Pandragon Dan

Pandragon Dan

Author/Reviewer/Blogger

Final Ragnarok Blog Tour Starting Tomorrow!

 

Sorry that this is so last minute, but I'm pleased to announce that starting tomorrow until 15th August, the Final Ragnarok: She Returns blog tour begins! Join in the fun as I talk a little bit about Final Ragnarok, do a few interviews and even give you some interesting insight to the creation of this novel.

 

This blog tour is done in conjunction with Backcover Promotions, who I have done tours with in the past and had a lot of fun with them. Please check them out and contact them if you are organising your own blog tours!

 

List of blogs and the lovely peoples blog I will be visiting are listed below, along with the post I will be doing.

 

 

7/28/2014 - Guest Post - Kristal McKerrington
7/28/2014 - Author's Choice - Francine Alli
7/29/2014 – Interview – Mysti Parker
7/29/2014 – Review - victoria brinius
7/30/2014 – Spotlight - Lori Hayes
7/31/2014 – Interview - David Berger
7/31/2014 – Review - Sheenah Freitas
8/1/2014 – Guest Post - Lori Hayes
8/4/2014 - Author's Choice - Lynn Reynolds
8/5/2014 – Interview - M.M. Shelley
8/5/2014 – Review - Mysti Parker
8/6/2014 – Spotlight - Sarah Barnard
8/7/2014 - Interview - Brian Wilkerson
8/8/2014 - Guest Post - David Berger
8/11/2014 - Guest Post – Mysti Parker
8/12/2014 – Interview - Charles O'Keefe
8/12/2014 – Review – Francine Alli
8/13/2014 – Spotlight - SJ Dagg
8/13/2014 – Spotlight - J S Council
8/14/2014 – Interview - Francine Alli
8/15/2014 – Guest Post - Lori Hayes

 

 

Don't forget that 7th August is ALSO the release day of Final Ragnarok: She Returns, so in conjunction to this I will also be doing a special competition the week before the release date for some free ebooks! If you're a fan of the Draconica series you definitely want to be checking out this novel and learn the exciting next chapter in this story.

 

The blog tour and competition will be updated on the following social networking sights, so if you want to follow the action, you can do so at the following links.

 

FACEBOOK: Pandragon Dan - The Draconica Series - Final Ragnarok Facebook Event

TWITTER: @PandragonDan - @DraconicaSeries

 

A HUGE thanks to Backcover Promotions for organising this for me and for all the bloggers taking part in this tour. Looking forward to having a great time with it and hope you all will follow me!

 

Cheers guys. See you at the tour!

 

 

-------------------------

PANDRAGON

 

Facebook:  LINK

Twitter:  LINK

Website:  LINK

Pandragon Reviews - Underneath the Draconian Sky

When an author submits a book for review to me, the one thing that I ask is that they let me know if there is any strong sexual content. By that, I don’t mean a standard sex scene, or even an erotic sex scene, that I can handle. However, what I take issue with is the more, shall we say, extreme type of sexual content – such as torture, rape, bestiality and, um… scat. And no I’m not talking about the music genre – google it at your own risk.

 

I really just don’t enjoy this, it’s not for me. When I first started getting into Anime and Manga, a friend of mine showed me some hentai stories and personally I found a lot of disgusting (let’s just say I’ll never look at an octopus the same way). For me, rape and torture should be put across as a despicable act to horrify the readers, not be put across as a sexual fetish.

 

So when I was reading Underneath the Draconian Sky, I was a little dubious about it if I was being honest. But I did promise a review – and the author, Dale M. Chatwin was a reasonable enough guy when we talked via email, so I gave it the benefit of the doubt. So today here is my review of Underneath the Draconian Sky, a Steampunk/Fantasy/Horror novel that delves into the depths of insanity and depravity. Those with a weak stomach may want to look away now!

 

 

About The Author

 

Dale M. Chatwin was born in Warwickshire in 1988 and grew up in a small town called Sedgley located in the Black Country.  He part wrote his first novel at the age of 14 titled Destiny and Death, a vague pastiche of The Body and Dreamcatcher by Stephen King with elements of his own folded into the mix. But writing has been a passion and lifelong dream of his since before then. At 19 he moved to Southsea in Hampshire to gain some independent experience in life, and as a result of his time on that island (many short stories and poems later) he produced his first complete novel at the age of 24: Underneath the Draconian Sky which is available in paperback and eBook on Lulu and Amazon. Now after realising his dream of becoming a published author, Dale M. Chatwin is on a mission to expand and perfect his craft as a writer.

