Saturday, November 8, 2014

Book Review of The Shadow Academy

Book Review of The Shadow Academy
Sponsored by Paranormal Cravings

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After the Plague Wars they waited for the invasion. And as the new Dark Age dawns... there is one who can bring light. 

In a world little more than a whisper away from ours, the islands of Grand Brittannia lie just off the shores of the deeply forested content of Evropa, the dark and forbidding realm of legends scarcely remembered. 

Grand Brittannia, itself almost completely a place of deep forest and mystery, has at its heart the crumbling, anachronistic administrative city of Londonborough. From here the Central Authority wields power over the Islands and exercises its control rigidly and clinically. Since the rigours of the Plague Wars, some hundred years in the past, when almost the entire population of the world was wiped out and the gradual decline of civilization began, industry and technology have atrophied, their development now strictly vetted by the Authority. 

Out on the far-flung coasts, a network of ancient fortress ports wait in readiness for an invasion that some say will never come, their ancient, declining Academies committed to the rigours of training the defenders of the Islands. These Academies are subjected to regular inspections by Enforcers from Londonborough, and their native inhabitants are constantly being swelled by the young military graduates from the Authority's own Military Academies in the center. Into a cauldron of intrigue and subterfuge that is the town and Academy of Petra comes Chad Mundy, the Authority's replacement for Drew Vasillius, a veteran teacher who has committed suicide. At least, that is what he's been told... 

Author Information: 

Author - Science Fiction & Fantasy. Adrian Christopher Synnot Cole was born in Devonport, Plymouth (UK) on 22nd July 1949, son of Frederick and Ruth Cole. He can trace his father’s line back to 1642 in the South West.

His father spent most of his working life in the Army (R.E.M.E.) and was stationed in Malaya for 3 years in the early 1950s. On returning to the UK, Adrian lived in various areas of the country – Yorkshire, Dorset, Cornwall, Birmingham – before returning to his Devonian roots and setting up home in Bideford, North Devon in 1976. He married Judith Rose Nixon and has subsequently had 2 children, Samuel and Katia.

Adrian worked as a librarian and a local government officer before taking up a post as Business Manager at Bideford College, a large secondary school, where he worked for some 20 years before his retirement in 2011.
Apart from a lifelong passionate interest in all things related to fantasy, horror and science fiction, collecting books, comics and magazines, Adrian’s main interests are swimming at the nearby beach (Westward Ho! Is one of the finest surfing bays in the country) cycling along local rural routes and watching movies. Many of his stories utilise the Devon and South Western landscape.

He is a devout fan of his home town football (soccer) club, Plymouth Argyle and often takes a bus ride down to the city, 60 miles away across the beautiful spine of the county, to watch them play – and occasionally win! Adrian is one of the few people in the universe who doesn’t drive – he is quite happy with coaches, trains and planes.

He wrote his first “novel” at the tender age of 10 – a pastiche of BLACK BEAUTY, which he stopped reading in order to write (and illustrate) his own version. Sadly this gem is long lost, but the drive to write more remained very much alive and Adrian worked on his first serious attempt at getting published when he was 19. This was a fantasy “epic” inspired by LOTR, DUNE and various ERB works – entitled The Barbarians, it eventually saw print as THE DREAM LORDS trilogy (see section on novels).

Since then he has gone on to write many novels, the latest of which, THE SHADOW ACADEMY from Edge Science Fiction and Fantasy Publishing, Canada ( 2014) is the 25th he has had published. He has also written numerous short stories, his latest collection being NICK NIGHTMARE INVESTIGATES from Alchemy Press (2014). He has also performed some of his more light-hearted material at Conventions.

His work has varied through science fiction, fantasy, sword & sorcery and horror and he has had short stories reprinted inThe Year’s Best Fantasy Stories and The Year’s Best Fantasy and Horror.


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