Friday, December 14, 2012

the penguins are coming...the penguins are here

Well it’s been 2 weeks since my last post. Now the release of my debut novel RISE OF THE PENGUINS is upon me. (Though to be honest, it came out on Createspace a few days ago). For those potential buyers, I will give you a run down on what to expect.
Question? Here are answers: Yes it is about penguins. 
Are there human characters involved? By looking at the cover you can surmise that there are in fact people within the storyline. 
What is it all about? The synopsis says that the penguins are ruled by an ancient race of penguins, known as Royal Emperors, and that the ruler, who assumed the title of Overlord, has manipulated them into to open warfare against the humans. Why would he do that? He does it under guise of retaking their territory and for revenge against the years of atrocities against their kind.
*HISTORICAL FACT: During the 1800s millions of penguins were killed for their fat. The fat was burned for lamp oil. Having never encountered people before the penguins didn’t seem them as a threat. They were actually herded up ramps which led to rendering pots and boiled alive. Poaching still does take place in certain areas. You can see why they might be a little pissed.
Knowing that they can be killed, why would they attack? The Overlord is a powerful and charismatic ruler and (this has happened throughout human history too) he convinces the masses that there is a clear and present danger and that this is the only course of action to ensure their future as a species. Again, why would he do that? Let’s just say he has his own agenda and we’ll leave it at that. 
Do all penguins follow this Overlord? No. The Emperor penguins do not abide the “Royal” Emperors, but the Royals are much larger and have physical mutations which make them a formidable opponent. There are some members of other species who form an underground coalition to resist the Overlord.

Is this the Chinstrap penguin mentioned in the blurb? Not initially. The Chinstrap named Lavour, at first goes along and is an obedient soldier. But events lead him along with his friends, Leepoh- a Gentoo penguin, and Nok- a Rockhopper penguin, on a different path. 

What about the people? The two main human characters are Randy and Gina; researchers in Antarctica who survive the initial purge and find themselves in a surreal situation. A third of the story focuses on these two and their attempt to survive. They find unexpected allies and the allies they thought they had just might be the enemy.

But what can a penguin do to person or people? One penguin can do very little. But a million or more present a much larger problem and nobody would ever suspect that these peaceful creatures could harbor any violence. 

Are the penguins intelligent? Yes. They have a culture and society and have spent two decades unifying their kind. They have the ability to communicate with one another and some have learned a variety of human language. Animals don’t talk do they? In fact there are several species of bird and mammal which can communicate and even assign names to each other within their group. A species of dolphin is known to this as well as the Green Parrotlet in South America which has specific calls for each member of the flock. Emperor penguins can identify the specific call of their hatchlings. And don’t forget that a parrot can mimic human speech. 

That aside, how can a penguin match up against human’s weaponry? They can’t, so things can’t go as the Overlord planned. Or does it?

So who else is involved? Randy and Gina work for a corporation called Global Threat (GT) environmental/Global Technologies. This company has interests in Antarctica and will do anything to protect its Antarctic assets. 

It is 700 pages?! Don’t fret. The story is broken down into bite-sized chapters so you can feel like you accomplished something in saying “I read 5 or 6 chapters of a book today!”

Should I take this story seriously? This story does have a satirical edge to edge it. At times it even mocks the genre and itself. But reading the story you will find yourself involved with the characters, penguin and human alike. The characters are well developed and have a sense of “humanity” which makes them and the story believable. They deal with the emotions that everyone has faced at one time or another. Whether it be grief of loss, love, betrayal, friendship and honor, or facing biased hatred, the characters deal with these situations in their own way. That said, the story and author alike never take themselves too seriously. And in this time of readers facing a never ending slew of vampire novels clogging up the fantasy publishing market, it’s nice to take a break and read something that is original and fun. This may not be Shakespeare or even Clancy or King or Tolkien, but you just might have a little fun escaping to someplace new.  So where can I buy Rise of the Penguins?

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