Friday, October 22, 2010

BOOK REVIEW: The Storm Guardians by Stephen Zimmer

TITLE: The Storm Guardians
AUTHOR: Stephen Zimmer
PUBLISHER: Seventh Star Press, 2010
ISBN 978-0-9825656-3-6 (553 pages, including Appendix)

Forces set in motion in the first book of the Rising Dawn series, The Exodus Gate, move forward with a vengeance in The Storm Guardians.

We find the familiar and the fantastic once again inextricably linked as Benedict Darwin and his troupe try to deal with the frightening reality of a world changed to its very core. The survivors of the Great Flood, both the noble An-Ki and the demonic Erkorenen, find themselves pawns in a greater power struggle, whose manifestations extend into the ethereal world of Purgatarion, where the hordes from the Abyss commanded by the leader of the Ten-Fold Kingdom are launching an assault, aiming for the very walls of the White City itself.

In the normal world, Night Hunters prowl the forests, pursuing the now-divided An-Ki clans. A group of high schools students decide they are going to find out if the rumors of giant wolves in the woods are true, and fall afoul of a force whose true nature they do not suspect. Watchers, their ranks thinned because of the conflicts in the Middle Lands, struggle desperately to protect humanity against the growing threat of the Nephilim and their allies, while a lone Avatar stands against many enemies.

In the Middle Lands, mighty Avatars clash, great forces Light and Dark and neither meet on the battlefield of Purgatarion in a clash that boggles the minds of even those denizens of the stricken area which forms a buffer between the Abyss and the White City.

The scope of The Storm Guardians is massive, opening up and expanding on the conflict only hinted at in The Exodus Gate. The intrigue and action promised in the first book is fully developed and mercilessly exhibited. The Storm Guardians is a non-stop thriller that lives up to the promise of The Exodus Gate and points at an even more amazing denouement in the final book of the series. Once again, Zimmer has used his command of cinematic imagery to give us a spectacular vision of war both heavenly and hellish.

Two thumbs up on this one.