Monday, November 7, 2016

Monday Musings with Jessica Lauryn and a Review of Price of Vengeance by Kurt D. Springs

As I was reading Price of Vengeance by Kurt D. Springs (a fabulous novel, which I’ll be reviewing in just a moment!) and watching the Star Wars Marathon on TBS last weekend, I decided it might be fun to give a nod to the villainous heroes who, like Anakin Skywalker, do not reform, but in fact go on the become the villain in a subsequent story.  Of course, I write and read primarily in the romance genre, as do the vast majority of my writer and reader friends, and I’ve been told, by some, that they found parts of Star Wars Episode 3: Revenge of the Sith to be rather corny, particularly with regards to the romance.  But whether you loved the movie or otherwise, Anakin serves as a perfect example of a hero who is plagued by demons, demons that shape the person that he later becomes.  Though Anakin does of course become the villain he in the end, no one can dispute that he is a complicated character who starts off as good and innocent, and, though the battle he fights is extremely misguided he is fighting for the people he loves.  Anakin’s inner demons provide for plenty of conflict in the next three movies, and of course, a very interesting character you can’t help but watch, all the while hoping that he will see the light and get back to being the hero he was meant to be.

Some of my local writer friends may remember that I taught a workshop a couple of years back, titled, Reforming the Former Villain: Does he have what it takes to be a Hero?  I greatly enjoyed creating this workshop, which focuses on villains in past stories, who reform to become the hero in a later book in a series.  I love reading and writing about these complex alpha heroes who may, incidentally, reform during the course of one story, or several.  In romance, we always see a happy ending and so, as a writer, I strive to create as many happy endings as I can for as many couples as possible.  The more demons the hero has to overcome first, the better, I say, because it is highly satisfying to see a hero, and heroine, come out on top, when they’ve had tremendous obstacles to overcome.  Oftentimes, conflicts of the mind can be an even greater challenge to overcome than physical and circumstantial challenges can.  Though unlike in the idealistic world of romance, in science fiction, a hero may not always get his happily ever after.  It’s a matter of preference to readers what they like to read best but I do find villainous heroes to be very fascinating characters across the board.

My review of Price of Vengeance by Kurt D. Springs - 5 Stars! 


An interesting, well written story!  Though I don’t generally read science fiction, I was instantly pulled in by the author’s voice and vivid descriptions, which are consistent throughout the book.  Orphaned after witnessing the death of his parents, hero Liam is adopted by the High Councilor Marcus and his wife, who raise him along with their biological son, Randolph. Year later, Liam and Randolph become members of the colony's military. The chitin, who killed Liam's parents, are attacking once again, and Liam realizes that the insects are being driven by an alien intelligence.  To defeat them, he must learn how to use his powers.  

Price of Vengeance is full of adventure and suspense. It’s set in a futuristic time in which the human race has been genetically modified and to have super powers.  The book is true to its title.  Liam has been greatly affected by his parents’ death and his inner battle for revenge, and his overcoming that battle, shapes him to become the hero he does.

Springs strikes an excellent balance between world creation and character development. He paints a vivid picture, while simultaneously developing and executing a strong plot.  This book was hard to put down!

Kurt D. Springs is an author to keep an eye on!  I can’t wait to read Promise of Mercy!

Happy reading and beautiful fantasies!

~Jessica Lauryn

I had a fabulous time with my fellow New Jersey Romance Writers this Saturday at the Jersey Girl Brewery!  Thank you to everyone who came out and made it a great day!

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