Monday, April 23, 2012

"I am the Solus. My name is Jericho, and killing is what I do best"

Jericho SolusJericho Solus by Jeffery Moore
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

Jericho Solus is a sprawling urban fantasy meets historical (urbanish, feudal maybe) fantasy meets science fiction... I would even throw a heavy seasoning of romance. I know that seems as clear as mud. It just seems to transcend genres, it doesn't fit within the confines of any one particular type of story.

My hat is off to Jeffery Moore on the level of detail in the historical descriptions of this book. He is either a history nut or did some major research on this book - it just boggles my mind. I have to admit, historical stories in general are not my usual 'bag', but I was enthralled regardless of the time period or even planet the characters may be on at the time. As with any real inclusion of large amounts of history, the subject of violence and war comes up. The descriptions of war, battles, even just the physical altercation scenes do obviously contain violence but it is not excessively brutal or bloody.

The book contains religious overtones without getting preachy or trying to convert me or having religion hijack the tale. I do enjoy the religious current running underneath the story, it add another rich layer- it's all those layers and little things adding up that make this book so appealing.

Overall it was quite enjoyable, I normally would not have read this book but I'm so glad I did. It starts out a little odd, takes some getting used to like dipping your toe into a bathtub or pool to gradually sink into its depths. Once you've taken the plunge, the current will sweep you along until you reached the still waters at the end.

Some quotes from the book:

"The room doesn't echo my voice, but instead seems to absorb the sound as if I speak into water."

"You are Jericho Solus."

"Riding the pulse? Did Andro just use slang?"

"'I don't want to be a gentleman... not now.'
She sucks in her lower lip.
'And you don't want a gentleman, Gebal.'"

“They watch me—the feeling as acute as a sharp, cold blade against
my skin. I may have lived an ordinary existence, but I can fight.
Though my memory is like a beast cowering in the shadows, I
know in my core I can fight, as if it’s what I’m wired to do.
Her breaths echo in my dark cell. Is she real? She fills my
emptiness with heat, and God help the people that harm her.
I am the Solus. My name is Jericho, and killing is what I do best.”

Jericho’s captivity begins a journey to a forgotten past, forgotten comrades, and forgotten love. His remembrance pulls him back in time to reveal an unexpected metamorphosis to his current state. As memories move Jericho back through history, his captors propel him forward into a surreal world, until both timelines combine to expose who and what Jericho is.

About the Author

Jeffery Moore writes speculative fiction. His stories transcend genre boundaries, making them difficult to categorize. He writes what he likes to read and the stories that entice him most are stories with character displacement, characters that for whatever reason are thrust into alien worlds or environments. Though in broad terms his stories may be categorized as Fantasy, you will read none of the Middle Earth or vampire themes and characters—he feels these are done to death. Moore strives to introduce concepts into his stories that haven’t been done.

Jeffery was born in Germany. As a military brat, much of his childhood was spent abroad, growing up in Germany on military installations. He subsequently enlisted in the military and served for ten years as an army pilot. While in the military, he lived in Italy and South Korea and deployed to many European countries. He has traveled to Australia, Japan, Singapore and most European countries. His experiences and contact with many different cultures helps form some of the elements in his stories. He currently works for a global IT company and lives in Massachusetts.
You can also find Jeffery Moore here:
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Jeffery was kind enough to grant me an interview:

Thanks Alana for the opportunity to be hosted on Dark Obsession Chronicles and especially thanks for your insightful review. It’s a pleasure to do the interview.

Jeffery, I really appreciate allowing me to read your book and grant me an interview.  I know from many friends that are also authors, it can be difficult taking that leap of faith in offering review books out there.  Do you usually read the reviews or critics, or 'regular' everyday readers like myself?
Great question. First, as for all writers, we need a protective layer of skin. We must understand that not everyone will embrace our stories. Jericho Solus is actually my fourth book, but it is the first novel I’m promoting. As for your question, I will read all reviews, though I don’t think I’ve had any “professional” or “mainstream” reviews. I think reviews coming from “readers” carry more weight.

Jericho Solus seems to transcend genres, it doesn't fit within the confines of any one particular type of story.  Did you plan to cross lines between genres on this book, or did the story dictate to you?  It's not everyday I can claim a book could be described as science fiction, historical fiction, romance, and fantasy.
Typically, I classify my stories as either Low Fantasy or the more general genre of Speculative Fiction. I fall into the category of simply writing what I enjoy reading. Mainstream Fantasy burned me out with the constant rehashing of character races and settings. I think because of this, I stay away from the clichés in Fantasy (one could argue that all of High Fantasy has become a cliché in and of itself). When I first sat down and started my plot outline, I knew I would run two, simultaneous timelines. I decided then to insert my heroes/heroine into significant historical events. This was quite fun.

Okay- curiosity makes me ask... what made you choose the name Jericho Solus?  Does its meaning have significance?  Did you just like the 'ring' of that name?
Names are tough for me. My three characters, Jericho, Gebal, and Dimash are derived in some way from the three oldest, continually inhabited cities on Earth – Jericho, Damascus, and Byblos (using the Phoenician name, Gebal). I derived “Solus” from solitary because of his confinement in the first third of the book. The Solus didn’t really fit in the triumvirate theme (courage and action), but I liked the ring and stayed with it.

My hat is off to you on the level of detail in the historical descriptions of this book.  I have to know, do you love history and have a huge inner pool of knowledge, or did you perform endless hours of research for this book?
I do like history. Some of the events I had some knowledge of and others I needed to do a bit of research. I didn’t spend endless hours. I chose a significant event, did some reading about it, and then tailored my fictional take on it.

Was there a favorite part (or quote) of Jericho Solus in particular that you enjoyed writing?
I love writing personifications, although Speculative Fiction doesn’t allow that kind of writing often (i.e. it can be taken literally and really confuse the reader). The part in the book where Jericho kills Marcellus (revenge for killing Archimedes) and I described Jericho’s hatred as a virus. This was also the part where Jericho feels the power of human emotion, something the Kamai never anticipated.

One of my favorites was this:
"'I don't want to be a gentleman... not now.'
She sucks in her lower lip.
'And you don't want a gentleman, Gebal.'"

I think this displays some of the passion and romance in your book.

Okay, a few fun quickies:
Coffee, Tea, Soda or Juice? Coffee with cream and sugar…is that still coffee?

Star Wars or Star Trek? Star Trek (did you catch the triumvirate parallels between Kirk, Spoke, McCoy and Jericho, Gebal, Dimash?)

Ginger or Mary Anne? (You’re going to get me in trouble) Mary Anne to hang out with and Ginger…well, we know.

Mayonnaise or Miracle Whip? Had to look in the fridge for this one…Miracle Whip (oh, be careful…it can sting)

Glass Half Full or Half Empty? Half full to a fault…my optimism runneth over.

Gandalf or Dumbledore? Gandalf, though don’t get me started on a rant about the laws of magic.


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  2. Great review! Thank you so very much. I've enjoyed Jeff's other books. The man has a gift for writing, that's for sure.

  3. I’m new to Blog Tours and thus far it’s been a lot of fun. Thank you, Alana, for taking the time to host me on your site, which I must add is quite the gem.