The Protagonist Speaks
The Protagonist Speaks.
"This is a stunning saga, both in story and quality of writing."
"Best Science Fiction book I’ve read in years."
"Reminds me of Stephen Donaldson."
“Loved it. Waiting on the action movie...”
“A brilliant and creative adventure.”
“Total immersion in fantasy – make it a game!”
“Science fiction from the school of Robert A. Heinlein.”
“The writing and storytelling are gripping"
So, there you go.
If you'd like to find out more, just visit my Amazon Page on the link below:
The IX Genesis
So many of the fans who enjoyed the IX Series asked for a prequel, that I was obliged to respond. And I’m glad I did. As I mentioned last time out, IX Genesis is a story about the origins of the Horde, their expansion, and the impact that has on the people of Arden.
Here’s the back-story:
Arden, birthplace of a people who have mastered the secrets of arcane, reality-bending technology, and home to a civilization that now spans more than thirty planets throughout an entire quadrant of the galaxy. They are wise and understanding. Majestic in vision. Powerful beyond compare. And intent on extending their benevolent influence throughout the stars. . .
Until the fateful day their thirst for knowledge leads them to push too far, too quickly. In doing so, they open a door into the antiverse, a realm where the very nature of existence is an anathema to life. An antithesis to all that is good. Evil. And that evil is sentient, as highly contagious as it is fueled by an irresistible proclivity to feed and multiply and spread.
And feed and multiply it does.
Faced with an overwhelming flood, the Ardenese have no option.
They must fight or die!
So, how is this back-story encapsulated within the
First of all, just cast your eye over the whole thing and what impression do you receive? Darkness. That’s what! We’re dealing with the rise of evil that causes the downfall of an empire that once ruled the stars. You catch a glimpse of the cradle of their civilization there at the bottom of the picture. That’s Arden. A benevolent, cultured, and peaceful place that has no idea what’s about to befall it.
But the universe does. . .
Do you notice how subdued the ‘IX’ is? How ethereal? The SPQR is missing. It’s empty. Vacant. As if it’s lying dormant, awaiting the call that will bring it to life.
And the key to that call?
You can see it, lurking within the ‘I’ itself.
As always, the answer to our conundrum lies in genetics. But whose? Check again. The DNA strand doesn’t quite touch the planet’s surface, nor does it manage to reach the stars, for an insidious void bars the way.
What that void is, you can only imagine. But rest assured it is safely contained – for the time being – within the workings of an arcane matrix that bends reality. Another clue, as that matrix also spawns something else. Did you notice the letter ‘I’ within the word Genesis? We’ve seen that blue-white prism before, haven’t we, way back in the opening novel, The IX.
Say ‘hello’ to the origins of the quantum gateway, the ethereal Möbius strip connecting past, present, and future in an eternal loop.
So who will you be rooting for? The fiendish and foul, or the future ghosts that give their all to ensure evil will never take root.
Yes, pick a side and take your stand. The IX is back, and the choice before you is simple:
Fight or Die!
Follow the Buy Link to join the battle. . .
Welcome back to the wonderful world of the IX. I realize this post is rather close to my previous article relating to Exordium of Tears, but I only recently found out that the next adventure in the IX series is due for imminent release in September.
Thus the need to accelerate my plans a little. . .
So, over the past couple weeks, we’ve seen how the story of our adventurers from Earth has evolved, and how their journey has been encapsulated within a 'mini-reveal' incorporated into each cover.
Today we look at the final book in the original trilogy: Prelude to Sorrow.
Here’s a glimpse of what they encounter:
The task force dispatched from Arden to eradicate the Horde menace failed, and for those few left alive, the tenet by which they have survived for so long resounds as never before.
Fight or Die!
Now marooned, out of time and out of place, the survivors lick their wounds and struggle to recover while the Horde gather their strength for a final strike that will change the course of history forever. The fate of the galaxy – and more – hangs in the balance.
But fate, it seems, isn’t done with the Ninth, and our heroes find themselves forced to mount a last-ditch attempt to end the threat once and for all.
Will the darkness be vanquished, or will our heroes’ efforts finally signal the beginning of the end of their adventure?
Find out in – Prelude to Sorrow – the stunning conclusion to the IX saga.
As the title implies, this story is an overture. An introduction to what the real menace is, and how insidious its reach can be. Those who survived the battle on Exordium don’t have time to feel sorry for themselves. There’s too much at stake. The future of Arden and planet Earth itself are at risk of being swallowed by an ancient evil determined to wreak havoc.