 

The link to his author central page: http://www.amazon.co.uk/Dale-M-Chatwin/e/B005Y4GT9S

 

 

 
 

Cover

 

For a novel that is so brutal in its content, this cover is surprisingly gentle. It almost leads the reader into a false sense of security – which I don’t know if it was intentional or not, but that’s an interesting technique if so.

 

 

Synopsis

 

When 1107 is hired by saloon proprietor Sylvester Claproot to exterminate a group of escaped residents from the Bachman Gardens Institute for the Criminally Insane, it all seems like a run of the mill extermination: capture, torture and kill. He soon finds himself plunged into a brutal world of sexual lust, unhindered violence and where the fringes of sanity are lost to the winds of time. At the heart of this dark tale is the story of one man's acceptance of his own demise and his journey into a chaotic world where he is forced to chase his death across a brutal dystopian landscape. It is a novel that will keep you reading until the Sun scars the horizon.

 

 

What I liked

 

1107, also known as The Guy is an interesting anti-hero – the kinda “shoot first, forget the questions” sort that Clint Eastwood made popular. He’s a brutal, no nonsense kind of mercenary that likes to get the job done however possible – and some of the stuff he does would make Jack Bauer cringe! Whilst I personally don’t enjoy these type of characters, the world he inhabits is a cruel and unforgiving one, so I could accept the brutal things that he did to an extent. That being said, he did show some signs of humanity every so often so he wasn’t completely a monster.

 

I also have to give particular praise to the world of Underneath a Draconian Sky. As previously mentioned, the world is a mix of Steampunk, Sci-fi and even Fantasy. Normally, if you mix in too many genres, it can sometimes make the world a little too over the top and unbelievable, a trap I myself have fallen into. But the elements mixed in here work well and create a nightmarish hell – with dusty deserts, rusted industrial areas, dirty streets and decedent, corrupted religious ideology. It is a place that has no place for kindness or meekness, ruled by alien creatures that are pretty much dictators. It builds a dark and creepy atmosphere that puts you at unease pretty much the entire novel.

 

The story is both straight forward, but also quite complex at the same time. We follow The Guy as he tries to track down the High Occultist, who is the “Big Bad” of the story. There is a lot of build up to this character prior to meeting him, which worked well. Along the way, we learn a little more about the history of the world and the characters. It was good that the book didn’t give too much away at once so that we only learned a bit at a time, this helped paint a gradual picture of the events and created an interesting story.

 

All in all the plot works and sets up a nightmare of a trip where the fragility of the human mind is explored in horrific detail. However, there were some issues I had with this that I will explain in the next section.

 

 

What I didn’t like

 

Now, I have no problems with stories being disturbing or having disturbing imagery – in fact I like it when a story leaves me in a disturbed state of mind. However, what I did find hard to take was the amount of strong sexual content involved. Practically every other chapter involved someone being raped, tortured or worse. As I’ve said in my intro, I am not a huge fan of stories that put across rape and torture as a sexual fetish. And whilst I’m not saying that Underneath a Draconian Sky is anything like that, I do felt there was too much of this.

 

The major problem I had was that a lot of it was unnecessary and just put in just for shock value. The plot had already set a disturbing element, but this extra content just seemed to detract from that in some way and make it feel more mean spirited then it needed to. Plus, most of it I found was out of context and didn’t really do anything to help the scene. A lot of it could have easily been cut out and it would have preserved the nightmarish themes and atmosphere. Not only this, but I think it could also put off a lot of potential readers. Which is a shame as there is a good story underneath, exploring the themes of insanity and the dark side of human nature – but it kinda gets lost in all the rape and torture. And that’s just the stuff I can tell you about!

 

As you probably guessed by now, this book is NOT suitable for young readers. Also, I don’t recommend reading this whilst you’re eating. I made that mistake when reading it at lunch and I couldn’t finish my sandwich!

 

 

PROS (Sky’s the limit):

  • Main character is pretty badass!
  • Disturbing atmosphere.
  • Mythos of the world nicely thought out.

 

CONS (Draconian tactics):

  • Overly sexual context undermines the otherwise good setting.
  • Relies too much on shock tactics.
  • Totally unsuitable for younger readers.

 

 

Summary

 

It’s a good story with some nightmarish themes and disturbing imagery – but the extreme sexual content and unnecessary torture undermines it somewhat and takes away from the tension. Not one I’d recommend to someone with a weak constitution, but if you like your stories dark and atmosphere tense then you’ll most find this one an interesting read.

