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Posted October 10, 2012
One of the best comic book novels I have ever read
This book by Patrick Dilloway is a riveting "alternate earth" read. In this tale, we are introduced to Rampart City, a place so well envisioned that it feels real with every turn of the page. The "hero" in "A Hero's Journey" is Dr. Emma Earl--a super bright young woman who goes to work at the Plaine Museum where she uncovers a mysterious artifact from the time of Merlin. I think that people who love stories that have an ancient Egyptian flavor to them (or who are fans of The Librarian series starring Noah Wylie which periodically airs on TNT) will really like this tale. My only gripe with this book is that I thought Emma burst into the water works a little too much. However, my opinion on this may be because I'm not as "in touch" with my feminine side as others (so it's quite possible that all the crying is justified). Patrick is a masterful storyteller, and with this book he has created a fantastical world filled with witches, ghosts, knights, and magic swords. "A Hero's Journey" is about the transformation that Emma must take to fulfill her destiny as a comic book-type hero. And just like the big time heroes from D.C. and Marvel, there are sacrifices that she must make with regard to those that she loves in order to keep them safe. In many ways, it's both heart-wrenching and noble. But it's definitely the kind of story that keeps you hooked until you've reached the amazing finale in just a few hours. And boy does this book have one heck of a climax. When I found out who the Black Dragoon actually was, it left me speechless. In reflecting on my experience in reading this book, I think the Black Dragoon belongs on the shelf of great villains right next to Darth Vader and the Joker. And most people will agree that a good villain MAKES the story. "A Hero's Journey" is appropriate for any age level. Children should have a lot of fun with it and be inspired by Emma in her fight against the forces of evil. I hope that when you finish it, you'll join me in my desire to return to Rampart City soon. There's definitely enough source material to keep the story of the Scarlet Knight going for many books to come.
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Posted July 4, 2014
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