Do you see how that’s reflected in the background of the main cover? How it crumbling? As if the very foundations of their world are being torn away from beneath their feet, and there’s nothing they can do about it?
Or is there?
The IX symbol is a glowing brazier, radiating and smoking with the steady, building heat of a kiln. The dross is being removed, purifying what remains so that it’s ready for the crucible of battle. And battle they do, for the DNA matrix is still there, hidden within the gray of the backdrop, yet visible enough to remind us of the power of the human-Ardenese bloodline.
Yes, no matter what it takes, the glorious Ninth and their comrades will shine like beacons in the darkness. Somehow, someway, they will find the strength to endure, so that their legacy lasts for all time.
For ALL time?
You’ll see, in a spectacular finale that will leave you breathless. But you get a hint in the starburst radiance leaping away from the top of the 'X' and off into eternity.
As finales go, the cover to this book is superb. Roy Mauritsen worked his magic again and rounded the series off with a profoundly satisfying piece of artwork. One for which I have always been grateful.
As well I should be.
When you think about it, book covers act as an introduction to your work. You’ve spent many, many months building a world; filling it with inhabitants; devising a storyline; planning out an adventure that you hope will keep readers entertained. And part of that process is creating the right first impression.
First Impressions Count!
And with the covers to the IX series, I know readers will be enticed to pick up my books, read the blurbs, and be drawn inside. That won’t happen unless you have the right team around you. So all thanks to Roy and the team at Perseid Press for creating something truly special.
And the thing is, it’s not over yet.
The IX series made quite an impact on those who read it. The fans demanded more. They wanted to delve into the history of the Horde and discover how they came to be; how they managed to ravage a civilization in its ascendency; how they then became the mindless, savage brutes we first met in the IX.
Yes, how did they manage to overthrow a society millennia in the making in so short a time?
Well, what the fans want, the fans get! Stay tuned for a brand-new revelation. . .
Otherwise known as
The IX Genesis
A IX Origins Novel
As seen in next week's full cover reveal and backstory.
Last week, I discussed how the cover of The IX told you something about the story within.
This time out, we’re going to get a hint about what you’ll find in.
The IX – Exordium of Tears:
Before we start, here’s the back-story for Exordium.
Fight or die.
That simple yet brutal reality is the tenet by which the refugees from Earth – including the fabled lost 9th Legion of Rome; the 5th Company, 2nd Mounted Cavalry Unit; and the Special Forces Anti-Terrorist Team – were forced to live by while the Horde menace existed. Believing that the threat is over, the survivors now yearn to settle down, start families, and reclaim the lives stolen from them.
But such aspirations might remain beyond their reach, for a shadow looms on the rose-tinted horizon of new beginnings.
The release of the re-genesis matrix has done much to foster a restoration of exuberance across Arden. Along with a resurgence in floral and faunal diversity comes the results of splicing the Ardenese and human genomes: transmutation. A metamorphosis of stunning magnitude that not only affects the living, but those still is stasis as well.
Recognizing the emergence of a new hybrid species, the Architect – the arcane AI construct tasked with the preservation of the Ardenese race – responds by unlocking previously hidden and inaccessible areas of the city. It also releases an archive of sealed state secrets. Such revelations are eagerly perused, whereupon a shocking discovery is made.
Prior to the fall, it was common knowledge amongst the Senatum (the highest levels of Arden’s government) that not all the rabid Horde had joined in the rampage across the stars toward Arden.
Realizing that the peril still exists, the newly reformed administration elects to respond in earnest. Existing resources are utilized, suitable candidates are chosen, and a flotilla of ships is sent out to secure, quarantine, and reclaim the outer colonies.
A mammoth and hazardous undertaking. And nowhere more so than at the planet from where the outbreak was known to have originated – Exordium – for there, the ancient Horde are not only supremely evolved and highly organized, but are capable of a level of lethal sophistication, the likes of which has never been witnessed before.
It is into this kiln of incendiary potential that the cream of Arden’s fighting forces is deployed.
Worlds are torn asunder, suns destroyed, and star systems obliterated. Yes, tragedy is forged, in a universe spanning conflict which proves once again that…
Death is only the beginning of the adventure.
So, knowing what’s coming, how are some of these facets related in
Let’s take a look:
First of all, you’ll immediately note the setting is much darker.
That’s because we’re addressing the discovery of a hidden menace threatening
calamity. A calamity our heroes can’t ignore. They are forced to respond, and
it is evident from the outset that not all of them will return.
Then there’s the title itself. The IX – Exordium of Tears.