 

FINAL SCORE: 3/5

 

 

 

-------------------------

PANDRAGON

 

Facebook:  LINK

Twitter:  LINK

Website:  LINK

New Release by Paper Crane Press: Recollection of Shared Days

Exciting news! I am pleased to announced that my publisher, Paper Crane Books, have published a new anthology set around the theme of holidays. It contains a series of really good short stories - including one by yours truly! It's a little different to the Fantasy style stories I normally write, but I think it turned out ok.

 

Quick synopsis for you:

 

The desire to celebrate is intrinsic to human nautre. Whether it be a victory or a new season, humans have found something to use as an excuse to get together and party. The authors at Paper Crane Books have written original stories to showcase the days we all love best: holidays. Seven stories. Four seasons. They span across time, countries, and even worlds. Come and celebrate with us!

 

Best of all, it's free to download until 27th July! Click on the picture below to be taken to the Amazon page, where you can download your free copy!

 

 

 
 
-------------------------

PANDRAGON

 

Facebook:  LINK

Twitter:  LINK

Website:  LINK

Totalitarian Warlords and Termination Squadron Episode 3

Just an update - the latest video in my Totalitarian Warlords And Termination Squadron series is now up on Youtube to watch. For those that have been waiting for the next episode, apologies for the wait.

 

In this episode, the Man in Shadow introduces a new member to the team, they debut their new villain song and the Man in Shadow lets us know what he REALLY thinks of a certain Disney song - which could prove to be his undoing. There is also a little nod to a classic anime for all you otaku's out there ;)

 

Check it out below and feel free to leave a comment to let me know what you think.

 

 

 

 

-------------------------

PANDRAGON

 

Facebook:  LINK

Twitter:  LINK

Website:  LINK

Interview with Andrez Bergen

Sorry for the lack of updates lately. Things have been a little tough at work recently and, what with the release of my new novel in a couple of weeks, I've been keeping myself busy.

 

Nevertheless, I intend to make up for that today, as I once again have the pleasure of my favourite author back with me. He took time out from his busy schedule to answer a few questions about his work and a little about his upcoming novel (which he briefly talked about on my blog a few weeks back). He was willing to impart his knowledge about writing to me and also a little about his forthcoming novel.

 

Whaddya say? Let's get down to it!

 

 

 

1. Thank you for taking the time to appear on my blog. Can you tell my readers a little about yourself?

 

Thanks for having me, Dan. In a nutshell? I'm an Australian (born and reared in Melbourne) who's lived in Tokyo these past 13 years. I'm a journalist and I do electronic music under aliases like Little Nobody and Funk Gadget, but since 2011 have focused on writing fiction — with no particular genre holding precedence, though everyone knows I love my noir.

 

 

2. Wow! Sounds like you keep a busy lifestyle! So what first inspired you to get into writing?

 

I've been pushing a pen since I could hold one — and before I could spell, apparently, if you look at some of the old stories my mum kept from primary school. I love doing the thing. It's a form of escapism and adventure in which I have no idea of what direction we'll take. Later reading people like Graham Greene, Raymond Chandler and Philip K. Dick inspired me to bird-dog the passion into novels.

 

 

3. Thumbs up for the Philip K. Dick mention! Who are your favourite authors?

 

Definitely still Chandler, and I still pick up Greene and Dick occasionally. Dashiell Hammett, Nicholas Christopher and Angela Carter. More recent people like Michael Chabon and China Miéville.

 

 

4. Do you have any other hobbies other than writing or is that your whole world?

 

No, no, I have way too many of the things. I really enjoy making music, as I mentioned, along with catching up with experimental electronic sounds. I love movies and anime — I was a film reviewer for several years — and I'm a comic book buff. That's where I'm right into other writers like Ed Brubaker and Matt Fraction. I'm right into trying new, obscure foods. And I also make comics too.

 

 

5. Is there no end to your talents? Ok, that's not my real question. Haha. Do you have a favourite genre to write in?

 

Anything goes — seriously. I've brushed up against fantasy, surreal, slipstream, magical realism, farce, sci-fi, dystopia, coming-of-age. They're all fun. But hardboiled noir often undercuts the lot.

 

 

6. Without giving away too many spoilers, can you tell the nice people (us) a little bit about your new book?

 

Yep, that's a toughie — a few reviewers have already commented that it's hard to talk about this story without giving away essential parts of the yarn. Basically, it's the story of a teenage high school girl growing up in Nede, pronounced 'Needy', which is a surrogate city for Melbourne in the 1980s. She comes from an abusive family, discovers herself through music and subculture, and then stumbles across a possible murder-mystery — or is it just plain madness?

