God’s Body, by Jeff Bowles has one of the most masterfully crafted openings that I have read in a long time. By the beginning of the second paragraph, he had placed me in the setting, I knew this was like no other story I had ever read, and I was hooked, which is what a great opening should do. It impressed me so, that I asked the author’s permission to reprint it here.
“The toe was an ungodly mountain of flesh. As massive as it was inexplicable. It clung to the Earth like a bulbous pink tumor. Enormous, all-encompassing, the height of a skyscraper, the breadth of Niagara Falls. Rain water washed through its thick patchwork of crevasses and cracks. Long vertical rivers lapped at skin-cell canyon walls. There were flesh creeks and tidal waves. The toenail itself was the hanging shelf of the world.
Then Harold looked higher and saw the rest. Lord God Almighty…”
You just can’t read this and not want to know more. It’s obvious this isn’t going to be your average, everyday story, and you must read on in anticipation of what will come next. It’s clear this will be a story of epic proportions, and Bowels does not disappoint. God’s Body is an Armageddon story like no other; a post apocalyptic tale of good vs. evil in the best of pulp fantasy traditions, if such traditions existed. Bowles pulls out all the stops, using humor, irony and contemplation of the human condition to tell his tale with skill and craftsmanship. Everything about this story is of epic scale.
I’m not going to give you a rundown of this story line because the whole thing was such an entertaining read that I wouldn’t want to give out any spoilers, but what I will tell you is that in addition to the wonderful writing talent of Bowles, the artistic craftsmanship of Writer’s of the Future illustrator Pat R. Steiner accompanies this story with some truly awesome illustrations like the one seen here.
A truly original story that puts a new twist to an age-old theme. Written with skill and talent in a literary work of true craftsmanship, God’s Body is like nothing else you’ve ever read. I give it five epic quills.
Kaye Lynne Booth does honest book reviews on Writing to be Read in exchange for ARCs. Have a book you’d like reviewed? Contact Kaye at kayebooth(at)yahoo(dot)com.
Every book is a collaboration. I work with editors, cover artists, and the publishers in so many ways behind the scenes. A few years ago, I got to collaborate in a different way. This time it was with a local illustrator, Aaron Siddall. He had an idea for a YA steampunk story. He would illustrate it and I would write it. We created a world of magic and mysterious creatures, and the book was released on November 14, 2018 from CHBB Publishing. *Hold for applause, wink wink.*
I would like to introduce Aaron Siddall to all of you. We met years ago when I joined the Utica Writers Club.
JE: When did you join the Utica Writers Club? What do you like most about it?
AS: The Utica Writers Club and I came together in 2010. I do write and occasionally read from things that I am working on, but I mostly attend for the creative energy. That and I find that writers make for excellent friends.
JE: How long have you been an illustrator?
AS: I’ve had a passion for art all of my life, but I had my first professional experience as an illustrator in 2001 working for Kenzer & Company and White Wolf Studios, both as a freelancer.
JE: What are some of the projects you’ve illustrated?
AS: Its hard to narrow down to favorites. But several stand out, such as; High Towers and Strong Places: A Political History of Middle Earth by Tim Furnish and published by Oloris Publishing. How Robin Hood Became an Outlaw by Learning A-Z. Ravenloft Denizens of Darkness by White Wolf Studios.
JE: How did you come up with the idea for FANYA?
AS: In a discussion concerning Steampunk and Fairy tales that I was involved with, I compared elements from both in relation to our world in the late 1800s (the Victorian era). In doing so, Russia and Alaska at the time were in the midst of tumultuous times, as there are many marvelous Russian Fairy Tales and the legends of the First Nations have many similar legends, these elements came together naturally in my mind.
JE: How did you come up with the title?
AS: Fanya is a name that shows up in both Russian and Inuit and Aleut peoples.
JE: What do you hope people take away from FANYA IN THE UNDERWORLD?
AS: Overall, I hope that people enjoy the action and magic of the setting. There is a great deal to think on and enjoy.
JE: What is your favorite illustration from the book?
AS: The one of Mr. Beisy on the doorstep in chapter two.
We hope you enjoy reading FANYA IN THE UNDERWORLD. Reviews and emails are always appreciated. If you love the artwork as much as I do, merchandise is available here.
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