Sunday, 14 August 2016

More Human Than Human

Sometimes our darker half destroys us. Other times, it makes us whole.
Following Only Human is Shadow of a Human, Book 2 in The Human Cycle series by Puerto Rican author, J.D. Estrada. The supernatural, philosophical, and gritty urban fantasy ushers us back into its world with one of its many heroes, Nathaniel Runnels. Transformed (quite literally) from saving the world, he’s coming undone, dependent on an ethereal substance known as egnalem. This ochre dust has a connection between worlds, as does his vampire friend, Daniel. Going through his very own hell (of sorts), Daniel struggles to alter the future while sleuthing for the reason for the egnalem’s wicked refinement into gEl, a narcotic like no other. Their separate paths intertwine as a new and yet familiar threat comes to wreak havoc on the planet again.
Shadow of a Human is a sequel that manages to be quite a bit different from its predecessor while still striking the same tonal chords, albeit with more of a grindhouse feel. It’s darker and more grounded than Book 1, but still keeps its mystical and dreamlike qualities. Mix that in with more Easter Eggs spanning across anything from pop culture to mythology, and this is a fun, wild ride!
Book 2 shows J.D. Estrada’s evolution as a writer. The writing is smoother and page-turning while treating its audience with intelligence. That said, at times I did feel like I was on a chaotic quest I couldn’t occasionally keep up with. However, while re-reading it, I found all the pieces of the puzzle fit together just right. Aside from that, the book does have the rare punctuation typo and it occasionally becomes confusing when there’s a quotation mark when no one is actually speaking. Again, it’s rare so it won’t be too disruptive.
Check out this series if you’re a fan of supernatural urban fantasies! You might even embrace your own darkness doing so.
Follow J.D. on his Twitter, Blog, YouTube, and Google+!
Purchase Only Human here and Shadow of a Human here on Amazon!
Thanks and take care, all!

Wednesday, 10 August 2016

The Last Train

She slumped against the bench on Platform 2. She’d never taken the train home this late before. The subway was creepy at this ungodly hour. The lights seemed dimmer in the emptiness. But despite not seeing anyone else she didn’t feel alone. That was worst part.

“’Cuse me.” A voice slurred behind her.

She started, snapping her head its way.

A homeless man adjusted his pants. “Youse got the time?”

“Um,” she peeked at her phone, relieved she wasn’t actually paranoid. “2:57 am.”

“Three’s a bad time.” He shuffled away, tossing over his shoulder: “Leave. Before it comes.”

She raised an eyebrow, watching him depart. Or try to. Suddenly, he was yanked back and crimson exploded from him. She jumped to her feet, looking for an attacker. But there was none she could see.
The girl bolted, taking the stairs two at a time, heart thundering in her chest. Tossing a look over her shoulder, she saw the lights flicker on the subway platform. She could hear the old man screaming. He abruptly stopped. Blood pooled across the gritty tile and into her vision.

Footsteps belonging to no one parted the red and rapidly ascended up the stairs after her. She shrieked; the last thing she ever saw was nothing at all.

Hi again, all!

I did this piece for the flashfiction magazine, 200-Word Tuesdays. I selected August’s theme of “Unseen.” This month I was actually one of the folks who suggested a theme. A poll was done and mine was one of the themes chosen.

I drew inspiration from all the times my imagination went wild on me while taking the train home late.

Thanks and take care! Travel safe ;)

Again, not sure where the picture came from. If you want credit, let me know!