Update: Dragon Prince

I’m stThe Dragon Prince - eBook smallill in the process of editing the story of Prince Jandhar of the Visanth Empire. Lots of intense action in this one, and because of how many characters that are involved in the core battles, it can potentially be confusing, so lots of time is being spent in rereads/rewrites to make things clear. Still, things are looking good. I’ll be passing this off to an editor at the end of this week. He’s ready and waiting, and I just need to deliver.

There’s a lot I can say about this book, but it’s best to let the contents surprise you. However, I’ll give you a bit of a tease.

If you want a bigger glimpse of the wood elves and orcs, you’re going to get that. You’ll get even more of a view into the wood elves in the next book The Red Poet. If you want to experience a demon lord who can raise the undead in a knock-down, drag-out fight with creatures that can fly above him and incinerate his minions as fast as he can create them, you’ll definitely get that too. If you think anyone in this series is invincible, though, think again. It’s only going to get more chaotic as the Age of Magic proceeds.

The Dragon Prince is expected to hit in late March. I’ll put up a preorder once I hear back from initial editor and betas about whether or not it’s ready.

Movie Review: Alita: Battle Angel

My wife and I caught an advance screening (2 weeks early) of the James Cameron/Robert Rodriguez teamup sci-fi blockbuster extravaganza “Alita: Battle Angel.” We were really, really lucky because we had the opportunity to catch the IMAX 3D test screening. This kind of movie was made for IMAX 3D viewing.

Let’s go ahead and get all of that out of the way.

The effects crew did a pretty remarkable job here. It has an appropriate Hollywood effects budget for the ambition of the production, and you can tell that no detail was too unimportant here. The scale of Iron City and the utopia above is on full display. The melding of real actors and sets with motion-captured actors is flawless and well done. The action scenes are some of the best filmed. You can tell that the director Robert Rodriguez felt in his element during these. Gratuitous violence is pretty much his main hallmark in a wide range of cinematic history. Robert is the guy who did Desperado, Dusk till Dawn, Sin City, etc. He’s been a frequent collaborator with Tarantino, and if you’re a fan of that genre (and I am), then you’re going to enjoy a lot of the movie.

This movie has a lot of violence, but the gore aspect is hard to really quantify. The majority of the characters that engage in combat scenes are cyborgs and the damage to parts and persons is overwhelmingly done to plastic, metal, and non-human parts of the body. You rarely see characters wince in pain. You often can’t tell if characters die. In fact, characters are so robust here that they frequently survive if nothing is left of them but their heads. This comes up as important in this film, and if the film does well enough to get sequels, I’m absolutely certain that the rest of the series will have plot elements that require this. A side effect of the near indestructibility of humanity and the absolutely frenetic pace of the battle scenes is that emotional impact is really hard to come by. My wife and I discussed scenes that we believed were meant to be emotional pivot points of the film that had very blunted impact. It didn’t kill the movie or anything, but it almost left me scratching my head about why certain things weren’t just cut from the movie and left alone.

And this is really the only problem the movie has. It is trying to do so much to fill in world building that the emotional arc of characters is often muted. There’s a dog scene in this movie that I’m sure was supposed to have a certain impact, but my wife and I discussed this and we felt like it had been so poorly foreshadowed and emotionally anchored in our minds that it might as well have been left out of the film. Characters are stabbed and destroyed so often that unless they have a weird facial expression or a completely destroyed face, you can’t tell if you’re really looking at a dead character or a character that is just at a low point that may recover. And it’s not happening a few times in the film. It’s happening dozens of times an hour. You’ll understand what I’m talking about when you watch the film: which, btw, I think you definitely should.

This script is obviously a James Cameron script, but with his filmmaking involvement mostly on the periphery. There are social issues here. There are technology issues. There is a bit of a weak love plot, and a lot of missed potential in the emotion impact of many scenes (probably 7-8). But there are a LOT of scenes between all that, and the movie has so much fast-paced, devastating action that you’re not going to feel “robbed” or upset about it. You’re likely to just think “man, if they would have just had a dramatic pause for a few seconds, that might have been a more effective scene” or “if they would have just focused on the conflict between Alita and Hugo’s activities for half the film and had them meet up in more of a less deliberately thrown together way, this would have had a lot more impact on my feelings.”

