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RealmShift Paperback – October 17, 2008


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Product Details

  • Paperback: 372 pages
  • Publisher: Blade Red Press (October 17, 2008)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0980578205
  • ISBN-13: 978-0980578201
  • Product Dimensions: 6 x 0.8 x 9 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.2 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.1 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (23 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #8,586,711 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

Review

RealmShift by Alan Baxter is a gripping, thought-provoking tale that evokes a strong response within the reader, both on an emotional and an intellectual level. It is a dark fantasy that takes the reader on both an adventure-filled ride, but also a spiritual exploration... Action abounds in this thriller... Baxter's prose is better than many in the genre... the narrative is consistently solid and well-crafted... It is dark fantasy blended with action, adventure and spiritual exploration that in no way falls into the typical Judeo-Christian mold. Some will find the story too graphic, while others might be uncomfortable with the avenues in which spirituality is explored. Personally I found it a gritty, entertaining read that made me think. If you like your speculative fiction a little on the dark side, RealmShift is for you. --David Wood, Gryphonwood SF/F Publisher and webzine

Review

The title draws intrigue. Impressionable cover art, glossed, and a staccato opening - almost literary - clinches it... Twice, ensconced in a tram, reading this 452 page tale, I missed my stop. Isiah, the protagonist is an immortal who detects demon sulphur on Earth. Missions all over the world but now one in his own backyard. Isiah is having one ass of a day... Alan Baxter introduces us to a mystical world, a shadowed realm with forces beyond comprehension or principle... Mr. Baxter writes with conviction; he writes differently rather well... the overall effect, more so for a first time author, is notably fine. Physical and dimensional conflict is one of the best features of the tale. Effortless script makes gullible the reader, carrying him to a destination, any destination, manic laughter fading... Prose flows smoothly, almost poetic. RealmShift is a novel I am loath to put down. A most surprising read. Quite a ride.

More About the Author

Alan Baxter is a British-Australian author who writes dark fantasy, horror and sci-fi, rides a motorcycle and loves his dog. He also teaches Kung Fu. He is the author of the dark urban fantasy trilogy, Bound, Obsidian and Abduction (The Alex Caine Series) published by HarperVoyager Australia, and the dark urban fantasy duology, RealmShift and MageSign (The Balance 1 and 2) from Gryphonwood Press. He co-authored the short horror novel, Dark Rite, with David Wood. Alan also writes short fiction with more than 50 stories published in a variety of journals and anthologies in Australia, the US, the UK and France. His short fiction has appeared in Fantasy & Science Fiction (forthcoming), Beneath Ceaseless Skies, Daily Science Fiction, Postscripts, and Midnight Echo, among many others, and more than twenty anthologies, including the Year's Best Australian Fantasy & Horror (2010 and 2012). Alan also writes narrative arcs and dialogue for videogames and wrote the popular writer's resource, Write The Fight Right, a short ebook about writing convincing fight scenes. He has twice been a finalist in the Ditmar Awards.

Customer Reviews

Fast paced, interesting and a satisfying read.
Nicole Murphy
The story focuses on the struggles of Isiah, an immortal agent of the balance, as he battles to maintain equilibrium between good and evil.
Michell Plested
The narrative pace can feel slow at first, but this picks up rapidly as the plot progresses.
scootes

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

7 of 7 people found the following review helpful By Inkwell on April 9, 2006
Format: Paperback
RealmShift by Alan Baxter
RealmShift is the debut work of the English born Sydney resident Alan Baxter who creates a present day (or as near to it to make a difference unnoticeable) and rather gritty reality, which is underpinned by the somewhat less tangible balance and interplay of the gods. By saying gods one has to include those of powerful stature, the aspiring wannabe gods, the higher and lesser deities and the individual's "personal god" of less than no significance as well as those seen as the creators and the undoers.

