Tuesday, February 24, 2015

Book Review: Tales of a Tesla Ranger: A Tribute to PG Holyfield

Tales of a Tesla Ranger: A Tribute to PG Holyfield

Edited By:  Tee Morris & Valerie Griswold-Ford

Publish Date:  December 5, 2014

Format:  ebook

Genre:  Fantasy

Series:  Stand alone anthology (but some of the stories are in worlds already created)

Recommendation:  By reading this you will get amazing stories of magic, ghosts, sea, clockworks and steampunk, and so much more.

P G Holyfield. Award-nominated podcaster. Award-winning author. Voice talent. Friend. Father.

Patrick was all these things and so much more to the people featured in this volume. His tragic loss to cancer was not only felt within his family and friends in North Carolina, but coast-to-coast from Virginia to California, and around the world from England to New Zealand. He was a voice we knew, a friend we loved, and this collection of stories — many of them inspired by, featuring, and written by P G Holyfield — stands as his legacy. He touched us all, and we will miss him.

All proceeds from this anthology will go to the Patrick Holyfield's Childrens Trust, benefiting his daughters.

Featuring stories from PG Holyfield, Jared Axelrod, K T Bryski, Jack Mangan, Nathan Lowell, Chris Lester, Tee Morris, Scott Roche, Allen Sale, Christiana Ellis, Kate Sherrod, and Philippa Ballantine

Purchase At:

My Thoughts and Summary:
You get so much for your buck here. You get 13 novella stories here along with poems and more. By reading this you will get amazing stories of magic, ghosts, sea, clockworks and steampunk, and so much more. You will also get to meet a kind soul in words of those who knew and loved him along with words of his own that will live on through time.

This book was a hit for me. There were some surprises and moments when I realize the one story is related to a series (or two) that I've read. All these stories can be read at any time and do NOT have to be read with the series they are related too. They very well could bring new series and authors to your attention though. A taste of everything is found here.

The kind words inter-weaved through the book on P.G. Holyfield are heartfelt. I smiled at a few and sniffled at another. But it is a great way to remember an amazing person. These stories are all tribute to him and what he brought to the world, in one way or another. And amazing stories.

Through the Dark Glass by Jared Axelrod
The Tesla Ranger Holyfield is unusually late for the American Cryptozoological & Exploration Society meeting. The meeting is of severed giant tentacles...found on a beach. They are going to look for the giant squid they belong too, lead by one who's seen it.

A moment is spent on a subject that could be pondered over for a long time and discussed with others. I liked this topic. Upon arriving at the meeting Holyfield sees Grace. She asks if she really sees herself in the mirror. Holyfield says it's 'just a shiny patch of darkness'.

We join a team of people around P.G. that are talented and hold their own secrets. P.G. is the one to see his side of people, and easily accepts them all and they accept themselves.

The story is a kind of a 10,000 Leagues Under the Sea feel to it. There is double crossing and fighting to go along with the nifty tools! There is a little bit of everything in this story - clockworks, flying transportation, large creations, and science.

The Guide by Valerie Griswold-Ford
(A Pendragon Casefiles Short Story)
Malcolm is worried about Sapphire Pendragon while she's in the Ghostlands. Malcolm is looking to interview a ghost guide.

Valerie nailed it with this story! This is it's own story that can be read without reading the first book. And just enough here to give you drops of what happened and have you WANT to go to that story now. Oh, I thoroughly enjoyed this one. I liked the idea here with the ghost setting. I want to read more in this world!!

We get the full story from a few views. We see Sapphire is special, and likes the freedom she has when roaming the Ghostlands alone and not under constant supervision. And now she's losing that too. But she knows she needs to learn how to protect herself (after the last trip in).

Patrick shows up in the story. The Ghostlands aren't all that safe and Sapphire realizes there is so much she has no clue about in this world. She gets her first taste in lessons this time as well.

There are drops of anothe story and I want to read it NOW! lol. And now, I'm curious about Sapphire's soul!

The Lighthouse Keeper by Jack Mangan
(written for P.G. Holyfield's Land of Caern)
Master Hardraada has returned as his number one apprentice killed his late pet kraken. Godwin had adopted Jillian as her father and now they see each other after years past, in way of battle. However, Godwin has other plans, the rift that lets the dark creatures in (and Master Hardraada's pets for his carnival) is becoming more trouble than he had known.

We get two stories in one! We learn about now and twenty-two years prior. We learn how Master Hardraada learned of Godwin and why. We then see the attachment that grew.

This is an interesting setting as Master Hardraada has a traveling Carnival with many dark and mysteriously dangerous pets. There is a terrible danger in the land, threatening to overtake all.