The characters here are strong and mostly developed. The lead character is very personable, and you’ll like her. There is some talent wasted here, but it’s mostly because of the pacing. Jennifer Connelly and Mahershala Ali show what the world has done to capitalistic intentions. Christoph Waltz did what he could to fill so many different supportive roles for Alita, but there really wasn’t enough time to develop him further and show his conflicts more (e.g, the rush between soft and hard body–don’t want to give too much away here). But again, these are not completely lost moments. These are just less impactful moments than they could have been for me and my wife as we watched and discussed later. I mean a central motivator and anchor point for Christoph’s character is sort of mowed through like lightning. If you blink, you’ll miss it, and you will mostly use your imagination to understand why he’s helping Alita and try not to focus too hard on exactly what the character motivations were that caused it. It’s sort of random.

In my opinion, this is a film worth seeing and pretty solidly in the 4/5 category. I’ll probably see it in IMAX again as the 3D, sound, and action are absolutely what the format is for. However, the 1 star missing here is for what might have been with a movie that focused on the first 3/4 of the film and didn’t try to force so much of the manga source into so short of a movie. There are misfires here. And if the movie doesn’t make back its budget and marketing (200M baseline before marketing, it seems, so probably 600-800M or so to get a solid greenlight and building fan base), then you might as well throw out another star here because if the series ends with this movie, it’s a very hollow ending. Let’s hope that doesn’t happen because there’s a lot more story to tell here (and I’m not an Alita comics fan, I just see where this should be going and it’s a conversation our society should be engaging in).

Audiobook Winners

The People's Necromancer - AudioSo, the entries are in, and three winners have been selected for an Audible Code for a free audiobook copy of The People’s Necromancer. Big congratulations go out to Em, Jen, and Penny! I’ll be emailing you with your codes later today.

Thanks to everyone for entering, and if you don’t know what I’m talking about, then you probably haven’t joined my newsletter. If you thought you did but didn’t see the giveaway notification on Sunday/Monday, check your spam filters/box for rex@rexjameson.com. You’ll need to unspamify me to get messages on contests, giveaways, new releases, etc.!

For those who signed up to be ARC readers for The Dragon Prince, things are moving The Dragon Prince - eBook smallalong. I’m hoping to get drafting wrapped up in the next couple of weeks–depending on my workload. The robots aren’t going to create and program themselves… at least… not yet! As soon as I get the drafting done and a few editing passes, I’ll let you know. If you are as surprised about the ARC reader mention as the giveaway, well… you’re not on the mailing list then! Get to it! How else are you going to get contest and insider scoop stuff?!

The Dark Paladin audiobook recording is moving along. We’re hoping to release in September. Fingers crossed! Here’s Chapter 1.

Audiobook for Book 1 is now available

The People's Necromancer - AudioIt’s been a busy week, but I’ve got some great news for readers who have been asking about an Audible version of The People’s Necromancer. Adam Gold and I are proud to announce that The People’s Necromancer has been released in Audiobook on Audible, Amazon. I believe it’s also on iTunes or on its way!

In its first week of availability, it already has 5 reviews and a 4.8 rating with 5 stars for performance on each review. That speaks volumes to Adam’s talent in bringing the story to life. Great job, man! We’re already started on Book 2, and I’m really excited about this one. There’s so much action and adventure in Book 2!

Anyway, here’s what you need to know.

The People’s Necromancer Audiobook is now available on Amazon and Audible. 7 hours of high fantasy, sword-and-sorcery, elves, demons and undead goodness! Narrated by the amazing vocal talent of Adam Gold!

Audible: http://bit.ly/tpn_audible_codes
Amazon: http://bit.ly/tpn_amz_audio
iTunes: http://bit.ly/2nrc8wl

Free Audiobook Samples for The People’s Necromancer

Audiobook Prologue: http://bit.ly/tpn_aud_pro
Audiobook Chapter 1: http://bit.ly/tpn_aud_ch1
Audiobook Chapter 2: http://bit.ly/tpn_aud_ch2

Universal Book Links

The People’s Necromancer: http://books2read.com/peoplesnecro
The Dark Paladin: http://books2read.com/darkpaladin

The Dragon Prince Cover Reveal

The Dragon Prince - eBook smallHis name is Jandhar Rasalased. You killed his father. Prepare to die!

