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The Summoning Fire Paperback – September 23, 2010
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About the Author
Most days, David Michael is a software developer and a writer. Some days, he's a writer and a software developer. Other days, he's an amateur photographer. Because, really, who is the same person every day? David blogs about writing at Guns & Magic: gunsandmagic.com You can find more his novels and stories there, as well. David is the designer and developer of DavidRM Software's The Journal, personal journaling software for Windows. He has also designed and developed video games, and has written two nonfiction books and numerous articles about video game development. David lives with his wife and kids in Tulsa, Oklahoma.
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Top customer reviews
When I first started this book, I wasn't really into it. I do enjoy horror, but I realize I like thriller horror much more than straight horror. Some of the scenes were grotesque and made me cringe, and others were just horrible and made me very uncomfortable. I didn't feel the immediate draw I usually do towards stories I enjoy. It took me several chapters to get into the story, but once I did, I was hooked.
We start off in a pivotal scene, and it makes us wonder "how did we get to this point?" Subsequent chapters vary between what happened before that scene to what happens after. To help us, the chapters all had headings that included either "Before the Fire" or "After the Fire." I quickly caught on and found I really enjoyed the jumping back and forth. I find that plot device to sometimes be a hindrance to a story, if for no other reason than it makes the reader work harder. In this story, however, it fits. It's like you're given the filling of the sandwich, and you gradually build up what's surrounding that filling on both sides. It added a lot to the story to have this unfolding of key pieces of information as you're putting together the plot in your head. It was a device well-suited to this story, and it was used perfectly.
Overall, I think this is a really well put-together book. The writing flows nicely, in spite of the presence of several incomplete sentences. Somehow, it works with the characters and the plot. The chapters give us the information we need at just the right times, and the characters are memorable. I think I really got into the story once the Summoned was introduced. It was quite intriguing, to "feel" the thoughts of this "being" and get to experience the story from this different perspective. Although I wasn't as fond of some of the scenes described and I didn't find myself really connected to any one character, I was still engaged in, and enjoyed, this story. I think I'd really enjoy this author's works in other genres as well.
Prepare to be spooked in the most unusual way. The Summoning Fire by David Michael has such an effect. When you are in Hell on Earth almost anything can happen and usually does. Devils and demons roam at will, and death is as common as coffee.
Reece-anne and her lover Sam have been assassins for the Old Man for the last few years. It is a brutal job and their initiation was worse then can be imagined. They travel together, Sam with her katana, a beautiful black sword, and Reece with her trusty shotgun. Death is just another day in Hell on Earth and even these weapons wielded by two women attract no outward attention. The Old Man is one of the most prolific of the crime lords, having escaped from hell, he is having the time of his life. He can eat his fill of the plump human tourists that make their way into Hell on Earth from Suburbia, and he can inflict pain at will. Reece and Sam feel it is time to break free. This is exactly what the Old Man has been waiting for as he needs the blood of one of them to create a summoning.
Luring them to his Penthouse, knowing their plans for him, he sets his trap. Deciding that Sam is the most dangerous of the two, he makes his choice and she is the one whose blood is used in the summoning. Her death will bring the very horror that is necessary in his plans for the earth, and will also help him to control this creature of the dark. Little does he realize that he has also created a different type of killer, that of Reece herself. Madness overcomes her in her despair and anger. He leaves her in misery secure in his invulnerability.
As darkness descends in the form of the summoned, death and disaster follow. The Old Man, realizing he has made a mistake by leaving Reece alive, sends the summoned after her. At every turn there is something--the summoned fights the command from his summoner--and yet because the summoner know its true name, it must follow his command. What is it about Reece Ann, that even the most unearthly blackness fights the command to destroy her? Will she get her revenge and release the torment from her very soul? Will evil truly win the war?
David Michael has written a unique and interesting cast of characters, and chose to make Reece the heroine. Or did he?
This is a story of horror and pain, and not for the weak at heart. It is graphic and sometimes cruel but always with an underlying theme. It is set in a time and place where all hell has broken loose literally. The Princes of hell have created an exit from that very place, many of them being destroyed in the process, leaving the Old Man as he is called, as the leader. He is a Prince of darkness, but refuses to be named, as true names have power. He is cruel and callus and his visage is more then horrible, it creates both fascination and fear.
The creature of darkness is the stuff of nightmares, absorbing any living thing it touches, learning from memories of those absorbed, leaving only wet skeletal remains behind. You are alternately horrified by it and at times cheering it; somehow David Michael has given it a somewhat human thought process, through its absorbtion of its victims. While it is a creature of loathing, it is also a creature pulled from it's home, following directions from a hateful master, wanting only to return to that place from whence it came.
This is a fast paced and extremely creative story, full of violence and horror. I would recommend reading this book in the full daylight unless you are sharing it with friends. Cover the windows and turn on the lights, be prepared to be scared.