Monthly Archives: November 2015
There is a saying that exists – “Like attracts like” and, while simplistic in its expression, it is profound in so many other ways. It is the first thing that springs to mind when I think of Suikoden and its loyal fan base.
Perhaps the most unique aspect of the Suikoden series is the strong implementation of morals and values it instills in its storylines. Very often, the main character must make difficult decisions which result in tragic sacrifice; betrayal is not an uncommon theme, but very often such betrayal is not done with the intent to be cruel or selfish; this only serves to highlight the fantastic complexity of characters in this series. Emotion is an important aspect of Suikoden; courage vs cowardice, noble vs dishonour, strength vs weakness. And as emotion is such a crucial focal point of human existence, it is only natural that people who are particularly drawn to such feelings and challenges should be drawn to one another. This, from my experience and observations, is what has brought together the Suikoden family.
Like most families, the Suikoden family has its own share of values and beliefs: loyalty, honour, and the courage to stand up and do what’s right. They are qualities which, in a day and age where self-serving materialism and opportunistic gain lie at the heart of so many, are few and far between. This game has not only brought us hours of joyous play, bestowed us with some of the most beautiful music to grace our ears or tugged at every emotion imaginable; it has provided us with a community of like-minded thinkers and doers; people who embody attributes of the series itself. They are passionate people, dedicated people, courageous people; they have a strong sense of justice, a desire to make a difference and an innate thirst to do what’s right in a world where, so often, things go wrong. They are the type of people who will not sit idly by and do nothing in the face of corruption. They are, in essence, a reflection of the very games that stole their hearts.
The Suikoden family come from all walks of life; different nationalities, different races, different religions, different social backgrounds. They can be the best of friends or the worst of enemies; they can arrange delightful get-togethers, relishing in one another’s company; or they can fight like cat and dog, as many families do. Anyone can join this family and new additions are welcome with open arms. I do not believe I speak only for myself when I say that Suikoden changed me as a human being in more ways than one; this is the phenomenal power of the games and it is a feature that so many of us share.
And now, on the 20th Anniversary of our beloved series, the Stars of Destiny have gathered once more in a family reunion, a community rich with passion which does Suikoden itself justice. I am proud, as ever, to be able to say I am a part of it.
London – a city of the arts, vibrancy and multiculturalism. A place famous for its scattered landmarks and home to some of the most affluent individuals, both living and deceased. From the Dickensian streets to the regal abode of Buckingham Palace, this is one metropolis that has lain at the heart of many tourists’ desires, a place rich in history which very often holds out a welcoming hand to those who wish to explore its wealth of diversity, as they mingle with Londoners and residents alike.
But imagine a time where the attractions of this charismatic city vanish. Where thugs and hooligans rule the roost. Where ordinary citizens are afraid to leave their homes for fear of being attacked or murdered.Where a decline in morals and basic respect for our fellow man takes a dramatic tumble. And where, in the early twenty-third century, a fourth English Civil War brews menacingly under the surface, leading towards a clash of blood and fire that has not been seen since the dark days of the Cavaliers and Roundheads.
In the sequel to my debut novel, ‘How the Wolf Lost Her Heart’ this is the grim reality of a future London. ‘How the Tiger Faced His Challenge’ is the second book in my Young Adult Dystopian series and focusses on the inevitable war between the Renzo stronghold in the west and the Pearson family in the east. This book is darker than the first and much more sinister, but it is a roller-coaster of honour, love and betrayal that is guaranteed to set your heart pumping. Since its release in 2014, ‘How the Wolf Lost Her Heart’ has done extremely well, garnering praise and fans around the world and currently sitting with over 70 5* and 4* reviews on Amazon.com, Amazon.co.uk and Amazon.ca. Now, the story of Morphers Skye Archer and Raphael Renzo continues in this exciting, action-packed sequel. Right now, the Kindle book sits at $3.00 for the American and Canadian versions and £1.99 for the UK version. Do get your hands on a paperback copy if you can though – it’s entirely worth it, if only for the striking cover! Below is an excerpt from the novel – enjoy!
‘There was a sudden, explosive bang outside which caused everyone to jump.
“What was that?” said Ricardo, alarmed.
Another ear-splitting boom blasted off in the distance, far more deafening than a clap of thunder and much more sinister. Every man in the room leapt to his feet. Seconds later, several more bangs followed. Raphael dashed to the window, his eyes darting frantically around outside to see if he could get a clue of what had made the noises.
“What the hell’s going on?” he exclaimed.
And then they heard it. The horn.
It was an ancient variation of a bugle horn that had been in the Renzo family for generations, dating all the way back to the 1600’s during the time of the English Civil War when Oliver Cromwell and his Roundheads had fought King Charles I and his Cavaliers. Raphael’s oldest of ancestors had been a general in the Cavalier Army; it was said that he had died in battle having leapt in front of the king himself, taking a bullet to the chest. The general had been honoured by the king with a memorial plaque (which was later desecrated and demolished by the Roundheads after the execution of the king) and this bugle horn, which was formally presented to the general’s family. For centuries, it remained the most precious of family heirlooms and, in recent times, Lord Renzo had announced that when the time came for arms to be taken against the Pearsons, or when the enemy launched their attack, the horn would be blown, amplified by modern-day technological equipment so the blasts would echo across the entire city.
Now, this same horn resounded throughout the City of London. It penetrated the eardrum of every man, woman and child; and for those within the Renzo stronghold, there was only one possible conclusion they could come to.
“This means…” said Raphael, his voice trailing off.
“Yes,” said Trey, sounding gritty and determined.
They stared round at one another, realization sinking in.
The war had begun.’
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