 

 

7. Ah, sounds interesting. I'm gonna add that to my to be read pile! Where did you get the inspirations for this?

 

Some of it is based on my own childhood with an abusive older brother, as well as the tales of friends who went through a similar experience, particularly in the goth/post-punk scene in the 1980s and '90s. The rest is pure fiction, directions that I didn't plan and came out of nowhere.

 

 

8. Do you have any favourite characters in the story?

 

Um... definitely Mina. Without giving away much, I've worked with her before and will do so again. I love the hidden strength of her character. She reminds me of a female Sam Spade — if he were a teenage girl with a passion for post-punk tunes and bubbly. So I guess Spade mixed a little with another Hammett creation, Nora Charles from The Thin Man. I also loved working with Animeid, and felt regret for Mina's friend Sarah.

 

 

9. If your book was turned into a film/TV series, who would you get to play the characters? Do you have a favourite director you would choose for this? Also, can I have a bit part in it?

 

XD  Ha Ha Ha — yep, of course you can! We can work together as the toilet cleaners at Flinders Street Station during the crowded mardi gras scene! This one's always a tough, and constantly changes depending on what I'm exposed to at the time, cinematically speaking, and their age. Obviously I think Chloë Grace Moretz would be awesome, and she's the right age (17) — but she's American. I'd prefer an Australian, British or New Zealand actor to play Mina. Mia Wasikowska? Perfect if she were 7 years younger. I'm not really up on current Aussie actresses having lived in Japan all these years. But ideally? Brigitte Bardot when she was a brunette in the early '50s, or Michelle Pfeiffer circa 1980. Don't get me started on the other characters — you'll stop paying attention before I'm half-way finished. Director? Five years ago I would've said Peter Jackson. Now I won't — The Hobbit scarred me a bit. He's still great, but needs to go back to his roots. I love what Christopher Nolan does, and I'm a Terry Gillian fan from way back — in fact he'd excel with the middle part of the book. I'm tempted to say Spike Jonze. But if John Schlesinger were still alive, I'd opt for him — Billy Liar, The Falcon and the Snowman and Cold Comfort Farm are still brilliant films.

 

 

10. Some good choices for directors there. And I did used to work as a cleaner as one of my old jobs. XD Which, in your opinion is more important – story or characters?

 

Can I say both? For me, definitely both, with characters (and their dialogue) only slightly edging the plot.

 

 

11. Of course you can say both. It's your interview after all. ;) What do you look for in a good story?

 

Something that keeps my attention from wandering. A good yarn that builds to something special, with characters I dig even if they're not the most likeable of people.

 

 

12. So I understand that one of your other books, Tobacco Stained Mountain Goat is being turned into a graphic novel. Do you have plans to turn any of your other works into graphic novels?

 

Yep, I just wrapped up that graphic novel in May, and it's being published in August. I did the artwork as well, and it was a mind-blowing experience. I realized partway into it that it was impossible to do the entire novel, and concentrated instead on the first 100 pages, plus added some new plot-twists that have occurred to me over the ensuing three years since TSMG was published. I'm also currently developing my novel from last year, Who is Killing the Great Capes of Heropa?, as a continuing comic book series — which is appropriate since it's heavily influenced by golden and silver age comics. But another graphic novel? I haven't thought that far ahead... yet.

 

 

13. What’s the best advice you can give to authors?

 

Perseverence is the thing to hang onto. Don't give up just because you get knocked back a few times. And you need to have faith in what you do. I know that's hard. But if you don't believe in your work — who will?

 

 

14. I agree with you wholeheartedly on that one. And indeed that's something that I myself have come to blows with sometimes. Ok, now for the REAL question of the interview – and this is real life or death here! The fate of the world rests on this question and could cause a time collapse that will wipe out all life in the Universe. So think carefully before you answer. What DOES the Fox say?

 

Yikes — this question. Was praying you wouldn't ask. So I'm going to dip back into my favourite Dr Suess tome, since this is the wisest fox in the world: “When beetles fight these battles in a bottle with their paddles and the bottle's on a poodle and the poodle's eating noodles... they call this a muddle puddle tweetle poodle beetle noodle bottle paddle battle.” Exactly.

 

 

Thank to Andrez for an amazing interview! Be sure to check out his novels here:

 

Amazon Page

 

Thanks for reading. Have a great weekend!

 

 

 

-------------------------

PANDRAGON

 

Facebook:  LINK

Twitter:  LINK

Website:  LINK

Blog Stats

  • Total posts(293)
  • Total comments(318)

Forgot your password?