- Paperback: 328 pages
- Publisher: Northern Frights Publishing (June 2, 2011)
- Language: English
- ISBN-10: 0986877719
- ISBN-13: 978-0986877711
- Product Dimensions: 5.2 x 0.7 x 8 inches
- Shipping Weight: 13.6 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
- Average Customer Review: 30 customer reviews
- Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #9,446,436 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
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The Blackest Heart Paperback – June 2, 2011
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Also, this is a very non-traditional book as far as format. It seems to follow it's own rules of form and design at times. But there are many genre conventions to hang your hat on, so it doesn't go too far into outer space. Just as far as you'd need for epic battles and adventure.
Seems like there's more to come, as many things are left open...
Silly me - I forgot that Vince Churchill is a rare talent in the action field, and that he can do pretty much anything he damn well wants to do. Mix that talent with a great appreciation and love for old-style radio/comic/movie heroes (he mentions Batman, Spawn, The Crow, and I would add The Shadow and Pale Rider to that list), and you end up with a novel like this, a tight, fast-paced thriller that still contains a sprawling, pulp-colored cast of monsters, machines and men, whips breakneck around the galaxy, each planet deadlier than the last, shoves raw, bleeding meat in the reader's face and dares him to swallow it.
If you do, if you accept what Churchill's giving you, you'll come away satisfied. Bloody, queasy, disturbed in some of your deeper places, but sated and eagerly anticipating the next meal. This is a vicious book, a violent book, a book dealing with capital-E Evil, with revenge and redemption, and it's populated by the loudest, quirkiest, most-fascinating group of entities you'll run across in a lifetime of reading. Highly recommended - though if you AREN'T ready for a glistening, steaming hunk of raw meat, go ahead and get back to your normal life; you'll be better off without Churchill running around in your head, showing you things you don't want to see.
But for the same reason that young writer Churchill earns four stars, he misses the fifth: the story moves too fast to develop all of the characters to the point where the reader cares about them as much as he might Bishop. The plot's equation could use a few more variables, to draw the story out and color in some of the implied threats of the frontier planet. Also, my darker side wanted dead Thane, powered by something alien and consuming, to lose the battle for his own humanity, and take some of the shine permanently from his Marshal's star. But these are minor quibbles in a quick-hot plot of a man on a mission and the freaks he hunts down.
So, until the movie comes out, grab the book! We'll see what else is coming from this rising Churchill; hopefully something that picks up where The Blackest Heart leaves off.
The Blackest Heart is perhaps one of the funest, if not more engrossing, stories I have read in a long time. I am an avid reader of horror/Sci-Fi, but I love a well written book (some of my favorite authors are Melville, Henry Miller, and the master himself Mr. Stephen King) and so I can honestly say that I regard Mr. Churchill as a talented writer and storyteller and is now one of my new favorite authors in modern fiction.
The Blackest Heart introduces Thane Bishop, a gunslinger/Wyatt Earp Hero that is killed and then brought back to life to avenge the torture and abuse of his family. Motivated by vengeance, and struggling with his humanity, this powerful and interestingly dark hero is likened to that of Spawn or the Crow, and his path leads him to track down The Plague, a group of bloodthirsty mutants/Superhumans who destroy not just physically but mentally as well. The read is quick, the literature is very adult and graphic, but Mr. Churchill's talent lies in his very specific storyline and style, that has you on the edge of your seat, and up until the early morning to find out what happens next.
Mr. Churchill not only creates a character that I hope to continue to see, but has formed a new universe to follow, and one that he brings to maturity through his writing, one page at a time.
I totally recommend this book, and can't wait for his next one!
Churchill has definitely avoided the sophomore slump here! Now where is number three?