Day of the Dragonking: The Last American Wizard Kindle Edition
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A trio of suicide attackers with magical abilities bring down a 747 by summoning a dragon to rip it from the sky, using the hundreds of lives lost as a sacrifice to initiate the Change. The country morphs into a new landscape of swords and sorcery. Now computers and other machines are coming to life, and regular people have started to turn into mythical creatures and forgotten deities, creating a chaotic world easily seized by whoever--or whatever--set this shift into motion. Hope appears in the nation's capital where, along with transforming Democrats into potbellied elves, Republicans into cantankerous dwarves, and Tea Party members into trolls, the Change has granted struggling freelance journalist Steve Rowan the abilities of the Tarot Arcana's Fool card, making him a powerful, yet unreliable, wizard. Realizing his potential, he is "hired" by the trivia-obsessed sentient computer Barnaby and coupled with the attractive, no-nonsense female Navy SEAL Ace Morningstar to uncover the puppet masters behind the plane crash.
A clever, humorous fantasy...
From the Author
- ASIN : B01CUQ4JXK
- Publisher : Ronin Robot Press; 3rd edition (May 17, 2016)
- Publication date : May 17, 2016
- Language : English
- File size : 1182 KB
- Simultaneous device usage : Unlimited
- Text-to-Speech : Enabled
- Screen Reader : Supported
- Enhanced typesetting : Enabled
- X-Ray : Not Enabled
- Word Wise : Enabled
- Print length : 334 pages
- Lending : Enabled
- Best Sellers Rank: #1,477,852 in Kindle Store (See Top 100 in Kindle Store)
- Customer Reviews:
Top reviews from the United States
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Ace and Steve find help for their mission from the most unlikely people, or things. Her thinking car and his cell phone with a ghost inside it, make this story humorous at times. Along with people becoming alien in form, they revealed which suit of the tarot cards they played. Steve defeats the evil in the end with the help of his friends, this phone, and those who died by the monster. Interesting novel, although at times I felt background information was lacking.
It seemed to me that the very nature of this book will make it pretty divisive. Some people are likely to love it, while others won’t enjoy it. To me, the story was engaging and effective when I took the satirical aspects into consideration but as a pure fantasy story it seemed like some elements were missing. In particular, it was a little hard to grasp the rules that the author was basing the world upon, which is normally a very important component of any fantasy story. To me, the other limitation was that there was a little bit too much showing and not enough telling.
Still, regardless of those issues, I found the story itself to be compelling and the overall theme was certainly engaging. Besides, the combination of fantasy and modern reality is just too cool to pass up.
Let us look at the title of the book: A dragonking is an enormous disruption so powerful that it is outside all standard parameters (a king) and acts according to rules so mysterious that they resemble nothing else (a dragon). Unfortunately for the quants, unlike a black swan, they can be predicted. Dragonking events have been identified in such enormously complex systems as financial markets, forest fires, earthquakes, epileptic seizures in the human brain, climate change, and the extinction of species. A dragonking comes without warning, causes immense destruction, and leaves unforeseeable changes in its wake.
In this book we have the crash of the plane. Mr Steven Rowan’s frightening vision thereof, places him beyond all. No, there was no smoke and, as a matter of fact, no airplane. Since there is no airplane, there wasn’t a crash. How possible? That’s one of the things he is hired to investigate. To begin with how would he investigate the non-existent crash of an airplane that wasn’t there?
“Well.” The voice on the phone paused as if choosing the next words carefully. “The jetliner did crash. At the same time, it did not crash.” Voice on the phone? Steve didn’t say anything, but he didn’t punch the END symbol, either. He really wasn’t sure why. “There has been a Change.” Steve blinked and looked at the phone. He put it back to his ear. This particular change is a pretty big deal.
“Would you work for me? Investigate this Change?” Rowan is an investigative journalist with special powers and is exhausted by living the contrast between the American ideal of “help your neighbour” and the reality of greed and selfishness that was currently sweeping the nation.
This is no ordinary book created for the no ordinary reader. An action-packed account of an imagination running into a chaotic system of political turbulence. Irving portrays a non-classic science fiction where the chosen one is hero and fool: Irving's story is paced like a burning volcano erupting in spurts without bounds, punctuated by bursts of action and violence.
Author Irving clearly has a wide spectrum of knowledge of visual effects This is a scary thriller in the top tier of political- sci-fi black fantasy books. As a (ABC) network producer, he draws on a vast inside knowledge to keep readers entertained with satirical commentary.