There are strange creatures and a hint of magic present in the land of Caern and all are present here in this story. Along with the struggles of a Child of Az who walks the land in the flesh.

Sonnets by Kate Sherrod
These are two short ballads in honor of Patrick

Flinchy and the Mexican Show Truck by Patrick McLean & P.G. Holyfield
P.G. and Patrick tell of their golf outing... and oh so much more.

This is something that starts out as a complete possibility on the golf course, then takes a crazy left hook and becomes a fun story. Leave it to the wild imaginations of creative authors. lol.

This story was so much fun to read. I could hear the seriousness and sarcasm in their voices as I read this. It sounds like a great story to enjoy and laugh at, and laugh I did. This is definitely a tall tale for the golf record books. lol.

The Astonishing Amulet of Amenartas by Nathan Lowell
(Tales of the Archives story)
Agent Heathcliff Durham is sent to meet with Tesla Ranger Holyfield in Africa to look for a man who the director of Ministries is concerned will be 'intending trouble with the natives'. A large group of 53 men was found dead after reporting the necklace of blue glowing stones with a pair of men they meet. And there is a history of large groups or villages being slaughtered over many years past. The agents travel for six weeks, on the verge of ends rope ~ Heathcliff's tea is running out and Holyfield's gin is dwindling ~ heading back to civilization to contact The Ministry, they finally come across a clue. A young boy who is missing a leg still living in a village where all others were brutally murdered. Will both the agents make it home? And from the attracting powers of the blue jeweled necklace?

This is a tale from the Archives that has been slightly adjusted to include P.G. as a character here.

This story does have the presence of fighting and blood. I did enjoy it. And we have neat steampuck items ever present again in this podcast. Heathcliff has a new mysterious steam trunk that he guides along behind him, but it kind of has a way of walking about with the use of steam boilers inside. Nifty tools mentioned here when comparing and then off to fight with too.

Outside Help by Scott Roche
Holyfield, Tesla Ranger, is in the Badlands to help Martial Susan with a weird case. Susan's not pleased to have the known Holyfield in her territory, but those up the chain have sent him here. Cattle went missing then a boy and farm hands. The strange flying object that people have seen is thought to be connected.

Oh wow! This is where we learn the specialty of the Tesla Ranger. So cool!! And where the name Tesla Ranger came from.. Oh yeah! You'll want to read this one.

This story had a Steampunk Cowboys and Aliens feel for me. I sooooo enjoyed the surprises in this story! I could keep reading stories of the Tesla Ranger forever. Thank you Scott!

Holyfield is wonderful at sticking to his word. He said he wasn't here to be in her way or make her look incompetent. He partners with Susan well. And, if anything, he makes her look great (even though is is already awesome at her job).

From the Ashes by P.C. Haring
(in the world of Ciris)
Chen Min-Weh is on a field operation. She doesn't do field work as she's comfortable in the office, working remotely. The hand picked team she's on left in the plane with little intelligence due to the quickness needed to respond. Someone is plotting to bring down the Global Telecommunication Satellite Network. Avedon, Chen's call name, is along as it's suspected to shut the network down they will do so by remote access - where Avedon specializes.

Another story in this book that I enjoyed! Chen doesn't want to be here, and even freezes. But she knows there is an importance to the mission and has to act. She grows in this short story.

P.C. is wonderful at balancing tech and action. Never do I feel as he's baffled my mind with words I'm not sure of what they refer to in the world of technology. Thank you!

Oh my. For a short story there is so much here. I loved the action and felt so bad for Chen. Then I felt excitement to see Ciris show up. Oh the brief moment and connection to Ciris is awesome! Will we see Chen in Ciris's next book? I do hope so and look forward to it!

Selfies by Allen Sale
This is a series of self portraits done through poetry. Some are of younger others of older and their past that lead them to where they are now. These are interesting as it's a mix of fantasy people; a pirate, a dragon, a shaman, a raving lunatic and more.

I'm not much of a poetry person, but these are quick sections that draw the picture of a moment or a life of the being telling. The last one, The Looking Glass, was one I really liked the connection of through it's telling.

Nemesis by Chris Lester
Master looks out over his city, irritated the elegant building he was orchestrating has grown still. But could Master be his own stumbling stone? Master then receives news of his nemesis...

Sometimes one's nemesis can bring out the best in someone. And that is the case for Master. This is a tale of one worlds creator learning of the fate of his nemesis and his reaction.

This story is a heartfelt reaction, and one that touches my heart as it is of the author and Holyfield, the wizened masters of their worlds. There even seems to be a moral bedded in this short tale. Very sweet read.

