Sunday, July 31, 2011

Mythologies of Tower of Parlen Min + Giveaway!

Hey everyone, and a super-thanks to Precious for allowing this unknown Matt Xell character to do guest post on her blog! And today I thought I'd talk about how I use mythologies in my books.

Everlon is the fictional world setting in The Narrow Escapes of Ves Asirin series of books. When the world of Everlon fully formed (well almost fully) in my head, I decided that Elohim, the God of the Hebrews (the christians, muslims and jews too ... though he goes by another name in those religions) would be it's sole creator.

But because I wanted Everlon to be a world where the things we think are supernatural, mythical and impossible in our world, Earth, (e.g ghosts, spectres, talking animals, angels, Jinns, magic etc.) are widely accepted as reality there (fine ... I did away with stuff like vampires, werewolves and fairies). So I decided to include some things I loved about Greek, Norse, Aztec, Celtic, Egyptian, African, Arabian, Indian, Chinese and Japanese mythologies either as factual events, cultural origins, misinterpretations of historical events, folklore or fables.

The best example would be how I merged Greek and Norse mythologies to come up with an origin for the Scandinavians; a race of powerful, elf-like, High-spirited people that reside on a vast sky-continent.  

In Everlon's world history, and in the Orem Church's Bible, the Scandinavians, then called the Olympians, were orignally a vast congregation of High-spirited people that resided on the island of Atlantis (now called the U.A.S). About a thousand years after the Great Flood, the Olympians, who were also the originators of all technology, travelled the world, preached and convinced greater human populace help them build the Tower of Babel in Atlantis, the center of the world at the time. The Tower,  a colossal structure that reached past the world's atmosphere,  would be (the Olypians claimed) a beacon and a symbol that would keep all men united under the rule of God.

But this was nothing but a great deception. The truth is that the Olympians were secretly plotting to go to war with Elohim and his angels. The Tower of Babel was, in actuality, a technological device designed to open a portal to Havenol: the Kingdom of God. God himself reached out of the angel realm and destroyed this Tower before its completion, splitting Atlantis in two and killing most of the Olympian race. He put the surviving Olympians on land he tore from the moon; the Scandinavian continent, and bound them to it to separate them from the greater human race. Elohim instated his Regent Angels to control and restrict human destiny after this, and though this rule was later lifted after Jesu (Jesus Christ in our world) came to Everlon, the Scandinavians were not allowed to rule themselves.

Odin and Thora became the first king and queen of the new Scandinavian Kingdom; they named the capital-state Asgarte ( a play on the Norse Asgard).

It was a misinterpretation of these events that would inspire Everlon's Homer; a struggling greek poet, to write his Greek God Chronicles where it is was his fictional god, Zeus, that destroyed the Olympians.

Another biblical and historical event that would inspire Homer's tales was the day that the Kero'ei Joshua prayed to Elohim, asking him to stop the world from spinining and time stand still during one of Israel's wars. Homer would reiterate this event as the Greek god of time, Chronus having lost his bone of ages on that day; the bone of ages being a sceptre like device that turns the Zodiac wheel and time itself. It is this story that is the basis of the 11th chapter Task Two: Helios and Selene in Tower of Parlen Min.

Cheers and thanks for readin'

Matt Xell

Giveaway: 3 Ebooks of Tower of Parlen Min by Matt Xell

Ves Asirin wins a trip to the Tower of Parlen Min. There, with 19 other children, he competes in the Sword Challenge; a series of puzzles and tasks, for $12 million. As fantastic and glorious as the tower seems to be, Ves finds that it keeps a dark and secret history that he has been connected to for over 150 years, a secret that will define his destiny ... if he can escape 'The shadow'.

Matt is so generous to offer 3 ebooks of his novel to 3 lucky readers of Fragments of Life.


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Review: Hunted by DJ Desmyter

Book Description via Goodreads:

Seventeen-year-old Lily Atwater has always kept to herself, living a lonely life with her workaholic dad. Not the most thrilling life, but it’s quiet and ordinary, two things she’s come to expect from living in Victor Hills, Michigan.
When kind and mysterious Alex takes refuge in her home, she is suddenly thrown into his world of werewolves, a world he wants to keep her safe from. But while the two of them grow closer, a relentless hunter continues his search, stalking the woods with hopes of catching the wolf that got away…

Source: DJ Desmyter (Thank you!)

My Thoughts:

First and foremost, I loved the prologue and the beginning of the book. The scenes were haunting, intense and intriguing. It began with Alex waking up in a cage after being separated with the rest of his family. He was naked, wounded and utterly alone. Although he was beginning to heal, he was still weak. DJ’s version of a werewolf was one of the simplest and most human I’ve ever encountered. They turn into wolves, have super senses but are still undeniably human. I like that the humanity was preserved unlike in most novels wherein werewolves were more animalistic. The gene curse-slash-gift concept was maintained, as well as the formation of packs.

The story revolved around Alex and Lily’s lives. Their relationship was smooth-sailing, as if they were made for each other. I was reminded of Shiver by Maggie Stiefvater at times, with the couple lost in their own world near the woods, as well as with the inkling to art. They were cute, not too cheesy and not too clingy. DJ knew how to balance the romance. The alternating perspectives were successful in letting me see the whole picture. Their doubts, worries and likes all matched perfectly.

The reversal of the roles of hunter and prey – hunter and werewolf – was one of the things that I really liked about Hunted. Seeing a werewolf vulnerable to hunters and how their lives could be affected, ruined and even ended by these people sought revenge was saddening. But the way that Alex and Lily’s family coped and helped each other was touching. Their dedication and their strong family ties were admirable.

Hunted is a beautiful and romantic collision of the lives of two people in an unexpected moment. Filled with love, grief, revenge and hope, Hunted will appeal to paranormal readers and romance readers.