King Jofka Rasalased is a man who grabs life by the horns. No kingdom can intimidate him, and no enemy can predict where his armies and navies will strike next. The Visanth Empire prospers in his shadow…  until an assassin’s blade ends the reign of the ambitious, charismatic king.

Prince Jandhar finds his father and the same deadly knife at his own throat. The killer utters a warning that the Prince will never heed. As the assassin leaves, the Kingdom of Surdel cheers at an empire retreating, but Visanth is not a nation in decline. It is a snake recoiling.

Years later, Surdel burns. Undead roam and feed on the living. A lord protector is made fiendish by the Demon Lord Orcus. Together, the master and his apprentice decimate the besieged citizens of the Croft protectorate. In the north, the Necromancer Ashton Jeraldson searches for an artifact that might turn the tide of the demon invasion. Around him, the forces of the Holy One ready themselves for the arrival of the Prince of Demons. Elves and orcs come to Croft Keep to crush the ghoulish invaders and fight a demon lord, just as a strange man from a foreign land steps onto the northern shores of the Small Sea.

The Dragon knows neither friend nor foe. For him, all are prey, and the only path forward is vengeance. He hears not the screams of the desperate and the damned—only the echoes of past wrongs long festered. The response is finally coming, and the world will tremble at the war cry of the Dragon Prince and the might of the Visanth Empire!

Release expected: Late 2018.

Audiobooks Delayed

Adam Gold has fallen ill with pneumonia, and we must delay the release of the Audiobook for The People’s Necromancer. We all wish him a swift recovery!

Series Sales Update

The Age of Magic has been my most successful series launch so far. Amazon.com is delayed in royalty payments, but the results have been simply stunning. To all of the fans who have discovered my writing, my sincere thanks. Don’t forget to join my newsletter, as I will be doing more paperback giveaways soon!

May Sales: The People’s Necromancer (Amazon: 3474, D2D: 290)

June Sales: The People’s Necromancer (Amazon: 1474, D2D: 60), The Dark Paladin (Amazon: 1600, D2D: 118)

Thank you so much for sharing the series with friends and family. Also, thank you very much for leaving reviews and helping fellow readers figure out if the series is right for them.


Movie Review: Hereditary

I haven’t done a movie review in a while. I guess I’ve just been kind of busy, but not so busy that I’ve stopped going to the movies every week or two! We did manage to catch the new Avengers and Deadpool. Solo. Ocean’s 8. Black Panther. Etc. I didn’t really feel the need to post anything about those movies. Well, my wife and I saw a completely different movie this weekend, and I figured it might be time to break out the old movie review post again.

You probably haven’t heard much about Hereditary. It kind of flew under my radar, likely because I tend to laugh through horror films and it drives my wife nuts. She wanted to see this one really badly though. She wanted to be scared, and on that, Hereditary delivered. So, what is the film and why might you want to see it?

In many ways, Hereditary is very derivative. There’s nothing you will see here that you haven’t seen before in terms of content, but the way it is presented to you is pretty unique. It’s a slow-building horror that really walks you through the strangeness of the family and how something insidious springs out of it. There are multiple genuine surprises here that I did not see coming (and that make sense), so that always elevates my score.

The movie teases you with ominous normalcy, and then something that pulls at a more primal part of you. If you’re really getting into the movie, it totally works. Do not come to this movie expecting gore throughout, constant high-pitched noises and other pervasive cheap tricks. This is a pretty well-crafted movie–though I sort of wish the ending had been a bit different. I think a different ending that had been moving toward more uniqueness, rather than commonality with other films in the genre, would have helped set this apart. I had a similar feeling at the end of A Quiet Place. I still liked both films very much, but man, they each went from unique and novel films to a standard ending really quickly.

