Today is my stop on the blog tour for author Richard J. O’Brien’s latest novel, To Dream the Blackbane! Don’t forget to enterthe giveaway!
To Dream the Blackbane
Publication Date: December 29th, 2018
Genre: Fantasy/ Urban Fantasy
A cosmic event in 2015 fused Earth with the faerie realm. Scientists referred to the event as The Anomaly. A byproduct of The Anomaly was the advent of hybrid beings—people who became mixed with whatever animal or object was closest to them the moment the event occurred. Humans, or pedigrees, soon relegated fairy refugees and hybrids into ghetto zones in large cities.
Seventy years later, Wolfgang Rex, a second-generation hybrid—part human, part Rhodesian Ridgeback—is a retired police detective who runs a private investigation business in Chicago’s Southside. It’s a one-hybrid show; though Rex couldn’t survive without his assistant, the faerie Sally Sandweb.
One night, two vampires visit Rex and offer him a substantial reward for the recovery of a stolen scroll. Later that same evening, Charlotte Sweeney-Jarhadill, a pedigree woman from Louisiana, visits Rex and hires him to exorcize the headless ghost of a Confederate soldier from her home.
To complicate matters, the private detective ends up falling for Charlotte. Meanwhile, the vampires demand results in the search for the missing scroll. When Rex’s assistant Sally goes missing, he must stay alive long enough to find her. Charlotte and the vampires, however, have other plans for Rex.
I saw the cover for To Dream the Blackbane, and was very compelled to read it. I love the noir-inspired, private dective feel, and honestly, the story didn’t disappoint me. It gave me exactly what I was hoping for when I read the synopsis. There’s tongue-in-cheek humor and crime, with an interesting twist of fantasy/urban fantasy elements.
I absolutely loved the world building of this novel. There is a ton of backstory and worldbuilding, that gives us a really vivid look into the types of characters. We have everything from animal-human hybrids to gargoyles and vampires, along with a whole lot of other types of creatures. To sum it up, To Dream the Blackbane is a blend of well known creatures into an urban fantasy setting and it was done really well.
I’m really impressed. Richard J. O’Brien has crafted a really unique novel, and I think it’s worth a try! Highly recommended.
Excerpt from the Prologue
One night, the stars went out. When they came back twenty-four hours later, the world witnessed new constellations. The year was 2015. Scientists called the event The Anomaly back then, and the name stuck. Before long, they found out that the new constellations weren’t the only product of The Anomaly.
Seventy years later, the debate continues between scholars about whether Earth herself, along with the solar system, remains in the same universe. In addition to the new constellations, one-third of Earth was shaved off—from Mongolia down over Greece and points south—and replaced with new lands. The satellites that once orbited Earth all vanished. Efforts were made in vain to launch new satellites into orbit, but none survived.
In the early days there was no way of knowing whether that chunk of the world had been obliterated, or if the land and its people—and a good chunk of the ocean—had been transported to a non-local plane. That’s what the scientists called it. A non-local plane. It was accepted as fact that the walls between realities had weakened. What no one could prove was how all of this had happened. As for everyone on the missing side, no one ever heard from them again.
Richard J. O’Brien is a graduate of the Fairleigh Dickinson University MFA in Creative Writing Program. Richard’s novels include Under the Bronze Moon, Infestation, and The Garden of Fragile Things. His short stories have appeared in The Del Sol Review, Duende, Pulp Literature, The Dr. T.J. Eckleburg Review, Weirdbook, and other magazines. Richard lives in New Jersey, where he teaches at Rowan College at Gloucester County and Stockton University.
International Giveway: For your chance to win 1of 2 digital copies of To Dream the Blackbane, click HERE!
North America Only: Win 1 of 2 print copies of To Dream the Blackbane, click HERE!
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Let me know what you think! Good luck in the giveaway!!