Hello guys and welcome back to another added edition on this site. This post is one I have been greatly looking forward to because not only do I answer another handful of questions asked by you fine people, but it also signifies the very end of Episode One and allows me to move onto Episode Two, which I am extremely excited to continue working on and will hopefully be able to release Volume Four in 2017. As promised my in-depth analysis of Episode One: The Ancestral Odyssey – The Utopian Dream, Volumes One, Two and Three is finally here. This article has taken a long time to write-up because there were so many details I wanted to cover and share with you guys, of course you can find out more about this book and my creative process if you look through previous posts on this site, a lot of effort has been taken to bring you something worthwhile. The first article in particular called ‘A Project Fueled by Tea,’ describes accurately when this whole thing began, how and why and to this day is one of my longest articles? It includes dates, mentions where I was during decisions, what I was studying and so on, so I urge you to read through it and maybe a few others in order to connect some of the dots to this one, because this is my analysis and review, my evaluation of Book One, the first installment and I’d like to keep it as simple as possible. I won’t be going into too much detail about anything else other than the content of the book and the review itself. This is my very first analysis I would like to add, I’ll try my very best to approach the work from a non-bias perspective even though that will be hard to do because this project is essentially everything to me. Since its release I have had people ranging from family members, friends and strangers reading it who have been kind enough to give me their honest feedback, so in collaboration with all these people, I’ll give the best review I can. I will also do my very best not spoil anything, but certain scenes will be described and plot points explained. I will mark a spoiler before it hits with (SPOILER START- “I will change the font to italic and also open and close quotation marks. You’ve been warned” -SPOILER END). So, before you begin reading, I suggest you grab yourself a drink, make yourself a sandwich, stick on some of your favourite reading music and enjoy, my ‘Author Analysis/Review: The Utopian Dream.’
Introduction:- The Ancestral Odyssey: The Utopian Dream, formerly known as Mythology: The Perfect World before later rewrites and edits took place, is a new epic fantasy novel that promises to take the genre into a new direction, delivering readers something that they’ve never read before, something you’d be hard pressed to find elsewhere in the market today. Split into three Volumes due to its sheer size, three Volumes make up a single Book/Episode of The Ancestral Odyssey, and over the next decade, there are going to be five Books released, making a total of fifteen Volumes. An unedited version of Volume One was released in April, Volume Two was edited and released end of June, but because of a minor delay, it was pushed back till early July. Volume Three is set to hit The Amazon Store for purchase at the end of 2016, this Volume is highly anticipated. The story of The Utopian Dream covers so many topics and themes, it would be pointless and unnecessary to list them all, but the central story line within the vast world of Equis, is focused around finding and creating a system that everyone can feel comfortable in, a perfect society, a utopia as it were. I find this topic very interesting because even in the world we live in today, leaders of the world, men and women of power are all struggling to find that balance or at least I hope they are working toward making necessary steps toward a healthier, cleaner, richer society. They are struggling with a million and one things to deal with on a day-to-day basis. We live in a world with seven billion people full of diversity, there are so many different countries with different politics or lack thereof, different ethnic backgrounds, different cultures, traditions, ideologies and so on that the idea of a utopia is a fairy tale, a fantasy, more or less it’s a dream at this point, never the less I thought this be a good place to start, looking at the bigger picture first off, then delving into individual issues. Not only on a large-scale are we searching for this utopia, but in our own lives I believe we are all searching for a perfect place that exists within our heads, where we are complete with ourselves, where we can rest easy without worry, where we have that job we have been striving toward, we have reached the ideal weight in our bodies, we have a nice place to live, have a lovely full wardrobe, the fast car, the best circle of friends, the handsome husband or the sexy wife. These are small examples and do not represent everyone’s ideals obviously, but I feel like you know what I mean, we are all on some level striving toward that ideal place, and so is the Human race as I whole I think, I know I am. This relates to what I am writing about in The Utopian Dream, this is the central theme that runs throughout each of the three Volumes of Book One, finding utopia. Each and every country in my world has its own ideas, its own visions of what utopia looks like, they all have a system, their own set of traditions and beliefs and of course have their own set of characters to represent this. Before I go on, I must disclose that some cultures within the first book are touched on greater than others, even though this utopia theme is prevalent in Book One, it does and will continue to creep into Books Two, Three and so on when I get around to writing them in the future. Other themes for later books take priority, I don’t just deal in utopia, Book Two for example deals a lot with betrayal, loyalty and friendship, the utopia theme is somewhat lessened but is still prevalent. The idea of this style of writing is to show, that by the end of Book Five Volume Fifteen, you’ll not only have a collection of epic fantasy books, but you’ll have a variety of themes therein.
The reader follows two Norkron protagonists, one female called Isabelle Verano and one male, Lethaniel Presian. Both come from the country of Krondathia situated in the Western lands of Equis and offer two different mind sets to the situation at hand. The Norkron culture is nearing that pinnacle of utopia, light is on the horizon and their way of life has never been so wonderful, peace reigns. Problems still do exist but more or less, the society in which they live in has reached that place of contentment. The root of this success comes from the rise of Starillia, a religion founded shortly after the end of the second age of Equis. The religion itself not only embodies Isabelle, The Star Caller/The Chosen with incredible power, but offers those who follow her the promise of utopia and a sense of hope, salvation and answers to the most fundamental questions ever asked. Readers begin the story with Isabelle at a crossroads, a neighbouring country called Ivulien is greatly concerned, its Dovidian citizens are alarmed, afraid by the growth of this religion and what power it blesses Isabelle and other individuals with. Isabelle is called to a meeting, she confronts the power houses of Krondathia and together they come to a decision on how to respond to the Dovidians. This is a very brief outline of the beginning, but an introduction to the events that follow. Politics, religion, power and strategy are touched upon numerously throughout.
