Mark Terry

Wednesday, April 24, 2013

What I've Been Reading

Latest 10!

The Human Division #10: This Must Be The Place by John Scalzi
Continuing on with his serialized novel.

A Clash of Kings by George RR Martin
The second book in the massive, epic - y'know, really, really long - fantasy series better known by the name A Game Of Thrones, although the book series is A Song of Fire and Ice (or Ice and Fire, I don't remember and am too lazy to go look at). I loved it. Swore I'd take a year off from the series now that I've read something like 1900 pages of the series, but now know I'll read the third book in a couple months. So, yeah...

Suspect by Robert Crais
A standalone thriller by the author of the Elvis Cole novels. This one features a cop who gets shot to pieces who comes back training for the Police Dog corp, teamed up with a former Marine dog that got shot up (and her trainer/partner died in the shooting). I'd give it a B+/A-. It's really, really good, but I had a sense toward the end that the crime being investigated itself seemed slightly overdone - the characters, on the other hand, were great.

The Human Division #11: A Problem of Proportion by John Scalzi

The Human Division #12: The Gentle Art of Cracking Heads by John Scalzi
Almost to the end

Poe by Robert Gregory Browne & Brett Battles
A thriller featuring an international bounty hunter, Alexandra Poe, who is convinced to work for an international security agency that claims to have a lead on her missing father, a former intelligence agent who disappeared. To do so, she needs to go undercover in a Ukrainian prison, which, you know, sounds like a bad idea. And it is. I loved this book and really look forward to their next book featuring her.

The Human Division #13: Earth Below, Sky Above by John Scalzi
The final episode, making it a fairly episodic novel. I loved it, and really enjoyed this final segment. Some readers have bitched that it didn't wrap up everything, but Scalzi's already announced the next book in the series, and I'm quite happy at the thought of visiting some of these characters in future novels. I highly recommend The Human Division.

Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince by JK Rowling
Second-to-last book in the series.

London Twist by Barry Eisler
A novella featuring Israeli agent Delilah (formerly a lover of John Rain), who is sent into London undercover to try to and get access to a Muslim woman's laptop computer - the woman's brother, they're told, is a terrorist planning a chemical weapons attack. The woman is an activist opposed to U.S. drone attacks and Delilah finds herself drawn to the woman's intelligence, passion and beauty. Really enjoyed this.

Two Graves by Douglas Preston and Lincoln Child
Another Pendergast novel. I confess, I struggled significantly with this and almost quit reading it in the middle. I love these guys' books separately and together, but some of the Pendergast novels have left me cold. By the time I got to the end I liked it, but man, I struggled in the middle.

Monday, April 08, 2013


April 8, 2013
Yes, my son, Ian Michael Terry, wrote his first novel. I primarily acted as editor. It was a sequel to my book, MONSTER SEEKER. Here's the description and first chapter.

The book is available as an e-book on Amazon and B&N and Kobo and god knows where else.


Welcome to the Monster Seeker Academy, where…

During battle a professor bursts into flames!
A crazy Russian professor is his replacement!
Seven Dark Seeker psychopaths are on the loose!
An evil god from The Beyond has risen!

It’s all in a day’s work for a Monster Seeker.

Fourteen-year-old Monster Seeker Dan O’Malley is sent on a mission to recruit vampires to the Academy’s side for the upcoming war. With the emergence of the Dark Seekers and the Phoenix King, this task turns into a much harder endeavor and Dan may have more than he can handle.

But he might just pull it off with his best friends, Ike the ghost, Jessie the vampire, and the Seek Twins, whose enthusiasm for mayhem more than makes up for their total lack of fighting skills.

What could possibly go wrong?

Oh yeah. An Emergency Zombie Apocalypse Situation.

Hold onto your seats, it’s going to be a bumpy ride!

