We are in our review mode and will be presenting our alter egos, Dona Penza Tattle, Esq. and Associate Wrye Balderdash and their reviews for Champagne Books Group for over the next several weeks. Enjoy!
FROM THE DESK OF
DONA PENZA TATTLE, ESQ.
ASSOCIATE WRYE BALDERDASH
“There is a bit of a delightful chill in the air, and so much to be thankful each and every month,” announces Tattle.
Wrye slides into the room fully decked out in a tux and tails. “Aye! Gets me in the mood for turkey and pie. Dinner later?"
Tattle interrupts as she spins about in her Victorian era outfit, “Aye?”
“If you’re going to dress like that, I’m thinkin’ I can talk in me own way.”
Tattle does the sigh and eye roll combo. “Fine! Now, we can go on and on and on about turkey and pie and your odd choice of verbiage or we can get down to business and jump into our Love of Literature Leap, a review of TRACKS by K. M. TOLAN.”
Wrye proffers his arm. “M’lady?”
Tattle takes his arm, muttering, “Yes to dinner but you are one strange duck.”
Tattle watches as the book’s paragraphs and sentences transform into a temporary reality. “So here it begins, in a field, where twelve year old Vincent Maloney and his seven year old sister, Katy, discover railroad tracks where there hadn’t been tracks just an instant before. And within moments both their lives will alter forever.”
“Hmmm,” Wrye sniffs the air, checks out his surroundings. “I can’t seem to track…” chuckles, “get it, track? Track down the genre of this adventurous tale.”
“Well, it is sort of a fantasy with a vibe of sci-fi but it’s not sci-fi, it’s errr, wellllll, in a category all its own, a universe totally unique, and wonderfully different. We’re in a place of knights who don’t look like you’re typical knight, hobos who are carded, steam children, yegg (monstrous beasts) and a mountain made of rock candy.”
“So like another planet?”
“No, the here and now. A place that exists alongside us in a way. It is here in the present, but not here… maybe.” Tattle’s face twists with confusion but also a mischievous delight. “The word that describes it all from prose to characters to storytelling is brilliant!”
Wyre’s expression mirrors hers. “It is indeed and the story keeps you on the brink of anticipation from the instant the train soars by out of nowhere and Katy disappears right out of Vincent’s hand.”
“It doesn’t help that, in time, his father leaves as well, leaving Vincent to grow up with his mother’s hate and his life a tragic mess that has no escape.”
Wrye flips through pages and points, “Until he helps a stranger who is being beat up by two thugs. Though he is too late to save the man’s life, the oddly dressed gent gives him an equally odd nickel that has been transformed with the face of a beautiful girl on one side and a bas-relief of two circles touching, a hobo sign. With the man’s last breath he tells Vincent to save his sister.”
“Unfortunately, the cops think Vincent killed the man, and in desperation he goes home only to face his mother’s bitter hatred.” Face tinted with sympathy Tattle goes on. “Fury takes hold and he goes back to the field where his sister disappeared, determined to find the tracks, follow them and find Katy.”
“Instead,” Wrye adds, “he finds Hobohemia, a land of living tracks, trains with souls and the two men who killed the stranger. As he fights them, they turn into yegg. Samantha, a feisty, tough, angry, tragic, yet in all opposition, endearing character saves him from the monsters. He alternately detests her and is drawn to her.”
“He eventually finds his sister in a state he doesn’t expect and to his dismay she doesn’t want to go home. He also discovers the stranger who had been killed was his father as well as a gandy dancer with the moniker Cracker Jack.”
“Samantha takes Jack to meet King Willy, and he is given the moniker Brass. Vincent is then set on a course that could lead to his death. In the meantime, his sister is kidnapped by Bram Van Erie, the villain who had ordered his father’s death. Now, Vincent with Samantha’s help, must also become a gandy dancer to restore King Willy to his rightful place, help a conniving, treacherous, yet lovable, Samantha, who he is falling in love with, from her own monstrous self and finally to bring Katy home. However, first he has to die, hitch a ride on the Westbound train to Hobo heaven (where his father’s restless spirit rides the rails), grab a piece of mountain rock candy and cheat death.”
“Is that all?” Tattle grins. “Seriously, I repeat the word BRILLIANT! The characters were dimensional and unexpected, the imagery was like watching a movie rather than just reading words, the storyline never gave you a chance to catch your breath. It was unlike anything I have ever read, and I couldn’t stop reading it. I truly hope the very talented K. M. TOLAN creates another story in this universe.”
Wrye guides Tattle back through the leap, saying, “I agree. TRACKS is such an imaginative work, where heroes aren’t who you imagine and the creativity of every scene is beyond what you could conceive. Way to go, Tolan! This is certainly his best work to date. Keep them coming.”
We hope you enjoyed our review of K. M. TOLAN’s TRACKS. Until next month, keep reading.
Dona Penza Rutabaga Tattle, Esq.and Associate Wrye Balderdash
of Blather City, Wannachat
Created and written byAngelica Hart and Zi
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