A Touch on History:- The events and the characters are almost nothing without a believable setting, without the lands and the earth beneath their feet, the people and creatures I create are merely wanderers, and as cool as that sounds, history is everything. It gives people reasons for being who they are, gives them motivations and can explain things without me having to go into so much details. What do I mean by this? Allow me to demonstrate (SPOILER START- “Early on in The Utopian Dream we meet Thao Hikonle, an Honour Guard who earned a great deal of respect among the Norkron people after he ended a civil war that took place in Xiondel City. We also meet an armourer called Jerhdia O’Nen, a gentleman who crafts a lot of the equipment our characters use. Both men are featured greatly throughout Episode One and have pivotal roles to play in the story. During the last days of the civil war however, innocent people were caught in the brawls between Honour Guard and vigilante, members of Jerhdia’s family being some of them, were killed. Instantly this creates a rift between the two characters and I need not go into too much details, the readers can piece together Thao’s shame and Jerhdia’s anger toward Honour Guards themselves, without much explanation. Another thing worth mentioning is livery, clothing can also add an ingredient into ones character. Krondathia has an abundant supply of iron at their disposal, they use this mineral to craft most of their armour, devices and weapons. As with Ivulien, it’s famous for its leather, they have some of the best leather materials in all of Equis. So when I talk of a soldier from Krondathia, you can bet he or she has metals from iron mines, but should he or she be a Dovidian, the reader should be able to picture them wearing leathery items.” -SPOILER END) The world of Equis is my stage, everything that happens takes place within the world map I’ve designed and needs to function in a naturalistic way, almost exactly in the same way as our own world, say for a few minor exceptions where a little bit of fantasy is required, but the rules of nature and physics must always apply. The world, as much as the characters, needs characterisation itself, it needs to feel and behave in a realistic way, more than that it must (to my mind) tell an intriguing story. If there is a piece of defiled land that appears in a certain scene, something must have transpired prior. If there is an abandoned ruined castle overgrown by plant life, people or something must have lived there; What happened to them? Where did they go? What caused their fall? And what inhabits its corridors now? Scars and ancient ruins riddle the world of Equis, it would be unusual if the land did not tell a story. As the author, I know the history and meaning behind any event, but for the most part, these ruins depict predecessors that existed long before Humans did, and have left their eroding structures behind in their disappearance. One of the great mysteries of Episode One, is figuring out what happened to them, after finishing Volume Three, the reader has some idea of what happened, but it is up for discussion. Keeping things simple however, let me explain to you a little bit about the timeline, some people have found this a little confusing and I can understand why, there is a lot to take in within the first and second Volumes so I did make efforts to date events before chapters, and even included a brief explanation titled ‘History and Prophecy,’ this segment is detailed before the book actually began. So for those of you who found yourselves scratching your heads, hopefully this will put your minds to rest.
Since Humans arrived in Equis there has been three accounted for ages; 1st The Age of Six (0100-0455) 2nd The Time of the Warlords (0460-0718) and 3rd The Awakening Ages (0751-0768) The 4th age you are currently reading in is called, The Passage to the Great World (0769-To Present 1512). An age is obviously a time period, a specific time period does not have to last the same amount of years as its former age, it really does depend on the events that are transpiring. The Awakening Ages is the shortest age where as The Time of the Warlords is so far the longest period. Each age does have something iconic and unique about them and as you read through the books, you’ll learn and discover more. (SPOILER START- “The 1st age, The Age of Six assembled a council made up of Norkron, Dovidian, Muligoro, Desaru, Renasark and Liarath tribes, this council was called Requorn and came together under one banner of white, though they still kept their own individual cultures alive and well. The Time of the Warlords was the 2nd age, where the Requorn council broke down and a war erupted called The Never Ending War. By the end of the 2nd age, all but two of the tribes remained, Norkron and Dovidian. The other tribes had been decimated by the Norkrons, for they had bred an Honour Guard army, they being so resilient, so hardened, well-trained, employing new tactics that no other force could stop them. After so much time spent fighting however, they called a truce with the Dovidians against their leaders orders, and learned to share Equis together. Once the war was over, a Norkron man named Hallow Diases made some discoveries, these discoveries lead him to start a cult. This cult was often made fun of and ridiculed at every single turn at first, but eventually grew into a respectable religion called Starillia, when one of its prophesies came true, the arrival of Regina Corah, who eventually became the 1st Chosen/Star Caller, the people embraced it and quickly ingrained it into their culture. Not only did Regina unlock Hallows findings and demonstrate them to be true, her real achievement was where the third age gets its name from. Regina Corah, at thirty-three years old, visited and awoke twelve, truly awe-inspiring, insanely powerful beings from their shrines scattered all over Equis, from forests, mountains, deserts and out at sea, she found them. The twelve, (based on the star signs of the zodiac) have a couple of names, one being The Holy Ultimas, the other being more common as, The Celestial Souls. Even after the death of Regina at age fifty, year 0768, the religion still resonates in the present day. A chosen kindred bound not by blood, but by a spiritual tether and an understanding of the workings of the world, powerful but never as powerful as Regina, followed in her footsteps, carrying on her legacy, attempting to fulfill the promises of Starillia, to deliver the utopian world. This kindred call themselves, The Star Callers. Since Regina’s death, the 4th Age of Equis started, The Passage to the Great World, beginning at 0769 to the current year of 1512, where our story takes place” -SPOILER END)
The reader begins Episode One: The Ancestral Odyssey – The Utopian Dream, in 1512 the present day, and right off the bat you are served up some brutal, very descriptive scenes. Something terrible has happened and you don’t know why, where the event took place or who was lost during said event, all you know is something huge went down. This is where you meet one of the two main protagonists, Lethaniel Presian and what he see’s is pretty vile, as he stands on the edge of an aftermath of a siege, a wrecked smoldering City and shattered memories. You do not know anything at this point, all you know is that this guy has had some experiences, lost people dear to him and has knocked on death’s door on more than one occasion. Not only that, but he also formulates a plan to counter those responsible for this travesty. Before you learn the extent of his plan however, before you move forward with the story, the reader is taken from the present year of 1512 and it rewinds a year, going back to year 1511. From here you lead up to the events (through Volume One and Two) to this catastrophic outcome. For some strange reason, people who have read the majority of my work, struggle with this little back tracking concept. Maybe people aren’t really paying much attention to the details, or maybe my execution of the plot is not as clear as I had hoped. In my defence, I do date the chapters, I do give brief narratives before the particular chapter gets started, I do my very best to make sure things are clear. In summary, when you are first introduced to Equis, the year is 1512, when chapter two hits the year is 1511 and Volumes One and Two build up to year 1512, and the aftermath event you read about. Volume Three simply picks up where you left off and carries on. Simple.
