THE EXODUS GATE
by Stephen Zimmer
· Publisher: Seventh Star Press, LLC; First Edition edition (February 5, 2009)
Paperback: 576 pages
· ISBN-10: 0615267475
· ISBN-13: 978-0615267470
Reviewer: H David Blalock
Synopsis: The Exodus Gate, by Stephen Zimmer, is a modern fantasy novel that is the first release in the Rising Dawn Saga. The story unfolds around Benedict Darwin, host of a popular late night radio show that deals with the paranormal. Benedict comes into possession of a virtual reality simulator that turns out to be something far greater and more powerful than he ever expected. Meanwhile, supernatural powers from the depths of the Abyss and their human allies are working tirelessly to bring about a One World Government. They are also laboring to bridge the boundaries between time and space to bring back the Nephilim, the monstrous offspring of Fallen Avatars and humans that were destroyed in a Great Flood that occurred long ages ago. An epic tale of courage, hope, and adventure, with fantastical realms and exotic creatures, The Exodus Gate is sure to appeal to a wide range of fantasy readers. The first edition also feature 15 full page illustrations by the artist Matthew Perry. (care of Amazon.com)
Review: The end of the world was coming, but almost no one believed it. A fan of Benedict Darwin, host of a late night radio talk show, loans him what is supposed to be the prototype of a new virtual reality game. Darwin soon realizes this is unlike any game ever known when he steps into the device's elaborate harness and is instantly transported into a world where talking wolf-man hybrids called An-Ki are at war with the Nephilim and demons from the Abyss. The creatures he encounters, and the world they inhabit, are not mere computer constructs, images on wire frame. He can feel the ground beneath his feet, the wind on his face, and smell the odors of a different world. Excited, Darwin shows the game to his niece, Arianna, unwittingly making her a player in the drama that is about to unfold.
It rapidly becomes certain that the Gate was designed for more nefarious purposes than mere entertainment. The game is not a game at all, but a Gate through time and space, allowing Darwin to travel to before the Great Flood. His usage of the Gate attracts the attention of the High Avatar Calliel, who wishes to deliver the An-Ki from their watery doom into the modern world. Darwin learns that there are others, Fallen Avatars who have a similar goal in mind: to cheat Adonai of His Plan to rid the world of the evil that has overtaken it by sending themselves and their Nephilim offspring into the future. Darwin and his niece are caught up in a growing conflict between the Fallen Avatars and the An-Ki. Unable to prevent the Gate's use by the Fallen, they work to stop the Nephilim, their Masters and minions from obliterating the An-Ki and taking back the power they lost at the Flood. Stephen Zimmer has given us an epic tale that stretches across millennia and myth. He casts ordinary people in a most extraordinary situation and takes us along for a terrifying and sometimes horrifying ride. The unbridled evil of the Fallen Avatars is echoed in their children, while the An-Ki's noble struggle for survival is often heartbreaking. The hope offered by the presence of the High Avatar Calliel is the only thing that might carry the An-Ki through – if their internal discord can be contained.
The first book of the Rising Dawn Saga, The Exodus Gate is a promising beginning to what will probably be a thrilling trilogy in a style that is a cross between Clark Ashton Smith and C.S. Lewis for its usage of mythic and religious symbols in a fantastic mixture of the ancient and modern worlds. ((Thanks to H. David Blalock’s Blog, PURE REASON, for the Review))
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Biography (care of Amazon Author Bio)
Born in Denver, Colorado, Stephen Zimmer is an award-winning fantasy author and filmmaker based out of Lexington, Kentucky. Stephen has two series being published through Seventh Star Press.
One is the epic fantasy Fires in Eden Series (which includes Crown of Vengeance, the winner of a 2010 Pluto Award for Best Novel). The series stands at two titles with the third being released in late spring 2012.
The other is an epic-scale urban fantasy series, The Rising Dawn Saga. This series stands at three titles, with the fourth scheduled for release in winter of 2012/2013.
Both series are now affiliated with two growing collections of eBook short stories. The Chronicles of Ave short stories are set in the world revealed in the Fires in Eden Series, while the Annals of the Rising Dawn short stories are set in the world of the Rising Dawn Saga.
His other published short fiction includes the short stories "In the Mountain Skies" and "An Island Sojourn" in the Dreams of Steam I and II steampunk anthologies (edited by Kimberly Richardson), from Kerlak Publishing.
As a filmmaker, Stephen has credits in fantasy and horror, including the supernatural thriller Shadows Light (feature), The Sirens (horror short film), and Swordbearer (fantasy short film featuring a special appearance by former WWE wrestler Al Snow, and based upon the H. David Blalock novel Ascendant.)