to save the consecrated hosts. But a ship commissioned by the Order launches into space, looking for a new home for humanity.

Well, sure, we destroy ourselves all over again, but maybe that rocket ship full of devout Catholics will colonize a new world that will never see an atomic mushroom cloud. Yet the reader is left with the impression that the human race is ultimately doomed to repeat its worst mistakes.

Sadly, “A Canticle for Leibowitz” was the only novel published during Miller’s lifetime. His last work, a follow-up novel called “St. Leibowitz and the Wild Horse Woman,” was published after his suicide in 1996. He must have seen that his ability to continue was in doubt, because he asked author Terry Bisson to finish it for him if he were unable to do so. Bisson did finish the book after Miller’s suicide. It’s thought that Miller’s traumatic experiences in WWII—including the bombing of an ancient abbey at Monte Casino—contributed to his depression and eventual suicide. That may be the case, but it also contributed to the creation of a science fiction masterpiece. Some people write to exorcise their demons, but even St. Leibowitz couldn’t exorcise the dark demons of Walter M. Miller’s haunted spirit.