Anyway, because my wife was so amped up by Hereditary, I ended up having a lot of fun during and after the movie. I began making extra clicking noises with my tongue during the film in tense moments, just to mess with her and other people around me. I continued to do this in the car, at a restaurant, etc. I mean, why stop there? I would say definitely watch this one with a friend or loved one because these kinds of films are much better in a shared social experience with someone you can talk with about it.

If I have to rate the film, it’s probably a 4/5. It’s definitely the kind of horror movie I can appreciate. I would rank A Quiet Place similarly if you haven’t seen that one yet, btw. They’re both definitely worth watching, and they both really only lose that point in the last 30 minutes or so of each film. These movies aren’t really made for me though, and I think classic horror fans would probably give both of these 5/5. They’re well made movies!

On an unrelated note, expect a cover reveal for The Dragon Prince soon 😉

The Dark Paladin is here!

The Dark Paladrin - eBook smallThe Dark Paladin is coming for the wicked and the damned!

In less than 12 hours, The Dark Paladin will become available worldwide.  Get ready for a book that is going to absolutely blow your socks off! I can’t wait until you guys get a chance to see the tenacity of the wood elves and the brute strength of the orcs under Chief Bloodhand. This book is probably going to make you tear up a bit–I know it does with me every time I have done a read through. It will also hopefully be a bit inspiring and exciting!


Ebook vendors: Amazon | B&N | Apple | Kobo , Paperback: Amazon

Want a shot at a paperback? There are two left in a giveaway I did for my newsletter subscribers.

Enter for your chance to win one of two The Dark Paladin paperbacks!

adam_gold_actorThe People’s Necromancer Audiobook Preview

The audiobook for The People’s Necromancer is in the works. Adam has provided me with the first 2 chapters and prologue of the final product. I think he does a great job, and it’s a lot of fun to listen to. Hopefully, you guys enjoy this preview. We expect the full audiobook to be ready by the end of June, and we’ll start recording The Dark Paladin soon after.

Prologue | Chapter 1 | Chapter 2

The Dragon Prince is coming!

My hope is to have The Dragon Prince out late this year. I’m still drafting, but cover art is being commissioned. I’ll let you know when I have something for you to look at!


I hope you all enjoy The Dark Paladin!

Reviews and New Books

The People's Necromancer - Ebook SmallSales Update

After nearly two weeks of release, The People’s Necromancer has racked up nearly 2800 unit sales across Amazon, B&N, Apple and Kobo. There have also been over 5 paperback sales. It has been a very successful run so far, in terms of volume. It also has a 4.25 average score on Goodreads right now out of 20 ratings (which is amazing!) However, what’s really unfortunate is that The People’s Necromancer has only received 6 reviews so far on Amazon, with only a 3.7 rating. Usually, my Goodreads ratings are LOWER than my Amazon ratings because of the grading scale that Goodreads recommends (5 is amazing, and 4 is really liked it, while 3 is liked it and 2 is it was ok).

One of the reasons for the 99 cent pricing was so that I could use the various newsletter and author service programs (e.g., ENT, RobinReads, KND, etc.) that only send out discounted books to their lists. These have undoubtedly helped with the release week. However, I’ve also been rejected by a few of these providers because even after a week, the book only had 3 reviews on Amazon (at the time, over 4 stars). What this ultimately means is that without reviews on Amazon, authors like myself cannot use the services that are out there to help us promote books so more readers can be aware of new releases and new authors to try.

So, what am I trying to say here? If you liked or loved the book, please be sure to leave a review on Amazon. Readers are often very cautious about trying new authors, and your opinion may help them decide to try an author like me out. Readers very much rely on this kind of feedback system, so please leave reviews! It’s extremely appreciated by everyone (not just me).

adam_gold_actorAudio Book

The Audio Book for The People’s Necromancer is under production with actor Adam Gold voicing the series. There were over 50 auditions for The People’s Necromancer on ACX, and there were so many fantastic auditions that it was hard for my author friends and beta readers to choose. However, we narrowed it down and readers decided.  You can listen to the winning narration by Adam Gold here.