The Protagonists and Antagonists:- Anyone who knows me personally will know that I love villains, they are so incredibly important especially when constructing a story such as the one I am undertaking, I do not think anyone can disagree with me on this. A really good, well thought out, menacing villain who is an actual threat to our heroes can transform your work from something good, to something seriously entertaining. I am confident (judging on the feedback I’ve received) that The Utopian Dream nails its villains, even though I’ve spent more time developing villains for later Episodes. One villain in particular I am very proud of. Some people have complained though, that the villains are late coming in, and after a re-read I do not disagree, it’s not until early Volume Two where you properly get introduced to one and see what he is capable of, but this hardly damages the consistency of the story which is one my greatest concerns, late arrival of villains is a minor error to my mind but one I will undoubtedly take into account. Even though they do not have nearly as many pages dedicated to them as our heroes do, there are a good variety of antagonists to deal with and each one of them has been fleshed out as much as they can be in the time I’ve had with them. This is an aspect I am very proud of, honestly, you can pick faults with the flow of the story, you can also pick at my style of writing and over use of descriptions especially at the beginning in Volume One, problems DO exist which I will be detailing later, but the villains are interesting, menacing, they are indeed threatening, have purpose and in some ways are a lot stronger than our protagonists physically, and intellectually. I love exploring villainous characters, I love figuring out their motivations; What made them into who they are? Not that all villains need motives, some of the best ones are in fact those who are a total fucking mystery, but more importantly; What baring does a villain have on the story? What do they have against our heroes? Are they really bad people when you cut through the obvious? I am fascinated with such questions and the dark sides of Humanity, it is one of the reasons I got very serious with writing. I read up on and got under the skins of twisted minds throughout history to help me develop my own. I researched some of the most iconic villains from both fiction and reality, to help lay the foundations, but also to help me put a slant onto the creative process, to attempt to go for something new and exciting. Just as life can be stranger than fiction, reality can be far more unsettling than fantasy, no matter what one conjurers up. As for villains in Book One and the books to follow, the question with whether or not they are truly the bad guys is really up for discussion, the reader should be the one to decide whether the villains are the true antagonists or not, giving the reader something to juggle with in his or her mind as they read. This is one of the reasons why The Ancestral Odyssey stands out, the villains aren’t just villains for the sake of cheap thrills and a bit of tension, they are not there to simply advance the plot line or to create an obstacle for the hero to overcome, they have legitimate stories, real motivations, their own perceptions and justifications. They are complete, well-rounded characters just as the protagonists are, and to some degree I want you to care about them. Because I use the word villains to describe them in this article does not mean they are actually the bad guys, they just so happen to fall onto the opposite side of the characters you are following. I’ve learnt the hard way, but I know now that the world is not as simple as black and white, life is a gigantic grey area and so are most (if not all) of our decisions fall into this sea of grey. With that in mind, some of the “villains” are not evil and want to take over the world, no, their goals are achievable, somewhat relatable, similar if not more understandable than the heroes are. This makes things a little more challenging and believable for the reader and far more interesting than a black and white, good versus evil scenario. Seeing as we are talking about antagonists, I guess I should shed light on some of the villains of The Utopian Dream, and talk more about the black and white areas, and right from wrong, because I feel this is important when factoring in villains against heroes. (SPOILER START- “I’ve tried to be as diverse as possible in creating my antagonists for The Utopian Dream. It is a large book with big ideas and a compelling topic, so in turn, those who stand up to my heroes and their utopia, must be as or if not MORE intriguing than the protagonists themselves. I will admit, coming up with some of these characters was difficult, a lot of my focus when I started Episode One, was on the world of Equis, developing Lethaniel and Isabelle and advancing the intricate story, so I guess this explains why my villains are so late coming in. I realised throughout development, what paradise is for some, is not paradise for another, the problem is that not everyone agrees, and if we scratch under the surface of those who wish to deliver said paradise, if you delve deeper into the religion, Starillia, going beyond what lies on the outside, discovering its true meaning, maybe after hearing the reasons from my antagonists as to why they are doing what they do, the reader’s perspective may change and open up questions. A good example of this is Ridian Messiah, my favourite villain of Episode One, a character who really did steer the book for me at times, taking control. He falls into that grey area I talked about earlier, at first he being a clear-cut bad guy who wants nothing more than to rid the world of Norkrons, dismissed as a deceptive, highly cunning madman, though toward the end after an intense interrogation followed by the conclusion of a giant action sequence, one learns that his motives can be justified, his thought process logical and his actions professional, also to add to his character there is a hint of a complicated back story, a piece of his past that made him into what he is, this backstory will most definitely come around again for future releases. Ridian Messiah is not someone to be underestimated, he is intelligent, confident, slightly unhinged, strategic and dangerous, but is not one who lives for chaos, there is a method to the madness and his wrath is executed on those who go against his law. Miranda Simbidia, destined to become a Star Caller until Isabelle showed up, taking the position of power away from her is another example of a great character whose actions could be interpreted as wrong, but at the same time they are understandable. Next to Ridian and Miranda is an antagonist who goes against the grain, someone who I pushed so far into the black you’d be hard pressed to disagree, Xavien is without a doubt, utterly evil, an example of someone who’s actions are wrong and must be stopped! A man who’s searching for ways to end Norkron and Celestial existence, but unlike Ridian who goes about it in a very strategic, military ordered way, Xavien’s way is to destroy everyone and everything who don’t follow him, to fulfilling an arcane ritual to release something terrible, something that made Equis bleed and can even stand toe to toe against a Celestial. During Episode One, Xavien is involved with some of my most darkest, bloodiest chapters, scenes that may make your stomach turn. If you think the beginning is gruesome, just wait till you hit some of Xavien’s scenes” –SPOILER END) There are a lot more villains that appear throughout Episode One, but the examples highlighted above are some of the best examples. You also get Tearrius, a mercenary whose desire is focused around profiteering, but he can also see the logistical sides for resistance against Krondathia. There is Kronix, Chieftain of a barbaric Salarthian Clan in Jureai, residing in The Blood Plains, fighting for more lands to expand his power, a man lead by jealousy. Goro, King of Ulgor Crown Mountain who’s race was driven into the unforgiving, northerly mountains of Ophiadras, and seeks retribution. Behind all of this, you get the one who is orchestrating the entire event, someone who remains vague throughout but is present none the less, he is sometimes referred to as The Magpie, his real identity is unknown but seems to put his trust in Ridian Messiah, my personal favourite villain of Episode One close to Miranda Simbidia.