Within this tale of cyber technology, we look for soul, but it evades. Master Chief Petty Officer Ace Morningstar, call her Ace or Chief, is not the police. She is Rowan’s driver and bodyguard. “Here’s your fee for the first week–in cash as agreed. I’d like to come in and check out your security situation. Once that’s completed, I’ll take you in my car to your first briefing.”
Ace is solid, tough, determined, and ready to kill. For a second, Steve wondered why he kept hanging out with such a murderous woman but had to admit that she was a hell of a lot more fun than most women he’d dated and married. Rowan understands his role: So, he is the highest and the lowest of the tarot deck,. He is all aspects and none, according to Barnaby the cyber brain, he is the last surviving American wizard. What is he supposed to be doing? Save the world?
Rowan analyses the magic card, trying to identify all the odd elements separately and grasp it as a whole at the same time. He considers the relationships between the young man, the little dog, the sun and the moon in the sky, and the cliff before him that clearly was going to result in certain death unless…. There was a terrible ripping pain that flashed across his chest and a crushing pain in his head. Everything went black and hit the ground. At least he is not in pain. He considers he shouldn’t be able to think after he is dead. He shouldn’t be able to consider anything– but how is he able to consider if he is dead? The big jet was heading for the ground completely nose down. Rowan could see that the impact point would be the same parking lot where they were standing. Then it disappeared. No smoke. No flames.
Ace is a Navy SEAL, a veteran of four combat tours, and a rated expert in all weapons and tactics in the US Special Operations manual as well as those of fourteen other nations–both enemies and allies. Her rank is Special Warfare Operator Master. Ace Morningstar is just an alias– Morningstar is a translation of ‘Lucifer.’ I’m named for the Devil because ‘The Devil of Ramadi’ was what the hajjis called her after her fortieth confirmed kill. Ace is the nickname her squad gave her because she wouldn’t answer to ‘Lucy,’ and ‘Lucifer’. “Mojo. Talent. Black arts. Voodoo.” - Magic.
The higher-ups in the US military think that the jet plane that either did or didn’t go over Rowan’s head, was a suicide attack by a mystical terrorist group and it forced a Change. Now they are told that those who had any Other Than Normal powers before the Change, are powerless. Evidently, the terrorists intended to benefit from the Change but they are not sure if they just managed to keep the powers they had before from disappearing, or gained significant new ones. One guy–his name is Barnaby–thinks that the Change will mean that new magic will affect just about everyone in one way or another. The fact is that no one really knows anything.
Steven Rowan assumed that something extraordinary must have triggered his precipitous mobility. Yes, a portal was opened by one of the Old Gods after a sacrifice of hundreds of innocents. Magic has been flowing into the Capital all day. He wasn’t concentrating on anything but survival. “How many people can perceive OTN objects?” They are not certain of the precise number but they are relatively sure that only one person is able to both experience and create OTN events.
The facts as they know them, indicate the flight ended there. Ace won’t say it crashed there because there isn’t any debris and a 747 does not crash without a mountain of wreckage. On the other hand, it was at that point that the radar lost track of it, as it merged with the ground clutter in an almost vertical trajectory. Command declared it a possible Level 2 OTN Incident, so they inserted a false radar trail into the air traffic computers so that they now show the jet went down in the middle of the Chesapeake Bay. Ace explains: “A Level 5 Incident would be lights in the sky, crop circles, and that sort of thing. Level 1 is an alien spaceship on the White House South Lawn.”
We hear of a hole in the air... leaking something. To Steve it looks like a raspberry Slurpee. Strange? Funny?
Then, Steve tried to move–throw himself out of the path of the lightning–but his muscles didn’t react. Apparently, only his mind was moving at super-speed–his body was even slower than usual. Magic! Further Steve performed a blood magic when he cut his forehead on the door. Ace explains: “Blood magic is extremely powerful. In Steve’s case, it was enough to break him out of the death loop the terrorists were crafting and elevated his resistance to psychic trauma... his mind had the time to do a bit of self- repair. He will find that even his physical wound is gone. That’s one of the tell tale signs of blood magic. There isn’t generally any physical damage. If not physical damage, what sort of damage are we talking about? – the manual indicates the high possibility of measurable harm to the soul.
“You’ve been using magic and fighting monsters,” Steve said. “Why is it so hard to buy UFOs and aliens?” “Because magic is human and belongs here. It’s just out of kilter right now,” Ace said. “And most of all, magic doesn’t require me to believe the nut balls who talk about UFOs.”