Exordium means “origins”. This book highlights the beginning, the source of the sorrows our refugees from Earth will have to face. But do they have what it takes to address the genesis of all their fears?
Look at the subtle differences from the last story.
Lean in closely and look at the “I” in IX.
Do you see how the letters SPQR have faded? That’s because those letters used to represent – Senatus Populus Que Romanus – (For the Senate and the People of Rome). That’s no longer the case. The letters are now etched into the fabric of the letter “I” itself - though they're barely visible - and into the character of the warriors who now defend Arden.
Yes, our heroes fight for their new home.
Serovak Pluserak Qen Rhomanax
(For Security Prosperity and Rhomane)
The outworking of the re-genesis matrix means the two civilizations are blending. That’s why the DNA helix is much smaller and hard to see. It's portrayed in a similar manner within the “X”. And do you notice how you can’t see hints of the quantum gateway that transposed the refugees to Arden? Something has replaced the transporter beams. Do you see it, cutting down from the top left hand part of the image?
A laser beam.
Here’s a clue. Look at the eagle. It’s been cast anew in iron. The
words “Exordium of Tears” are forged afresh in steel. The 9th –
which now includes all those brought from Earth on the ninth and final intake –
represent the epitome of death to the Horde, for the Senatum intends to end the
monsters’ existence in the crucible of battle.
They are going to war, and conflict abounds. But who lives and who dies? Is death really the beginning of the adventure?
You’ll find out, in an epic, action packed adventure that once again, pitches warriors together into a kiln where they have but one choice:
Fight or Die!
And remember, this story is dark. Not everyone will make it home.(And as always, much thanks to Roy Mauritsen for his interpretation of the story)
With the advent of a new IX adventure and imminent cover reveal, I thought it would be a good idea to skip back over the previous novels, and refresh our memories regarding the hint each cover gives the reader about what’s to come.
Fans of the IX series will remember I’ve done this before, but it’s always good to be reminded of all the thought put into the artwork and design of each cover.
(And all praise to Roy Mauritsen for his wonderful representation of my ideas).
Okay, so let’s begin with the story that started it all off: The IX
Roman legionnaires, far from home, lost in the mists of Caledonia.
A US cavalry company, engaged on a special mission, vital to the peace treaty proposed by Presidential candidate Abraham Lincoln.
A twenty-first century Special Forces unit, desperate to prevent a nuclear catastrophe.
From vastly different backgrounds, these soldiers are united when they are snatched away from Earth at the moment of their passing. Thinking they may have been granted a reprieve, imagine their horror when they discover they have been transported to a failing planet on the far side of the galaxy, where they are given a simple ultimatum. Fight or die. Against all odds, this group of misfits manages to turn the tide against a relentless foe, only to discover the true cost of victory might exact a price they are unwilling to pay.
How far would you be willing to go to stay alive?
Sometimes, death is only the beginning of the adventure.
So, bearing the blurb in mind, now take a look at the cover.
The Roman Numerals and the letters SPQR tell you the inspiration behind the story. The legendary lost 9th Legion of Rome, an entity comprised of more than five thousand men who walked into the mists of Caledonia circa AD 100 A.D. and were never seen again.
But there’s much more to this adventure than the lost ninth legion. As the story evolves, other facets begin to stand out. . .
For example, the quantum gateway that snatches our heroes from Earth also shifts them through time. Do you note the elements relating to the passage of the centuries by the weathering on the stonework of the IX itself? It’s crumbling, and the silvered edging is tarnished to black in places. But how long has passed? Ah, will we ever know?
The quantum gateway I mentioned. Do you see it in operation? The blue-white prisms symbolized in beams of light that split the lens of reality as the mortality cipher locks onto its next victims. The lilac hue as the transporter begins its arcane process, shifting vast armies through light-years of space.
And have you ever wondered on the strange patterns within the thickest shaft of light? Well, that’s a representation of human and Ardenese DNA, the key to the future as the re-genesis template goes to work, creating a metamorphosis of wondrous scope.
But much more is revealed as the story unfolds, for our heroes are the ninth and final intake to be selected, Arden’s last hope in her hour of need. What’s more, some of our protagonists are dream walkers; spirit counselors who help guide our refuges through the trials and tribulations before them. Of note is the fact that our antagonists, the Horde, have their own equivalent of such shamans, Ix walkers.
Yes, connections abound, and are all blended perfectly together in a cover that is as rich in meaning as it is in color.
And this is only the first story we come to.
Next time out, we’ll delve into Exordium of Tears and see how our story progresses via its cover.
(And once again, ‘thank you’ to Roy Mauritsen for his fantastic artwork).