Isiah (not to be mistaken for the prophet by the name of Isaiah), our protagonist, is a more or less reluctant tool intent on upholding a semblance of balance in the world, that gods and demons in their play are intent on disrupting. The slightly aged (around 400 years) and disillusioned Isiah is continuously guided, pushed and prodded by the entity "The Balance" to use his not so insubstantial powers to prevent acts by those selfsame forces of good and evil that might shift the balance in favour of one or the other.

In this particular case Isiah merely has to retrieve the soon to be and not so nice sidekick Samuel, to make sure he knocks off an Assassin in Central America. If he doesn't, the assassin will in turn do what he does best and quite a lot brown stuff will hit the proverbial fan in the not so distant future. This takes the reader from your everyday city streets to hell and back and then proceeds to throw you into yet another hell of heat and mosquitoes in the Guatemalan jungle.
Oh, has it been mentioned that Samuel is quite evil, not exactly readily recruitable and literally frying in the Hell of his own making? (Well, he certainly is a worthy contribution to your local "Satanic Cultists Anonymous" help group.
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5 of 6 people found the following review helpful By Julie A. Dawson VINE VOICE on April 4, 2006
Format: Paperback
Sometimes, I hate the 1-5 star rating system at Amazon. This is one of those times where I wish I could split stars, because I would have rather given this book a 3 1/2 instead of just a three, but I can't honestly rate it a 4. So ignore the star rating altogether.

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The premise is a familiar one in speculative literature. Beneath and beyond the mundane world, supernatural forces poise themselves to break the balance and bring chaos and destruction to the earth. Most people cannot see the truth, nor do they really want to. Devoid of connection to the mystical, most people are content struggling through the grey world of corporal materialism. But some people are connected to the mystical, and the actions of these few can impact the fate of the world. This familiar, yet still profound story concept, is told anew in Realmshift, by Alan Baxter.

Specifically, the story revolves around a man who makes a deal with Satan in exchange for immortality, then figures out how to use ancient blood magics and ritual murder to prevent Satan from collecting. But this is by no means a traditional Faustian morality tale, because the apparent good guys aren't interested in saving his soul, but insuring he keeps his end of the bargain to protect the Balance. The central protagonist, Isiah, is charged with insuring that Samuel fulfills his end of the bargain by destroying a creature in Central America that would in fact grant him his immortality before an angry Satan tracks down the magician and destroys him on principle.

The entire narrative reads like a tale told by some omniscient yet bored being, indifferent to the incredible tale it is telling. This is both the blessing and the curse of this book.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By KylieFox on February 10, 2011
Format: Paperback
REALM SHIFT
Alan Baxter
Gryphonwood Press

Imagine if everything you believed in, everything anyone believed in was real. All of the Gods and Goddesses; heaven and hell, all of it. Imagine that if you believed it enough, the tooth fairy and the Grinch and a pink, fluffy Easter Bunny existed.

Imagine that they were real because you believed in them. Such is the world created by Alan Baxter in RealmShift.
Baxter creates an original, but very plausible, alternative to how we view religion. Everybody's right! There is no one true god, only the god that you believe in. Think you're going to burn in the pits of hell when you die? You will. Think that death with ultimately reunite you with the puppy you lost when you were five? It will.

But there has to be balance. For this world to work, for no god to become too powerful, for good or evil to not take too strong a hold, there has to be balance. And it is upon this premise that RealmShift takes place.

Isiah is an agent for Balance, that which works to ensure that no one deity has an unfair advantage or that deities cease to exist. Isiah is not good, nor is he evil; he simply does the jobs that are necessary to maintain the balance.
In RealmShift, he must maintain the life of a murdering lowlife who used ancient blood magic to escape a deal with the devil. If Samuel Harrigan falls into the hands of the devil too soon, it will set off a chain of events that will upset the balance and put all of humanity in jeopardy.

RealmShift takes us from city streets to the pits of hell and to the jungles of South America without skipping a beat. Its characters, though most are extremely unsavoury and unlikable, are lovable. We, as readers, want to know their stories, want to read more of them.
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