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The Commons: Book 1: The Journeyman (Volume 1) Paperback – January 10, 2015

4.4 out of 5 stars 77 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews

Review

"The Journeyman has a lot to offer and I wouldn't hesitate to recommend it to my friends and fans of fantasy." -- Kat Berwick, Fantasy Book Review

"Mixing metaphysics with magical realism, a sense of humour, some well-written and thrilling action sequences and a creative way with words, Peck is definitely a writer to keep an eye on, and The Journeyman is an excellent debut." -- Literogo


"[A] piece of hefty literature that manages to be thoughtful, frightening and at times, funny. Enjoy." -- Bella Wright, Best Thrillers


"First step: Mix sci-fi, fantasy and suspense in a drink. Next:  Give it to 'one hell of an imagination' to consume. Result: The Journeyman. This is creativity and imagination defined." -- Boundless Book Reviews

"[A]n author to watch." -- Publishers Weekly

About the Author

I tell tales big and small. Life's magical, but it isn't always enough for a good story. So I make up the rest. To me, it's not real until I've put it into story form, which means I repeat myself a lot. In fact, the phrase that passes my lips most often is, "I may have told you this before, but ..." I've made my living writing about TV, its celebrities, and its past. (I used to pen a column called "Ask the Televisionary" for TV Guide.com.) I've also put food on the table reviewing restaurants, writing about travel, and doing SEO and content strategy. Only the writing counts in the end. I have a godawful memory, so I focus on the written word. I like to think that over time, I've gotten better at it--the writing, not the remembering. I forget important dates. I'm pretty good with movie lines. But after several years, I tend to tweak them. I prefer my versions over the real ones. Funny goes a long way with me. Probably further than it should. I grew up outside Philadelphia and have lived in New York, L.A., and San Francisco. My current home base is Chicago. At holiday time, the missus and I terrorize the world via The Little Drummer Boy Challenge. Please join us.
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Product Details

  • Series: The Commons
  • Paperback: 538 pages
  • Publisher: Dinuhos Arts, LLC; 1 edition (January 10, 2015)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0986082325
  • ISBN-13: 978-0986082320
  • Product Dimensions: 5.2 x 1.4 x 8 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.6 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.4 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (77 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,769,006 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

By Grady Harp HALL OF FAMETOP 100 REVIEWERVINE VOICE on July 8, 2014
Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
Young American author Michael Alan Peck makes his literary debut with a contemporary fantasy series THE COMMONS of which this is Book 1 -THE JOURNEYMAN. Having lived in Philadelphia New York, Los Angeles, San Francisco and now Chicago, Michael has seen the spectrum of the country, and one may suspect that his first novel may have been a road book, especially with the subtitle `The Journeyman'. His previous writing has been journalistic- his topics, celebrities, television past and present, restaurants, travel, search engine optimization and content strategy. But then this man's work is new to us and it is with pleasure and surprise that he has elected to escape all that and enter the realm of fantasy - just when escape form the chaos of life as we are living it is begging for some escapism! Or as he states, `Funny goes a long way with me. Probably further than it should.'

In a recent interview with the Chicago Sun-Times, Michael offers insights into his new endeavor: `The Journeyman is the first in a contemporary-fantasy series about an afterlife world known as The Commons. It's a Purgatory-like place, only without the default setting of guilt and suffering. When you die, you end up there and are assigned a guide who helps you on a journey to determine what your fate will be. The landscape creates itself around your memories, dreams, and experiences, and you face a challenge tailored to you, your experiences, and your imaginings. It's like Defending Your Life on Fantasy Island, I suppose, only with much higher stakes and a lot more weaponry, teeth, and claws. There's just one problem. The Commons has been taken over by a corporate-raider type who's using its imprisoned souls to power his own immortality.
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I couldn't put it down! I downloaded this book for some recent vacation reading - and I finished it within 24 hours of starting it. The character development and plot were fantastic - and I'm amazed at Michael Alan Peck's creativity and ability to weave together all the different story lines. It leaves you rooting for the characters, and wondering where the next book is going to go!
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Wow, i just finished reading the most amazing novel,The Commons: Book one: Journeyman written by Micheal Alan Peck. I was given this book in exchange for an honest review. I will be brutally honest, I loved it. Micheal is a true artist going from penning a column for TVGuide.com and writing restaurant reviews it amazes me how naturally he writes fantasy. The characters were so alive I could feel them with me every step of the way.You would never know is's his first novel it flows so perfectly.

Paul Reid is a tough 17 year old having spent most of his life in foster homes or on the street, he finds himself living at new beginnings group home. Even though he has grown to love Mike Hibbets also known as Papa Mike who runs the group home. A man who taught Paul "There's no god to lift us up - we rise or fall together". He finds himself leaving to find a place in the world. Paul buys a one way ticket to San Francisco, aboard the bus he meets Annie Brucker a red headed army veteran who did two tours of Iraq and her sweet little autistic boy, who turns out to be more than he appears. Both have their own stories in the book. The bus crashes and so starts the journey to free the commons from the thief Mr Brill who holds souls and their energy known as essence for his selfish gain never allowing them to move on. Which means everybody that dies gets trapped in Mr Brill's web never to leave purgatory.
Along the way Paul meets Jonas Porter a workaholic envoy who's job is to help him complete his journey. Rain a beautiful goth girl who's hair is as dark as her eyes with an attitude to match. Ken a huge mummy with a gentle personality and Po a crazy little monk with anger issues, who when fighting reminds me of tazzy devil just a blur of arms and legs.
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Michael Alan Peck has written an imaginative sci-fi fantasy situated in an interesting location: The Commons. It is somewhere between life and death where even dreams and memories become reality. The Commons: Book 1: The Journeyman pulls you into this incredible world that has been taken over by an evil raider, seeking to trap the inhabitants and feed off their essence to gain power. If they can escape, it may end Brill's sadistic control and bring him to judgment. This is a wild tale with many detailed and fascinating characters. I could not stop reading it! Highly recommended.
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Here's the basic premise - our hero Paul, the heroine Annie, and the heroine's possibly autistic child Zach are more or less killed in a bus crash. They appear in the Commons and must trek through it to reach their judgment day. The Commons is being terrorized by a megalomaniac villain who has figured out how to use the spirit energy of the recently departed to fuel his evil plans. Paul, with the aid of Porter, the worn out last remaining spirit guide, (and in the company of three other travelers, including Rain the cranky goth heroine), must use their wits and determination to cross the Commons, defeat the villain, and secure their happy, or at least deserved, ending.

Now, everything in this book is better than that summary would suggest. The teenage hero Paul is observant, troubled, insightful and articulate, and this book would be worth reading if all he were doing was just crossing Kansas to get home for the holidays. The heroines, (Annie and Rain) are strong, deep and multi-layered. The kid has a bit of "the Oracle said Little Neo is the one" to him, but he is developed so thoroughly you don't mind.

Secondary characters are well described and, even if some have limited roles, they all pull their weight. The worn out, burnt out, anguished angelly guide guy is usually a pretty tired convention in the hands of most authors, but here the combination of nobility, dedication, and bureaucratic pettiness is blended just right and gives us a character who could easily have been the focus of the book.
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