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Holotar: Last Queen of the White Shamans [Kindle Edition]

James E. Lalonde
4.3 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (14 customer reviews)

Kindle Price: $0.99
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Book Description

Walter Winkler is a Seattle street kid who can Google Minds. Not that he can help it. Who wants to know what people are really thinking?

His shelter shrink dismisses Mind Googling as mere schizophrenia and worse, intends to ‘cure him” if he keeps having “delusions” of getting sucked into other people’s heads.

Nicknamed 'Pinball,' Walter has a gift for seeing inside games, too. He doesn’t play by the rules. He plays with the code. Avoids the monsters. Always beats the game.

Then Walter is lured into testing “Holotar: Last Queen of the White Shamans,” a new kind of holographic fantasy game designed by a mad Russian. Walter is beguiled into promising the ‘Last Queen’ that he will rescue her child being held captive in Siberia. He also discovers that the game has been hacked by a very real monster, an ancient psychopath unleashed into the new world of massively multiplayer online games and social networks, who is preying on young gamers – like him.

Walter sets out on a journey from Seattle to Siberia and back to fulfill his promise to the Queen and to help the gamers find their monster before it finds him. The odyssey propels him Googling through the minds of a cast of eccentric characters, including Paolo, a Brazilian game executive with a past; Leggs, a rehabbed homeless teen prostitute; and unfortunately, into the mind of a twisted monster named Gvlek.

Holotar: Last Queen of the White Shamans is an urban fantasy, psychological thriller. There are consequences for creating and unleashing real and imagined monsters. Because sometimes, once they get in your head, monsters just won’t die.


Product Details

  • File Size: 638 KB
  • Print Length: 403 pages
  • Simultaneous Device Usage: Unlimited
  • Sold by: Amazon Digital Services, Inc.
  • Language: English
  • ASIN: B0056J0RVC
  • Text-to-Speech: Enabled
  • X-Ray:
  • Lending: Enabled
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #895,178 Paid in Kindle Store (See Top 100 Paid in Kindle Store)
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Customer Reviews

4.3 out of 5 stars
(14)
4.3 out of 5 stars
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews
19 of 21 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars Great! And Not so Great January 13, 2012
Format:Kindle Edition
This book rocks. Absolutely. The author pulls you right into the story with colorful and interesting characters, great storyline. You have so many questions brewing as you read and the author feeds you little hints here and there - it is great... and then, the author introduces the antagonist, a pedophile genitalia eating demon. At which point I stopped reading - call me what you will - but I have better things to think about. I feel like the author felt he had to go over the top to try and make a point or something, but he really didn't, the story was memorizing without a such an unnecessarily crass antagonist. But, hey, if you are into that kind of thing, you will love this book.
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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Weird, wacky and wonderful! July 11, 2011
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
Lalonde's debut novel is a fascinating ride into the inner world of a street kid whose talent for "googling minds" takes the reader on a thrilling trip in and out of a next-generation game where there are only two ways out of the labyrinth - winning or dying. Holotar is a challenge uniquely suited to the telepathic abilities of Walter the Pinball Wizard, a troubled teenager whose strange talent is dismissed as schizophrenic catatonia (or is it catatonic schizophrenia? And does it matter?) by everyone except a mysterious Microsoft executive named Angel who lures him into a bizarre realm of shamans, shadows, and blood-eating monsters. Gamers, metal heads, steam punkers, and sci-fi fans will be riveted!
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Original, Wild and Insightful July 15, 2011
By JoAnne
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
Walter Winkler, a mentally ill street kid with a prodigious talent for gaming, can't help getting sucked into other people's minds. When a Microsoft exec offers him $100 to test out a prototype next-generation game, she fails to mention it has a few rather nasty "bugs." What follows is a wild and fast-paced fantasy thriller that's as hard to put down as it is well-written. Lalonde's narrator is orginal, smart and vulnerable, offering insights into the nature of reality, sanity and what it means to be human. Highly recommended.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Thrill Ride April 29, 2012
By Brian
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
The Last Queen of the White Shamans is an adrenaline charged thrill ride of a read. Like the last time I rode a roller coaster, my legs were a bit wobbly at the end. Our hero, Walter Winkler is a nicely empathetic street kid who can Goggle minds. He has a tendency to get stuck inside people's heads, which can be dramatically inconvenient, especially when he is trapped inside the mind of a monster. Mind Goggling is a fun concept and a clever way of getting to know the pasts of players in Walter's adventure. Our villain is as nasty a monster as I've read in books or seen in films. Even his name, Gvlek, made my skin crawl. Holotar is a well written, clever story. It can be very witty at times, but it is also be unflinching in it's depiction of the horror and violence, which I didn't mind given the book's fantasy nature. For Seattle residents, the recognizable locals add to the fun.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars An Electric New Voice August 6, 2011
By abekoog
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
Lalonde's writing is electric -- it crackles with rich imagery, unexpected metaphors, and strange/wonderful turns of phrase. He brings to vivid life a vast array of worlds, from Seattle streets to online distopias. Reminded me a bit of Dennis Johnson, a bit of Ray Bradbury. But mostly I kept saying to myself: this is a truly original voice. Lalonde loves language, and he knows how to use it.