As far as villains go, let’s talk a little bit about our heroes, but before I talk about them, let me just say that characters are key…I know what just went through your head (no shit Sherlock), but I mean it, it is vital to each and every story to have characters readers can relate to, to carry the story. The plot does not drive the story, your characters do, the more interesting your characters are, the more interested your audience will be. You could have the best plot ever conceived of, you could have the most thought-provoking piece of writing ever written, the most developed world, the most wonderful ideas going yet this matters not if you have not established your characters. If they are poor, readers will get bored, readers will eventually turn off to your writing and as a result, your work will not be talked about as often as you want it to be. Characters drive the story, not the other way round. As with the villains, there are a number of heroes, each providing a different dimension to Episode One. I could speak for hours about each and every one of them but because this article is stretching on, I’ll be as brief as possible just to give you an idea of who you are dealing with. There is Alexius Marsay, part of an esquire service who provides a touch of humour throughout the story, coming from a rather juvenile perspective, but at the same time, he is smart, logical and brave. He likes to smoke and drink at any hour of the day, he loves women and would choose the crossbow over any other weapons, for he is not usually in a combat situation, his melee skills are not as refined as the others so he prefers to use distance and utilise his hand to hand as a last resort. Jerhdia O’Nen, a family man, a business man, an engineer of Mek status. An armourer that has a hand in the creation of the equipment and siege devices used by our heroes. Not nearly as famous as he should be, he is very passive, happy beneath a grim exterior, but damaged for the loss of family members years ago in the civil war. Braygon Augiene, a Captain who is well-traveled, knowledgeable in a great number of areas including medicine and philosophy. His origins are unknown but has clearly sided with Norkron culture and tradition for reasons he does not go into, this causes discussion among the other characters at various points as they travel from place to place. He is sentimental and chooses the classic sword and shield. Mathias Sious, a seasoned Commander of a Norfoon Scouting regiment in the East of Equis. Close friends with Braygon, well experienced in combat, he brandishes usual soldiers attire combined with accumulated gear he has collected. A survivalist, a natural leader and deeply cares about the people next to him. Mathias has an affinity for his double ended polearm, called Orthus, a weapon he shares a dark history with, something he keeps close at all times. Thao Hikonle, the leader of the famous Honour Guards, a battalion of men unmatched in open warfare. Skilled in all types of weaponry, when assembled they become an unstoppable fighting force that no army has overpowered since their formation in the 2nd age. Thao, carrying with him the code of The Guard, chooses the war hammer and wall shield in those dire situations. Thao is the soldier every leader wants at their disposal, he is the very definition of a soldier. Ermak Idsen, Captain of the Cuethen Capes, well-educated and well-trained under the same guise as Lethaniel, having been in the pursuit of General status. Like Braygon, Ermak chooses sword and shield, but the power of his voice is his first choice, a gentleman at heart, and a loyal soldier and friend to the group. Othello, a wanderer whose origins are from both Krondathia and Jureai. His past is a little hazy but by no means is this man incapable of defending himself. Has an unspoken bond with Lethaniel and keeps to himself most of the time, deep in thought.
Most of the characters I just talked about and believe me there are dozens more worth mentioning (Riagel, Draygo, Teo, Toula, Eran, Tudor, Kathina, Cillian, Yespin, Calias, Scarlet, Kianex, Anya, Uther), could be classed as secondary characters, they are indeed important and without them The Utopian Dream wouldn’t be as strong as it is, but they are secondaries, their presence adds depth and weight to a story carried by two mains. In Episode One, I have two main protagonists, a female, Isabelle Verano and a male, Lethaniel Presian. Both spend the majority of the book separated, but their goals are the same, they just go about achieving such goals in a different way. This allows me to essentially tell two stories at once, the book switches between these two characters regularly. Some chapters however will be dedicated to one character and their story, others may include them both, these are rare but are my favourite. Isabelle is a Star Caller, often referred to as The Chosen. Having never known her parents she has had to learn to be self-reliant, growing up with numerous advisers and teachers along the way, her main influences being Freya Delmesca (her previous Star Caller) and Master Eran Othrium, a librarian, these are parent substitutes in a way. It is Isabelle’s responsibility to represent Starillia, the glue of the Norkron society, a huge amount of responsibility is upon her shoulders, this comes with being a woman of power, but this weight grows as events transpire and slowly wear her down. Isabelle is well trained with the Omnio Glaphiar Spheres (magic), the very best until put to the test against a remnant of the past, Miranda, a fitting adversary for our Chosen. Isabelle is dedicated to her purpose, faithful to her responsibilities and strives to do good at every turn, paying little attention to herself and her own needs, this is detrimental to her health and well-being over time. During the story you see almost every side to Isabelle, from her joy to her grief, but you also see Human nature come through into her life starting from the get go, showing the reader that no matter what you do, who you are and what you represent, we are all ultimately the same, we are all slaves to our own emotions, a sum of our own experiences, vessels to carry out our most basic instincts, it just depends on how you handle such feelings and situations when they come around, when to bend to their will and how much fuel you choose to feed each fire. Isabelle is essentially a twenty-six year old nun, someone attempting to bring about a new age, a perfect world through an ancient religion, and in doing so must show the people that she is perfect in herself, that she is the example to strive towards. She learns over the course of the book that she isn’t perfect, liberating herself from social and religious constructs, indulging in suppressed emotions that what makes us Human. Isabelle’s journey is a spiritual one, a magical one, one that delves into the (for lack of a better word) fantasy of The Ancestral Odyssey. Lethaniel Presian’s story, unlike Isabelle’s is far more hands on, far more physical, tactical and strategic. Funnily enough, my most favourite bits of the story is when Isabelle and Lethaniel come together, usually during flash backs of their past lives, dream sequences or by other mysterious means you’ll learn about. They compliment each other, they work together regardless of the fact that they are so far a part, and are to some degree thinking of one another more often than not. In fact, one of the strengths of Episode One is seeing these two interact, they being so different in the way they do things, but similar in their intent. Lethaniel is a young General for the Norkron army, the youngest that has ever been. He has had a difficult up bringing mainly due to the fact it was just he and his mother, his father never returning home from assignments in Jureai, assignment records which were destroyed. At an early age, Lethaniel was pulled away from ones regular raising and thrown among a troop of young boys to train under professional soldiers, to one day replace Isaac Huather, the current General of Krondathian/Norkron forces. Lethaniel has a great number of strengths, he is well-connected working with the best Krondathia has to offer, giving him an instant advantage over his foes, if anyone had Thao on their side it would of course boost morale. Lethaniel’s weaknesses really do define him, he being also twenty six years of age, priding himself on a great number of victories opposed to zero defeats in close combat with a sword. He is a duel wielder, long sword at his waist and short sword strapped to his back, with sword drawn he is unmatched, or so it seems. Over-confidence is his weakness, and this is brought to light by Ridian Messiah who is also a very competent, extremely confident swordsman and General in direct opposition of our heroes in Equis.