Queen Of Hearts by P.G. Holyfield
(featuring a character created by J.R. Blackwell - Dr. Mercury)
We meet Dr. Mercury. She's here on Earth and having a boring day. Jack has returned for vengeance...

Dr. Mercury is a supervillian. We see when she's "visited" by Queen and Jack, twin team of heroes. Dr. Mercury doesn't play around, she acts, but doesn't try to make it last to long. Only a little bit so she's not bored again. She is realistically cruel. lol. Yet she loves the game that comes with heroes attacking her. Dr. Mercury is an alien blood-sucking vampire.

Two stories in one. Now and what lead up to this point.

Wow! Didn't see that coming! Surprise! Great tale. Ew gross, but perfect.

In the Beginning by Philippa Ballantine
(A Chronicle of the Order story)
Life is hard and death is harder here in the highlands, but what death they find next is the worst. Myra was enjoying her early spring day with her flock of sheep, son, and two dogs. Following out a harsh winter the predators were on the prey, when suddenly wolves of strange behavior show, threatening her family. When Myra goes to get the healer what she finds... is death and loss and a question of why.

A view of the Break through an innocents eyes. Philippa brings the feel of worry and strange new in a world to the front for the people. New fears surface, and a far worse death than any could expect. This is a short story into Myra's life. It keeps you here, wanting to learn.  The things of campfire stories to scare children come to life... Geists now appear along with Geistlords.  What happens this night breaks Myra's thoughts on the religion she was raised on.  The world has changed and she has experienced it first hand.

Message in a Bottle by Tee Morris
(featuring a character created by P.J. Schnyder - in Tales from the Archives stories)
Sylvester is in America to see Miss Mabel Danvers. She has asked for someone from Miggin's Antiquities to authentisize the ruby she will be purchasing tomorrow, to go with the set of glowing gems she already has. When Sylvester reads the papers in his case file, sent by Wellington Books, on the Trinity Stones, things become more than expected on this 'simple' mission.

A Ministery Story!! It's always wonderful to get a Ministry tale.

Ah-ha! What a tie-in with the Tesla Ranger, OS&M, and Ministry along with a previous story in the archives. It was interesting to see the matching of the British agency and Tesla Ranger style in this story. Mystery, suspense, and action with a variety of weapons. Worth the read!

P.G. Holyfield's Magnificent Travelling Spectacular by K.T. Bryski
She does as she does most nights, stares at the dark walls while in bed as anxiety sets in. Tonight though, there are color lights glowing through the window that draws her attention. She looks out the window and is surprised to what she sees. A circus tent. Curiousity sets in and she goes to have a look.

The master of the circus lulls her with his voice. The words he tells creates an image that seems to calm her. When she wakes she's at home, and as the day goes she needs to see the Master of the circus again. He's here for three nights. Each night she goes and each night enjoying his voice and the stories of the God Az and Caern.

As you can guess, P.G. is the circus master and he is sharing his stories with the girl. In doing so he has shown the girl there are other things in the world one can do. He brings out a side to the girl that the girl didn't realize she had, and wants to investigate that imaginative side more. A door in her mind has been opened. She's ready to travel with her new friend to learn the ways of the creative world.

This was a bitter sweet story. I loved seeing the girl grow and come to realize that she is creative and can do the craft of world weaving. But...

Enjoyable moment in a persons life as they see beyond the walls of what life is suppose to be.

Death, Taxes, and Scott Sigler by P.G. Holyfield
While at a convention did you ever think of using the service elevators? (to avoid the crowds and broken guest elevators) P.G. has. And who joins him is more than he ever knew or expected.

LOL!! His imagination runs wild like all ours would when waiting and doing something you shouldn't do. This was so fun to read! I laughed. Then there was a serious moment that brings a reality to a crafty fun read. And the way P.G. writes Seigler! It's just awesome. (also makes me want to read Seigler's books.)

Between all these stories are several heart-filled memories with P.G. I hope by reading these you will get to see a glimpse of the kind person he was.

Prelude by Pamela L. Gay.
Interludes by:  Christiana Ellis, Nutty Nuchtchas, Chooch Schubert, Diana Schubert,


Blodeuedd said...

Knew this would be good for you :)

Carole Rae said...

Glad you like it! Sounds better then the cover looks.

Melissa (My World...in words and pages) said...

Yeah, it was, Blodeuedd. :) I loved all the stories here. A few slower moments, but still loved it. :) Thank you.

Melissa (My World...in words and pages) said...

Oh Carole Rae, soooo much better than the cover looks. :) Really a great read. :)