Chapter 1:
 Early Morning Wake-Up Battle

     Nothing makes a Monster Seeker run faster than a fire-breathing goblin wearing Halo: Reach boxer shorts.
     Now, just to drive you mad, let’s start at the beginning of the day when everything was going down to Hades. I know you wanted to hear about the goblin in Halo: Reach boxer shorts, but I have to tell you about the invasion first. Both are really good stories. The goblin story is a little more fun, but the invasion is what made myself, Jessie, and the Seek twins go chasing after the goblin.
     The invasion started everything.
     It was 5:57 in the morning and my roommate, Ike, was snoring louder than ever. I was woken up by Billy Borq flushing the toilet, which we had repeatedly told him not to do. A demon had wedged himself in the S-bend and screamed as many swear words in as many languages as he could until the flushing was done. This very moment I believe the language was French. Or Swahili.
     I felt a strong zap in the magical aura that surrounded me. Apparently so did Ike, because he stopped snoring and looked at the nightstand where our magical Post-It notes were sitting. Written on both was, “BATTLE STATIONS. THE ACADEMY IS UNDER ATTACK.”
     We both leapt out of bed faster than I thought possible. Billy Borq and Jordan “Sparks” McGee bolted out of their rooms, meeting Ike and I in the hallway along with four of our commons mates. There were four guys to a suite and eight guys to a common room.
I wasn’t really friends with the other four, but I was best friends with Ike. And since I shared the same bathroom with Billy and Sparks, I was naturally friends with them, even though when we told Billy to not flush the toilet because there’s a demon stuck in the S-Bend, he did it anyway. Billy liked to hear the demon swear.
     Billy was a Vert, a werewolf to be exact. A Vert is a monster that has become a Seeker. Their form sometimes alters as well, because most werewolves can’t control their transformation. Billy can.
Professor Sevitra, the Monster Seeker Academy Head Mistress, locked Billy in the dungeons during his full-moon transformations, the ones he couldn’t control. Otherwise, he could change into a wolf or half-wolf at will.
     Sparks, on the other hand, was a young recruit. He’d only been around for about two months. Like most Monster Seekers, he was mature for his age, strong-willed, and more than a little weird. That comes from discovering that monsters are real. Most kids that believe in monsters under the bed or in the closet half-believe they’re not real. Monster Seekers, we wish they weren’t.
That plays with your head.
Big time.
We quickly learned that Sparks was really good at transformation spells. He turned me into a frog on his first day. It took Professors Sevitra and Noonen two hours to change me back. Everybody called him Sparks because he liked shooting sparks into the air at random, usually into his friends’ faces. He quickly learned that blasting me in the face with sparks, especially after the frog incident, was not a good idea. Ike and I dangled him upside down from the Academy’s central tower for an entire night. Professor Diego thought it was hilarious. Professor Sevitra did not.
     The eight of us raced to the armory where we took weapons and armor. All the students were in various stages of undress. I hoped the attackers weren’t. It would be easier to kill a monster if it wasn’t naked. (No comment about the goblin wearing Halo: Reach boxer shorts).
     I threw leather armor over my chest, grabbed my personal bo staff, the one with etch marks from all the battles I’ve had over the last two years, and wrapped a three-bladed whip sword around my waist. Ike simply grabbed two sais, short little pitch fork things. Jessie came up next to me, wearing her black shirt and black jeans. Ike and I both wondered how she was able to change clothes so fast before battles. She was a Vert as well, a vampire. She was my best friend, along with Ike. She didn’t need armor or a weapon. She was a weapon.
     “Ready?” she asked, looking at me, but implying Ike as well.
     I nodded. “Let’s kick some monster butt.”
     We raced to the front doors, ready to stop the monsters from breaking down the walls of the Academy, my home. Jessie and Ike were ahead of me when Professor Diego appeared and pulled me aside.
     “What?” I demanded, as students in armor flowed around us.
     Diego smiled at me. “Professor Sevitra and I are going to take Shadrach down, permanently.”
     “Good, but why are you telling me this now?”
     “Fred LaRue has been guarding Shadrach on every battle. You deal with him.”
     I nodded. “I owe him.”
     Fred LaRue, called the Freak, had betrayed the Academy for Shadrach. Shadrach was a dark wizard who also happened to be Professor Sevitra’s twin brother. Shadrach had promised the Freak power beyond his dreams, and he fell for it.
I was going to take the Freak down. He nearly got me killed on my very first quest. And he’d tried to kill me a dozen times over the last two years. It was payback time.
     Professor Diego pushed open the huge double doors of the Academy. A swarm of demons rushed us from across the green lawn of the Academy. Professor Diego, in boots, jeans, and his leather duster, raised his broadsword. “Charge!”
     I swung my bo staff, smacking seven little demons into the air. I’d gotten more proficient with the staff since I was twelve, but sometimes I still treated it like a really big baseball bat.
     And speaking of baseball bats, little Joe Seek and his twin brother Jeral went charging into the middle of the battle, baseball bats as their weapons. They had no clue what was going on. They’d arrived about four days ago, but the constant battles didn’t seem to faze them much.
     “Dan, behind you!” Ike roared.
     I swung around and slammed my bo staff into an ogre. The wood snapped in half on contact with the monster. I held half of my broken staff, amazed that it had snapped so easily.
     “Dan O’Malley!” bellowed the ogre, which was about ten-feet-tall with a little bony head that looked like a potato. Its skin was greenish-gray and was covered with warts and what looked like algae. It carried a club the size of a stop sign.
     I leapt forward and shoved the broken staff down the ogre’s mouth. The ogre burst into grey dust as I killed it. There was a loud thud as something behind me stepped forward. I was starting to wish I had grabbed more weapons than just the bo staff and whip sword. Facing me was a giant red troll, as stupid looking and smelly as any other.
     “Uh-oh.” I uncoiled the whip sword from my waist. “Hello, big bubba.”
     I checked the dark skies for signs of Shadrach, but didn’t see him. Supposedly Shadrach’s second dragon had been killed. I doubted he would ride into battle without one.
     I was about to attack the troll when red lightning blasted it to smithereens. A red and blue explosion lit up the battlefield. I clenched my teeth when I saw the Freak standing behind it. His broadsword was drawn and he was grinning like Santa Claus had just given him everything he’d ever wished for. I think he was the one who had blasted the troll for me.
     “O’Malley’s mine,” Freak said.