The Send Money’s screen flashes: THE FIRST DAY OF DRAGON KING “No. None of your Chinese mysticism,” Steve objected. Barnaby interrupted. “It’s a term from chaos theory. Major disruptions in extremely complex or chaotic systems–from earthquakes to financial market crashes–have been named ‘dragonkings.’
Ropy blue intestines began to slip through the gash and the red monster dropped his club in order to use both hands in a vain effort to keep his insides from becoming outsides. He spun and almost knocked his companion over as he made a headlong dash to the sidewalk. For a second, Steve lay on the floor. There was a pause and then the massive bearded head came up again, with a voice strengthening and saying the following:
“Our cause was right and I still know in my heart that we could never falter in defending the cause of freedom so approved of my judgment. It was not a war we began but one we accepted, and thank God, we did not let it end until the object of our determination–the freedom of all men and the unity of this nation of freemen–was accomplished. I remember saying in Baltimore that ‘if destruction be our lot, we must ourselves be its author and finisher.” Is that not the truth we seek?
Again, there was a feeling of ripping. Pain ran up Steve’s left arm and exploded in his head. A red glow appeared and grew in his left palm. It stretched upward. Like a plant to the sun. Red like a rose. Magical reality or real reality? Through Steve’s phone Barnaby speaks: “We’ve established that you are perceiving the unreal real world at an increasing rate...” What is this purple stuff- Steve asks. Barnaby’s voice sounded surprised. “You just got shot with a blue lightning bolt and you haven’t figured that out yet? It’s Magic...You’ve fallen to your death and didn’t die, a rather large creature smashed through your metal apartment door, and now you’ve raised a shield to protect yourself from a blast of blue destruction, and you’re still not convinced that there is something strange going on?”.... “When the Change occurred, we believe that those few people who could perceive and control magic in the pre-Change world, immediately lost all their power and, possibly, are immune or resistant to its effects.”
A part of Steve’s brain, working on automatic pilot, wondered how this camera–or any video camera–could capture enough frames to create a sequence. He realized that Barnaby had never said it was from a camera. It had to be some secret technology–a computer image built from multiple sources. No one could have held a camera pointed so precisely at a disaster the exact instant it happened. He glanced over at the oozing gash hanging in the air between the tables. Suddenly, the picture snapped like an optical illusion and he realized that he was looking at enormous claws with black talons. His mind instantly matched their size to the known size of the parking spaces and then he blinked furiously as his mind absolutely refused to accept it.
Steve stood silent as the final instants of Flight 1143 kept running through his mind like some terrible Vine clip. He noticed that Ace was looking at him. “You didn’t see anything, did you?” Steve asked. No. The jet just disappeared, she said. “Well, a disappearing jet doesn’t make any more sense than what I saw.” Steve took a deep breath and described what he’d seen–the jet, the massive claws, and finally, the dragon. “Do you think I’m crazy?” He asked. Ace considered for a moment. “No. You’ve definitely been affected by something. You described with clarity and consistency things that I couldn’t see. That doesn’t mean they aren’t real–or maybe ‘real’ is the wrong word.
Barnaby says out of the phone speaker: “I wouldn’t presume to say that our Fool here couldn’t handle almost any amount of Magic. First, because he, (Steve), has done some amazing magical feats already, and second, if he can’t handle it, then this nation is extremely screwed. That crash was not an accident. It was a deliberate act. A sacrifice of hundreds of innocent lives–”
Barnaby could feel that on the plane, the idiots who were happy were so because they were about to die–were they’re magicians? Properly they would be called ‘wizards,’ but that’s the working hypothesis. What’s the difference? Magicians do fake magic, and wizards, if and when they exist at all, do real magic. Barnaby is willing to accept the observations of Mr. Rowan. In addition, he can confirm that the results of these impossible events are quite real–all the passengers on that flight were definitely missing–so he is forced to act in real space in reaction to what he can only perceive as a fantasy.
The wizard hunt was on. “Steve, you seem like an OK guy, but I can’t let the Last American Wizard just walk away, Ace said.”