Positives and Negatives:- This is what you’ve really been waiting for right? I bet you want to know what I found appalling about Episode One, what its weaknesses are over its strengths? Sure, I can talk all day about The Utopian Dream, I can go into great details about every single character, every piece of equipment and relic, the world, the intricacies of the story and so on and so forth, but does it actually work when translated from vision to page? Does it hold up? Is it as entertaining as I say it is? … Of course it is … No story is perfect however, no story is without flaws and I will openly admit that Book One has its failings and not just the one, but a fair few worth talking about. Again, this piece will have spoilers, so if you haven’t read The Utopian Dream, go and read it, find these mistakes for yourselves and e-mail me about them, tell me how you would have gone about it differently? Also, while we’re at it, if you find any more errors, feel free to bring it to my attention if it is not mentioned in this segment of the post, it will be appreciated, not shied away from, contact me on the links listed at the end of this analysis. After all, one cannot learn without failure, negative criticism is always positive if one learns from his or her own mistakes, it is the only way we grow, imperfection breeds perfection, I believe in that. Now, time for a refill don’t you think? Grab yourself another snack while you’re at it too, make yourself a sandwich, I’ll still be here, because what comes next is all the dirt, all the problems which you can sink your teeth into and laugh at me for. I can take it.
You learn a lot when you write a book, however you learn more when you sit back and watch it get torn to shreds by your readers after its release. I spent so many years of my life writing The Utopian Dream, nurturing it, letting it evolve and grow into something strong and as watertight as it could possibly be. I learnt that I am a massive perfectionist, going into the tiniest of details making sure everything fits together where you spot it as a reader or not, it is there. I also learnt that the hard part of writing a book is not the writing itself, but it is the marketing that comes afterward, anyone who claims otherwise is a moron and should be put down immediately…Just kidding, but getting people interested in your work is a notoriously hard feat. In my naivety, I thought after extensive review, countless hours of personal editing and checking line for line, I figured by the end of this journey, I created something spot on or close enough before publication. Oh how wrong I was on that front, it makes me laugh how utterly silly that way of thinking is, so my psychology quickly changed. I suck at editing, I double suck at grammar checks, this comes from a simple lack of experience in the field, maybe I should have taken that Creative Writing course when presented with the opportunity, but if I had, I would not have the graphical knowledge I have today and The Ancestral Odyssey is a very visual piece of writing. There is so much about the English language that I (and probably you) don’t understand, and it makes me go cross-eyed and fuzzy in the brain when thinking about it. I learned this after the first real edit of Volume Two came back to me, before its initial release at the end of June, early July. The amount of red action going on, on each page turned me into some kind of angry cretin like creature, that hissed a lot and squirmed in the corner, afraid of those who intruded in his territory. With that out-of-the-way, you’ll find with Volume One especially, most if not all of the errors are grammatical ones. Spelling is impressive but us writers do not score points for that anymore, because our devices all have spell checkers with up to date English dictionaries built into them. In all honesty, the errors that keep me up at night are not grammatical ones, we have editors to iron out these problems before publication as with beta readers, readers themselves tend to be pretty forgiving as well, most do not even notice an error when they see one. I handed round a draft of a chapter I was proud of to a number of people years ago, it wasn’t till weeks later, giving it a once over in the evening did I notice a tremendous error, yet no one seemed to have picked up on it, to this day no one has.
Mistakes that make me squirm are mistakes that corrupt the consistency of the story. Also known as plot holes there are two levels of plot hole for me, both are unacceptable but one is more forgiving than the other, I’ll list the examples now. 1) If Isabelle is described to have green eyes in Chapter Five, but come Chapter Seven they are blue, that is a problem, a minor one to say what else can go wrong but a problem which does grind the flow of the story. 2) If one of your characters is hundreds of miles away from a location in one chapter, and then appears in said location in a day or in a matter of hours without any explanation, this is really bad and can leave your reader scratching their heads waiting for an explanation, drawing their attention away from what is happening, their attention focused more on getting answers than the words they are reading, potentially missing a key part. As far as I know, these consistency errors do not occur in The Utopian Dream, none have been brought to my attention since its release, so I can safely assume that there are none, if there are any out there though, please bring them to my attention, I will correct them. My errors mainly come from a grammatical stand point in Volume One, which was NOT edited on release but is currently going through an edit. I will get to my errors in a minute, but problems similar to this will inevitably happen to you if you are writing a book, and it is okay, don’t freak out, I and the rest of the writing community get it. When you are in the zone, when you are writing away at 4am, with work at 8am, running off nothing but coffee, takeout junk food and stale oxygen, you are going to fuck up. I fucked up SO many times it is embarrassing, my first draft is a minefield, laugh it off, the beauty is that everyone in this business suffers from it. Just be aware that these amateur errors should be ironed out quickly before the completion of your second draft. Weak writing such as this should NEVER make it into the final draft and never should be published. My biggest error, happened in Volume One, Chapter Three – The Temple. (SPOILER START – “Isabelle meets with The Eldor in The Column Temple, house of The Celestial Souls, a place where their presence can be felt clearly. She is having an in-depth conversation with The Eldor about Thao’s letter, about what she saw in Ivulien after her demonstration and other general concerns of hers. The conversation carried on between them long after Isabelle had left the temple, she was about half a mile down the road and the dialogue between them still continued, it was like she was in two places at once.” – SPOILER END) This error falls into category two I’d say and was live for a number of weeks. How I did not spot it escapes me. It was never once pointed out to me however, I spotted it when I was referencing the layout of The Column Temple for use in another chapter. Upon the mistakes discovery, I suffered a small heart attack, after recovery I got in touch with Amazon KDP to sort the issue. At first they refused, but after a day or so of persuasion, they agreed and allowed me to update my work. For those of you who received the update not so long ago, then now you know that THAT was the main reason for it. I cleaned up my mistakes as best I could and re-published it on Kindle, fixing a few other bugs along the way, bugs such as Thao’s name, it used to be Thor, but because of the popularity of Thor from Marvels The Avengers, and because I was in a position to name change, I did, but the name Thor still popped up three times, this needed fixing. Another issue was a particular law, a protocol for Star Callers to follow, it was mentioned a few times in one of the Chapters between Master Eran and Isabelle, and shows up again in a late Chapter of Volume Three, but was later removed, I found it conflicting with some of the Star Caller rituals and some of the dialogue between Isabelle and Teo. It did actually make sense, but at the same time it raised too many questions, so this protocol was taken out. Lethaniel used to draw his long sword from a sheath on his back, but after a little research throughout draft two and it being demonstrated to me in person, I learned that you cannot actually draw a long sword from the back comfortably if not at all, so I switched the smaller sword to the back and the long sword to the waist where it belongs. These were tiny bug problems which have been corrected, they do not affect the story as a whole and cause minor damage to a readers enjoyment, for twelve nearly thirteen years of work you’d expect little mistakes, but to my dismay some creep in. As I said before, it you happen to spot any errors please bring them to my attention as soon as possible, contact information will be displayed at the end of this article. Currently I am working on Episode Two, so I will not be re-visiting Episode One for a long while, I’ve spent more than enough time on it, time for me to crack on with the sequel. There are other, more intricate mistakes authors can make that can really put the story to a complete stand still, leaving a big question mark before the problem, leaving your reader with the thought of “What the fuck!” and not in the good way. This is not a plot hole, this is what I like to call a black hole, an error so huge that there is no coming back from it, where once you tread in, you are doomed. It can mean a complete re-write, take you back to the drawing board, re-think ideas, erase characters, change dialogue and could potentially destroy your aspirations to being a writer…Maybe I am exaggerating but anyone who has spent a significant amount of time on a project, something that is important to you that makes you get outta bed in morning, keeps you going though rough times and acts as a meditative healing process will know exactly what I mean. The black hole is something to avoid period, and the more time you spend researching, re-reading, evaluating and exercising your thinking skills, the less likely it is you’ll step into one and ruin your work.