But hang on! If you couldn't give a you-know-what about good literature, and just want a good read, maybe even a beach read, this book is also most definitely for you. The plot moves lightning-quick. There's sex and violence and video games. It's cinematic and suspenseful. I really cared about the characters, particularly the mentally ill but humane anti-hero, Walter.

I wasn't sure what to expect when I picked up this book. But I couldn't put it down. Highly recommended.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A Guilty Pleasure July 2, 2011
By Nancy
Format:Kindle Edition
Holotar hurls the reader deep into a richly-imagined world of a troubled gamer prodigy who makes a fateful promise to a dying queen in a next-generation game-gone-bad. Gut-wrenching (literally!) monsters, Russian oligarchs and mobsters introduce wicked chaos at every turn. Not for the dainty or faint-hearted -- this one delivers shocks, clever turns and brutal insights page after page. Based in Seattle, the author invokes familiar city features and icons before sending his characters to the Siberian home of mythical White Shaman Queens and back. Entertaining and a quick read. I'll look for more!
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Notable beginning October 16, 2011
By R. Auer
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
A fast paced and well written read which juggles digital, tactile, and mental fantasies/realities across societal levels, myth, and continents, Holotar is a page turner. Or, rather, it is a speedy kindle page click of a first novel. Well researched, stylistically consistent, with concise and intelligent character development, it is a compelling late night read. As in many well written novels of this genre, I suspect, there are few conscious moments of 'why?' here. There are, enjoyably, frequent moments of 'what?',which are quite well written. I expect Lalonde will explore, in further novels, a deeper sense of ontology within the edge and spark of life, technology, and perceived and real sanity. I look forward to sequels and future works from Lalonde.
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Most Recent Customer Reviews
4.0 out of 5 stars vivid but creepy
Interesting characters and vivid descriptions. Enjoyed the northwest scenes. Bad guy is a bit hard to follow and very creepy.
Published 3 months ago by David K Wike
4.0 out of 5 stars I enjoyed this book
This is a good original story. Great character development . For those of you that need perfect editing this book could use a little help. Didn't stop me from enjoying this book
Published 11 months ago by M. Hyder
2.0 out of 5 stars SF or Fantasy - it Tries to be Both
I liked the beginning - a kid who gets sucked into other people's minds "Googling" them. His character was well written and believable (assuming you suspend belief long enough to... Read more
Published 18 months ago by Barbara Paltiel
5.0 out of 5 stars Real and unreal
This is a hell of a first novel. Lalonde's extensive research and attention to detail pay off magnificently through his beautiful, casual descriptive language. Read more
Published on September 25, 2011 by Leah
5.0 out of 5 stars Marvelous read!
This book is really great.....I bought it a while ago , am now reading it. I would like to quote passages that I think have a marvelous phrasing, but there are so many, I can't... Read more
Published on September 8, 2011 by KathyA
5.0 out of 5 stars Holotar: I'm mad for Sushi
Sushi, the committed and idiosyncratic psychiatrist is just one of Lalonde's characters who capture the essence of the human condition. Read more
Published on August 5, 2011 by Trey
5.0 out of 5 stars Something for everyone
This book has something for everyone! Futuristic tech, travel, gritty
street life, mystery and more. Some very surprising turns keep you on
the edge. Read more
Published on July 20, 2011 by Chris
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More About the Author

About James

About James

James E. Lalonde was a technology and business journalist at the Seattle Times, KING 5 News and was involved in the startup of half a dozen software and digital media companies in the Pacific Northwest.

As a kid in Montana, Lalonde learned to love words reading the dictionary and science fiction. He was a science nerd who placed Third in Applied Physics at the International Science Fair. He started off writing fiction out of college, but soon fell off the literary wagon to become a journalist. After attending university for a year abroad in Italy, he maintained a passion for the country and some of his writing is set there. He was a Gelato maker for several years. More recently, he has worked with the homeless and mentally ill as a counselor, researching Holotar: Last Queen of the White Shamans.

Lalonde received the William T. Costello Poetry Award while at Gonzaga University, and he was a finalist in the 2011 Pacific Northwest Writers Association Literary Contest for Poetry. Holotar: Last Queen of the White Shamans, was a finalist in the 2010 Northwest Writers Association Literary Contest for Urban Fantasy Sci-Fi.

"I believe that every voice has a story that deserves to be heard and that often it is the unheard voice that is most profound," says Lalonde. "As these voices speak to me, I try to remember what Plato said: 'Be kind, for everyone you meet is fighting a hard battle...'"

James is currently working on new projects in the MFA in Writing Program at Pacific University, in Oregon.

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