Friday, February 8, 2013

REVIEW: Nomicon Saga / E. Glover

TITLE: Nomicon Saga (Anthology Book One) 
AUTHOR: E. Glover
AVAILABILITY: Amazon US (paperback), Egsa Outfitters (paperback)

Recommended for readers seeking dark magic and plot-based adventures.


Nomicon Saga is an anthology of eleven short stories that take place in the same world and feature the same characters. It’s like a TV show, with each story being a different episode in the same series. The stories mostly take place in an urban setting, with the main characters running into all kinds of supernatural dangers. It focuses on the dark side of magic and is akin to horror.

Each story within Nomicon Saga is densely written—that is, the stories move from plot point to plot point with not much in between.

Third person omniscient. The narrative rotates between the points of view of several different characters, often within the same scene.

Nomicon Saga is a series of eleven dark short stories depicting the adventures of Jake West and Cody Durant, keepers of an urban pawnshop who stumble upon artifacts containing supernatural powers. After an ancient and enigmatic box falls into Jake and Cody’s hands, they find themselves at the center of a mysterious game, played by unknown forces lurking beneath the surface of everyday life.

Jake and Cody were childhood friends, and several passages flash back to their pasts. Their relationship becomes strained at times as they embark on their adventures, with the stressful circumstances fostering distrust. Both are tough, fearless men who are not intimidated by the strange circumstances they encounter. They’re not afraid to be the bad guys where necessary, threatening their foes and taking crap from no one. Basically, they’re badasses.

Nomicon Saga is based on the world of ShatterCaster: New Kingdom, a tabletop game. The book contains a game-like atmosphere, focusing on external conflict and dangerous atmospheres. The characters are like chess pieces moving across a board composed of supernatural mysteries.

Like episodes of a TV show, the stories are self-contained tales with common arcs stringing them together. Each story begins with a short prologue and is divided into three Acts, then concludes with an epilogue. The stories are written in a focused, rather dense style, moving from plot point to plot point at a relatively quick pace. The vivid descriptions bring images to life, highlighting the fantastical elements.

It’s these elements of magic and mystery that make each story intriguing. The omniscient narrator depicts circumstances in a cinematic fashion, showing scenes that occur outside the main characters’ points of view. Several forces are at work, and it’s up to the reader to figure out how they are connected. Reality becomes twisted, and Jake and Cody find themselves dealing with situations beyond their understanding. Each new discovery seems to lead to more questions, which further drives their desire to solve the puzzle. As Cody says in frustration, “We can’t keep chasing shadows in the dark. I want some answers.”

The book doesn’t offer all of these answers, leaving room for more stories to come. Nomicon Saga offers glimpses into an expansive world of adventure, suspense, and dark magic, exciting and at times frightening.

I found some typos and small errors, but nothing distracting.

This book contains some frightening scenes, but nothing gruesome or graphic.

Egsa Press is a Chicago-based publisher. Together with Egsa WoftWorks, Egsa Press released the tabletop game ShatterCaster: New Kingdom. Nomicon Saga is based on the world of this game.

Visit their website

1 comment:

  1. This sounds captivating for lovers of more traditional, sweeping fantasy... with 3rd person omniscient in place of today's popular 1st person. I also have the greatest respect for authors who can achieve so much in the narrow space of a short story.