I answered a number of questions in a previous article called ‘There can only be one,’ there have been a handful of more questions presented to me since then which I would like to cover. The analysis will continue after this section, I’ll end this post by talking about my overall feelings on The Utopian Dream and will detail my Energy Groove Radio experience with Jamie Stepheson, but before I get into that here are the answers to your questions. Enjoy.
What would you do differently if you could write Episode One again? – If I were to write this story again, if ageing was taken out of the equation, if I had no need to go to work everyday and I had an assistant who would fuel me with tea and delicious food, I guess I would shorten the story, perhaps order it a little better and cut down some of the descriptive segments. Upon a recent re-read I did find myself intrigued, I did find myself wondering about a few things and struck up a few questions in my head. Such questions I found the answers to, deep down I know them, but some aren’t even answered until twenty chapters later, by which time a casual reader may have forgotten what he or she read so far back because of events happening in between. So I guess I’d work a little bit more on the layout, sometimes it feels a bit all over the place especially during Volume Two where it starts to delve back into Lethaniel’s past and then returns to the present in the next chapter, but not all the way, because up until the end of Volume Two you are essentially reading the lead up to the finale, Volume Three; See what I mean? Or some of the history seems a bit forced, bogging down the reader with things that may overwhelm them. I worry sometimes that the reader will not be able to follow the story because it is complex, because not all is answered, and this can get in the way with other enjoyable elements such as the humour, the sneaky references to history and so on, there is a lot going on that isn’t told directly to the reader because I am confident that readers are as smart or smarter than I am. Some of the mystery is left open for interpretation and isn’t detailed upon, at least not until later books, books I have not even written yet but have outlined. This can piss some people off, some people hate cliffhangers and things left unanswered, some people do not like waiting which is understandable to a degree, but this is my story at the end of the day, it kicks fucking ass, you won’t read anything like it, you will not be able to predict the outcome and I will continue to write it in the ways I want to.
Who is your favourite character? – This is difficult. This is really difficult, like choosing between your favourite foods when you are really hungry. There are times where I am in love with a certain character but in a week or two I’ll be favouring another. In short, what I am saying is that my opinion may change later on down the line, but right now, seeing as you are putting me on the spot! I have to be boring and go with the main character, Isabelle Verano. She is the one I keep coming back to, she is the one who gives the book in my opinion, that element of wow and wonder, a dose of vibrant fantasy. When she comes to certain realisations, when she finds her true purpose and is able to focus herself on what she wants and starts to go for it, toward the end she punches the antagonists back, shows them that she is not to be fucked with, that they still have her to deal with and it just brings a smile to my face when she is able to set the tables straight again after so much punishment. I remember, after several failed attempts to lift Episode Three – Seeds of War off of the ground, which was Episode One at the time back in 2007, where I decided to go back and write a prequel, it wasn’t long after that where I decided to go back even further, I remember I needed a new protagonist, someone to tell the story from a mythical, spiritual perspective. From then on, Isabelle just fell onto the page and she just wrote herself, a sign of a great character. True, she wasn’t as established as Lethaniel nor as developed as most others at that point, but as a new writer I used her to explore the many different avenues of the Human psyche, to also help me grow into the world of Equis because this was in fact my first time visiting this world. Quickly, I learned that anything could happen, feeling like I could be derailed at any point and had to keep on the tracks. When Ridian Messiah was introduced, my favourite antagonist, I failed to keep the train on the lines and had to pick up after the wreckage this character left behind. Villain aside, because Isabelle is a woman who has been moulded by a religion, manipulated by men of power, brainwashed and oppressed in such a cunning, deceptive, sinister way, not having the chance to spread her wings and be free, when she begins to break away from such shackles, I was able to write her as a complete innocent, someone who was as new to Equis as I was. Inside her boundaries she is a Goddess, but take this Goddess away from her home territory, mix up the settings, throw in rivals, a multitude of emotions, and things for her get rather interesting. Isabelle is my favourite character.