New Releases Coming Up

The Dark Paladin is less than two weeks away (June 4th)! The book is just amazing, and it has so many emotional and action-focused arcs. If you love female heroines, there are two that are introduced in this book that you are going to absolutely die for. Captain Liritmear of the Wood Elves undoubtedly steals the show. Allison Arrington is the fierce paladin wife of Cedric Arrington. There’s also a tease of the powerful sorceress Princess Cassandra before she comes into her powers, so you won’t quite get to see her kicking ass just yet. Cedric and Prince Jayden make their presence known, and Ashton and the demon lord Orcus are set on a collision course of undead, demons and dragons!

The Dark Paladrin - eBook smallIf you are interested in being an ARC reader, email me at rexjameson@gmail.com or reply to this thread. ARC readers are people who receive “Advance Reader Copies”. The hope is that you can read through the book before the release, provide feedback and/or leave a review on Goodreads, Amazon, or any other vendors when the book goes live. Please let me know if you can be responsive in emails and are willing to read through the books quickly, before release.

The Third Book The Dragon Prince

In The Dark Paladin, you also get a glimpse of The Dragon Prince Jandhar Rasalased. Jandhar is the son of the late King Jofka of the Visanth Empire, and this young man is on a quest for vengeance that transcends such pesky things as demonic armageddons! I’m in the process of drafting, and I expect this third book to be out in October or November of this year. Stay tuned for cover art and release information!

New Releases (May and June)

The People's Necromancer - Ebook SmallThe People’s Necromancer will be released on May 7, 2018. The second book The Dark Paladin will be released on June 4, 2018. For a very limited time, each of these books will be 99 cents. Due to advertisements slated in June, the People’s Necromancer is going to be 99 cents for a few weeks into June. However, I’m not going to make any guarantees about how much longer than that the price will hold.

For those who managed to pick up a copy of The People’s Necromancer, this will be a slightly different version with an additional prologue and tighter story and flow (as well as fixes to typos and the addition of an inline map). I’m incredibly excited to share these stories with you, and I hope you’re excited to read about Nirendia and Ashton Jeraldson’s journey across Surdel. You’re going to meet the dark elves as their civilization is dying beneath the mountains. You’re going to ride with the paladins as they smite their way back into the good graces of the people. You’ll watch the murdered commoners come back from the dead for vengeance. Elves, orcs, humans, undead, demons, and even dragons make appearances! Get ready for a tale that throws you into the battles, love affairs, politics, highs, lows, and chaos of The Age of Magic!

The Dark Paladrin - eBook small

You can find fantasy maps of the kingdoms on the Maps page. You can find descriptions of the books on the Novels page.


Movie Review: The Shape of Water

Guillermo Del Toro has had a string of questionable movies, but I believe I’ve watched them all since Pan’s Labyrinth (which is a fantastic movie, btw, definitely check that out). My wife was really, really interested in seeing this movie, and so, without looking into it at all, we went to our first theater movie of 2018 to see “The Shape of Water.”

I really, really recommend just going to see it without seeing any spoilers. It’s not that the story is especially surprising. It’s mostly predictable once it sets up the characters and the plot moves on at a perfect pace. Humor is here. Love is here. Danger and violence is here. Nudity and sex is here–including some really bold ways to being a movie, I might add. And bold is probably a word I should use liberally in this review.

This is, quite simply, the best movie Del Toro has done since Pan’s Labyrinth. Is it better? I wouldn’t say that. I would say that he’s more accomplished now, and I think he is simply back in form as a dynamic, interesting storyteller of the fantastic. As a somewhat creative person myself, I was so happy to see this movie. The pacing allows you to think about what is going on, and the character and powers and everything else are revealed very intuitively and convincingly. You feel the frailty of the character. You feel the desperate situation that this creature, and really the entire cast of characters, is in.

The atmosphere is interesting and both a throwback and something new. The actors are perfectly cast, and really just a joy to watch–including a pretty convincing and yet sympathetic antagonist. The story ending will leave you satisfied.

My wife and I loved the movie. I would say this is as good a movie experience as I could have expected. Jenny and I both really enjoyed it. I’ll say 5/5 stars. It is a genuine triumph for Del Toro. I hope he gets to make more like this.

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