The claws made a final colossal effort–Steve could see gargantuan muscles on the forelegs ripple and bulge as they ripped the fissure to the full extent of their reach. A snout appeared–as black as the claws–and began to open. Steve could see the creased, metallic skin. Jaws filled with jagged and irregular fangs–each as long as a city bus. Finally, a glittering yellow eye with a vertical pupil shining with terrible golden light. The jaws gaped wide and then impossibly wider–unhinging the way a snake’s does when it prepares to swallow a rabbit. The jet with its 418 passengers disappeared into the terrible gullet. The tips of the wings didn’t even touch the sides. The jaws snapped shut–a quick movement even on the slow-motion video . Visions beyond all consciousness.
The telephone showed a cartoon and Barnaby spoke:. “Whatever constituted power in our previous reality–financial power, physical power, political power, even computing power–is becoming All-Caps POWER–magical POWER–in this new reality.”
Steve is attacked by the blue demoness Takara that struck with a flurry of strikes– coming off with howling in rage. This time, the pain ripped up from his leg like a chainsaw– tearing through his chest and finally splitting his head just above the right ear. A brilliant light flashed and he desperately blinked away the afterimages, terrified that a talon was whipping towards the veins of his neck.
When his vision cleared, he saw that Tataka standing still, regarding Steve with her enormous alien eyes. Then she looked down and studied her midsection. A charred hole now passed entirely through her body–a terrible wound where her abdomen was.
Who were the attackers? That’s precisely the problem they’re wrestling with. They know they weren’t online or using cell phones, so they explore telepathy, remote writing, and the like. It’s an engineering challenge just to develop more cyber technology. Then there is all this tarot crap? Most of the tarot books were written by crazy people in the 1800’s–not by any mysterious prehistoric masters.
All the changes to Steve’s body were nothing compared to what was going on with his face. The eyes were light red with deep crimson pupils, and in the growing twilight, He had no doubt that they were actually glowing. You couldn’t really say he had a nose any longer; it was a long muzzle with a flat, black end that he licked continuously and apparently unconsciously. His lips and gums were black and drawn back to reveal a very white set of very sharp teeth. People–and things–will tend to mutate depending on whatever runs the deepest and strongest in their…well, in their souls, for lack of a better term.
What can I say: The last American Wizard has unfinished business. One thing we know is that Steve needs soul to survive the monstrosities he is confronted with. Not a easy read, but full of raw fantasy which borders on or precipitates over the edge.
25 May 2016
"The airplane crash woke Steven Rowan. To be entirely accurate, it wasn’t a crash.
It was the insane screaming of four of the world’s largest jet engines being pushed twenty percent past their factory- recommended maximum thrust only thirty feet over his head.
In addition, awake wasn’t really the correct term for his state of consciousness at that point.
Steve was standing stark naked in the center of the room, jerking back and forth in the classic fight-or-flight reflex–his mind frantically spinning between possibilities, developing and rejecting dozens of possible threats every second, and running through as many options for escape. A small part of his mind was simultaneously working on the less-important questions of who he was, where he was, and what he’d done to himself the night before."
From here on out, try to keep up with Steve as he learns how to use his new powers, and figure out the craziness called Change around him! Find out if he can right this Change, and fix this mess!
Top reviews from other countries
A group of three suicide attackers with magic powers summon a dragon to bring down a 747. With hundreds of lives lost as a sacrifice to commence the change. From this, the country morphs into a new landscape of swords and sorcery. Regular people are turning into mythical creatures causing the creation of a chaotic world easily seized by whoever and whatever caused the shift. Although all seems doomed a shard of hope emerges in the nation's capital. The democrats have been turned into pot bellied elves, Republic members into cantankerous dwarves and the tea party members into trolls.
Due to the change, Steve Ravan a struggling freelance journalist has the ability of the Tarot Arcana's Fool card, causing him to become a powerful, albeit unreliable, wizard. His potential is realised by a trivia-obsessed Sentient Computer named Barney, who hires him and couples Steve with the very attractive no nonsense female Navy SEAL Ace Morningstar, to help discover who was behind the 747 crashing.
It might seem from first glance a confusing plot that's very busy but grouped with the humour it makes it a funny read that makes you look forward to the next instalment.
Edward Irving's story is a lighthearted urban fantasy comedy that turns the idea of a conventional terror attack on its head, peppered with snarky one-liners and entertaining protagonists. The storyline is filled with cameo characters drawn from every mythology from Salvadorean volcano dogs to the Tarot, each exerting their own cryptic influence on the plot, often in a way bound to be hilariously detrimental to whatever plan Master Chief Morningstar and Steve have hatched to save reality, and the action is well-paced and well-supported by the plot. I found this to be a thoroughly enjoyable read, I highly recommend it.