Which is your favourite chapter? – I previously stated that my favourite scenes were the ones where you get Isabelle and Lethaniel together in the same space. These two are great together, so different yet so similar, they understand one another, respect one another but still are able to clash. They are different in the way they do things, Isabelle being rather calm, sensitive and patient, giving her thoughts room to breathe, where as Lethaniel does do this to a degree mainly around others, when he can confer with them, but when alone, he occasionally suffers from an outburst of instinctive aggression that blinds him from all logical thought and sensibility. (SPOILER START – “An example of this is demonstrated in Volume Two, during a flashback sequence when he is working toward the status of General, he ill-advisably goes after another candidate, someone lesser qualified in Lethaniel’s eyes who appears to be the more likely to gain the title, and Lethaniel challenges him, tossing Syen Kaaz a wooden sword. Lethaniel proves that he is better swordsman, knocking Syen to the ground time and time again, but misses the point. Being a General is not necessarily all about how good you are with wielding a sword, it involves a great number of things, one of which is not to let emotion cloud your judgement, forward thinking, consultation and how to avoid physical violence as often as possible it being a last resort in any situation. So you can see where Lethaniel fails in this regard.” – SPOILER END) He is very hands on, quick to act, confident and is not afraid of men. Considering that Lethaniel and Isabelle spend the majority of their time in this story parted from one another, I do not have many chapters or scenes to choose from, most being flashbacks or dream sequences, these are indeed my favourite, seeing two different sides of the spectrum interact. There is always one chapter that comes to mind, one which I enjoyed writing extensively, and that is Chapter Forty Five – The Trinity Key, found in Volume Two. (SPOILER START – “Not only do you get a great conversation between Isabelle and Lethaniel buried under rubble, where they seem to come to an understanding in the darkest of times, not only do you see Lethaniel get a dose of defeat that grows his character, but you are also introduced to some of weird and wonderful fantasy aspects of The Ancestral Odyssey, how a Chosen/Star Caller gets selected, what trials she has to go through and who she had to present herself to in her earlier days. Stealing her way into The Chronicle House, a mansion in the middle of the City, Isabelle finally gets to confront The Readers, a meeting that has been building throughout the book, a trio of mystics wrapped in cloth in an elevated position in an under ground chamber, who speak in an entirely different language, seem to know Isabelle through and through, they tease and play with her knowledge giving the reader a sense of humility, until finally aiding her in her quest. It’s a great scene.” – SPOILER END)
When will there be a Paperback Edition? – Easily the most common question I get asked, especially from people I know directly. Currently, The Ancestral Odyssey: The Utopian Dream – Volumes One and Two, can be found and purchased on Amazon Kindle, links will be provided below. Volume One has not been edited due to editorial issues which I have talked about in previous posts, but hopefully soon there will be a fully edited re-release which I am highly anticipating. Volume Two has been edited, no problems there, and Volume Three is awaiting an edit and release. Because I am preparing to move from Oxford back home to Wales, and from Wales to Australia all within this beautiful month of October (my favourite month by the way) I have little time to focus on this project, it is incredible I even found the time to complete this analysis, so things aren’t moving as fast as I like. My editor is also in the process of a big move and there is of course the money to think about, I don’t have much after rent and my endless list of bills. Once all three Volumes are edited and released on Kindle, will I consider a Paperback Edition, who knows, depending on how much is shaved off Volume One and Three, I may be able to combine all the Volumes and release The Utopian Dream in ONE single Paperback book. That would be ideal. I hope to have all Kindles Editions out before Christmas, as for Paperback, my best guess is early 2017.
Are you writing a script for a potential movie or TV show? – I was so touched by this question, I really could not help but grin from ear to ear when she (not name dropping her) asked me during a long phone call. This is of course something lingering in the back of my mind, the idea of a TV show or a movie adapted from my work would be a dream come true, it would make me so so happy if this happened, and I believe it will happen one day, whether I’ll be alive or not to witness it, it really doesn’t matter, I do believe it will come around for a number of reasons, reasons I will not go into right now. In saying that I think I will write-up a future article about this question, because there is so much ground to cover, and so much I would love to go into extensive detail about. In short, in answer to this, ideas are floating around out there, people have been spoken to and e-mails have been sent, interest has been noted. I am not ruling anything out, it is early days yet, it is all up in the air at the moment, but MY priority right now as the author is to complete the release of The Utopian Dream, and setting the foundations of its sequel, Episode Two – Rise of the Black Doves.
What are your favourite movies? – I am surprised that I get asked this so often. One would think I’d be asked what my favourite books are instead of films. Growing up through College and University, especially University, every Monday after lectures, my friends and I would go to this DVD sale and pick up bags full, literally bags full of movies for cheap, we’d go away for a day, watch them back to back and then meet up at the pub and talk about them. Later, when we all moved in together, once our loans came in and rent went out, we’d be on Amazon or Play and order dozens of movies, adding to our prideful collections. We’d have movie nights every other day, we’d have them on while working through assignments, thinking back, this time of my life really was fucking amazing. So many movies, so so many movies passed through my brain. When I first arrived in Oxford later in life, it being a few years ago now end of 2014, I needed a job pronto, I had enough for one months rent and a little on food, I needed to secure a job, there was no room for luxury, no room for wild nights or anything for that matter, my first meal was a cheap £2.99 KFC, which was disgusting, so I really did have to take what I could get. I landed a job at HMV, I love movies, I love music, I love toys, posters and t-shirts; Perfect for me right? WRONG! This job was horrible, the worst job I have ever had! It was so bad that after the first month I had completely checked out and had already begun searching for another job. From what I gathered from that place, there was no real love for movies, no real love for music, it was all about talking shit about your colleagues, searching for that promotion by kissing the bosses ass. I’d rather work in a sewer rather than that HMV again. I worked with some real two-faced people, people only interested in getting ahead, not caring who they step on or lie to, to get further up the ladder of retail. I’ve never had the desire to climb this ladder, never had a real passion for retail work, it’s all the same with the exception of who you work with, which is important. You could work in a dungeon, but if you work with genuine people, it makes the job a heck of a lot easier. My passion is writing, my passion is creating, exploring the Human psyche and building worlds from scratch, bringing them to life through artistry and literature. HMV was awful, and I am so happy to be done with it, but there were a few people I am still in touch with and close with, one of which asked one of these questions. During my time working at HMV however, I was quickly identified as the Horror Guy, colleagues would come to me with customers wanting advice with the best horrors. Horror is my favourite genre for the reason it is so diverse, you can find monster themes, alien themes, slashers, sci-fi, psychological, ghost and so on, it does truly have a broad scope of different styles. I also love Halloween (the holiday), it is my favourite time of year, I have a variety of kick ass costumes my favourite being the Jester. I love going into horror movies with not knowing and learning about a threat that does not exist in real life, but within the context of the movie, it does, this is thrilling. The next horror I plan to see is the new Blair Witch Project, I will be seeing it either tomorrow night or the day after. I seek out the most terrifying games and do my best to immerse myself into the story and soak up the tension and atmosphere. Currently I am playing through the sequel to Amnesia: The Dark Decent, called Amnesia: A Machine for Pigs, I love it. If you have any horror films/games you can recommend to me, by all means let me know, because I will be happy to check out what you put forward, although I probably have already seen them, I am well versed in the horror genre but do not feel as if my opinion counts over anyone else’s, everyone is entitled to have their own opinion, everyone is free to like what they want, Alien versus Predator and Micheal Bays Transformers being the exception. These films are diabolical, they have no understanding of the source material and if you like them then stop reading, because we cannot be friends EVER!
So here are my top ten favourite movies. This list has taken six months to write-up, obviously it will change over time, it will probably change in an hour or so, they are also listed in no particular order.
- The Alien Trilogy (Prometheus included)
- Kingdom of Heaven
- The Beach
- High Fidelity
- Spy Game
- Fight Club
- American Psycho
Here are a few others that were competing for a place in the top ten:-
- Public Enemies
- Pulp Fiction
- Funny Games
- Dumb and Dumber
- Secret Window
- Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas
- Star Wars: The Empire Strikes Back
- The Lord of the Rings
- The Dark Knight Trilogy
- Saving Private Ryan
- Final Fantasy VII: Advent Children
- Event Horizon
Of course the list goes on and on and on. The more I think about it, the more I feel how silly this question actually is, to name a top ten is almost impossible.There are a few more questions that have been sent my way which will be covered in a future article. As a reminder there is a question and answer section in a previous post called ‘There can only be one,’ please check that one out when you have time, the questions are less personal and more focused on the books themselves.
As some of you may know, I was featured on the Energy Groove Radio a few weeks ago, I will provide a link below along with the others so you can find their site and my interview easily, it is only about fifteen minutes long so when you have a moment, a listen would be appreciated. Because I have been so bogged down with working two jobs, fixated on the move and getting things sorted for Australia, I have yet to properly respond to this nice little feature let alone write any more content on here, and in Book Two. This response is testament to the fact that if you pour your heart into something, if you do the work necessary ignoring all those that doubt you and try to drag you down along the way, people do actually care about what you do and are interested to find out more. I promise you that you will eventually break through that barrier of doubters and haters, and find yourself among people who want to talk to you, they may even invite you out for a drink or two in the process which is touching. I’ve been working on this project for thirteen years in a few weeks time, and I can honestly say that I have long passed that point of no return, this is my life, this is my path for now and I encourage anyone and everyone to pursue their own destiny because at the end of the day, you have one life, a few decades at that on a tiny blue planet bathed in a sunbeam. It is a privilege to be here, do you want to spend your life living someone else’s dream? Do you want to work in a job as a number, a job you don’t care much for just so you can pay rent and go on the odd holiday? Something tells me you don’t. Would you rather do something you love doing and bring something new to the table? The way I figure it is this; Imagine you are a school kid and a list of jobs/careers/opportunities are set out in front of you the moment you finish. On this list is everything you can possibly do on Earth in the time you have, your task is to pick one. What would you pick? … Now I am not saying we all get such an opportunity, I am not proposing you shouldn’t go through jobs you dislike to get to where you want to be, we all have to do things we do not want to do, this is life, but the scenario I just drew up existed in my mind at one point, I made my decision and chose what I wanted to do and it takes a lot of work and so much more to come to get there, but if you do not try you’ll never succeed and your precious life, the thing that makes you unique is lost, given away to those who view you as an employee, a number nothing more than a name, all I am encouraging, is that you become a something more. Do not waste your time.
Jamie Stepheson is once such gentleman who noticed the work I had been doing. I had the pleasure of not only working with this fine chap for a number of memorable months, but had the opportunity to talk with him over the air in the studio. He hosts Energy Groove Radio in Oxfordshire and is live on Monday and Friday mornings. The app can be downloaded from any smart phone and device for free and takes all but two minutes to do. To help the growth of this successful Radio station, a download will do wonders and also please follow them on Twitter for daily updates, news and information. All links will be provided at the end. Talking more about the interview itself, I felt an enormous sense of pressure. I have literally been anticipating moments like these for a decade and now, finally, it was happening, and the focus was put onto me to talk about what it was I’ve been up to, to explain The Utopian Dream. After reading through this analysis you must have some idea of how massive this project is, the complexity and vastness. I ask you to try to sum up The Utopian Dream, JUST The Utopian Dream not even the four sequels or seven prequels in just fifteen minutes, it is a feat I’m telling you and this interview could have gone horribly wrong. It sounds like I should have walked it given all the time to practice my responses, but I am telling you, I had so much to say, so much to detail and so little time to say it in, it was quite nerve-racking. Jamie was extremely understanding and professional, I really could not have asked for a better host. The interview covered around five questions and lasts around ten to fifteen minutes. Please do me and the show a favour and check it out.
In conclusion, I believe that Episode One: The Ancestral Odyssey – The Utopian Dream, does a very good job of introducing you to the world Equis, offering you a nice selection of protagonists and antagonists to carry along a deep, enthralling and epic story line. It gives you a good sense of wonder, myth, magic and magic exploring a great number of interesting topics such as politics, religion and war in a fantasy setting, delivering some intense action sequences, awe-inspiring scenes and delivering a satisfying, climactic ending. A bit baggy at times and way too much unnecessary description does sucks some of the fun out of the excitement. Most of the issues coming from a grammatical stand point within the unedited edition of Volume One, but this will change upon the re-release. People who are looking for a new epic fantasy will likely be pleased. Those who search for a light read with a conclusive happy ending and nothing too complicated, will not get passed Chapter One.
This comes to the end of my analysis of The Ancestral Odyssey: The Utopian Dream, I hope you enjoyed it and I hope I’ve inspired to read through the book and look forward to books to come.
Contact me directly. Leave me a question, a friendly e-mail or some horror movie suggestions – firstname.lastname@example.org
Follow me on Twitter for quotes and updates – @MegasTeque
View the Promotional Teaser Trailer for Episode One here. Please leave a comment or a thumbs up or down depending on what you thought – https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=cf2qNplelyk
To buy The Utopian Dream Volumes One and Two – https://www.amazon.co.uk/Duncan-Gill/e/B01JMZ2BE6/ref=sr_ntt_srch_lnk_1?qid=1470475322&sr=8-1
Check out The Energy Groove Radio Stations website – http://www.energy-groove.com/
Follow Jamie Stepheson on Twitter – @jaystevo