Poseidon’s Children by Michael West: Lovecraftian Lunacy

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I know that I’ve now done three straight reviews on Michael West’s novels, with a small break for a review on an Evans Light novella, but I tend to really get into a new author who’s been included in my stable of favourites.

Poseidon’s Children is a brilliant Lovecraftian horror story that pays homage to the man who invented horrors that climbed from the sea. Of course the best thing about a Michael West Lovecraftian story is that his characters dialogue will sound real and natural, not like the original H P Lovecraft’s constant problems with dialogue.

The book starts with a young collegiate couple who fall victim to some evil and hungry monstrosity from the sea surrounding the island community of Colonial Bay. After the young man is devoured, his girl almost escapes with the help of a hotel resident who heard her screams.

The hotel resident is named Larry Neuhaus and he is on the island with his girlfriend Peggy trying to save their relationship which is struggling after an ex-girlfriend kills herself.  When he tries to save the girl on the beach, he sees something that looks like a man behind the girl just before she is pulled beneath the waves.

It turns out that the young man who was killed first is the only son of  billionaire gangster Roger Hays who now wants revenge for the death of his only child.

Meanwhile two archeologists have discovered what they believe to be Atlantis. Dr Miyagi and her lover/assistant Alan Everson are being financed by Roger Hays and when their funding is halted because of his personal tragedy they go to offer their condolences and to get the latest check signed so they can continue their exploration.

Once there they find out that Colonial Bay, where Hays’ son was killed, seemingly has links to their discovered underwater metropolis. Miyagi and Everson accompany Hays to the island to find out more about this connection.

We also get to meet Earl L. Preston (who was working for Homeland Security in Spookhouse) and we find out how he made the transition from Coast Guard Officer to law enforcement. He also winds up on the island as part of a murder inquiry.

When this disparate band of people get together on Colonial Bay, they arrive in time to discover the ancient evil that has risen on the island with the express purpose of killing all of humanity.

One of the Lovecraftian creatures in Colony Bay.
One of the Lovecraftian creatures in Colony Bay.

Poseidon’s Children is the first in a series of the Legacy of the Gods stories. I hope that despite his detour to Harmony, Indiana that Agent Preston will be a constant in this new series. He is a great character and one that I really like. I’d also like to think that Larry Neuhaus and his girlfriend will feature in future stories.

I can well imagine that this new series will be quite broad in scope, considering the clues that were revealed at the end of the book, so we may never get the chance to revisit Larry and Peggy as well as their new “family.”

As I wait eagerly for my copy of The Wide Game to arrive from Amazon.co.uk via the post, I’ll keep reading Michael West’s existing books and re-enjoying the great roller coaster rides that his stories take you on.

A welcome addition to any bookcase, whether it be a real or computerised one and a another 5 star book from a 5 star writer.

Author Michael West and a Colony Bay resident.
Author Michael West and a Colony Bay resident.

Travelling Writers? What the Fudge??

Travel Guides
Travel Guides (Photo credit: Vanessa (EY))

I keep finding these blogs on the net by ‘travelling writers‘ and it’s making me a bit sour. Well jealous to be more exact and also a little  puzzled. It appears that all these travelling scribes are being paid for their jaunts. It also appears that they are making a living from it.

What a glorious job! I can’t even begin to imagine how something like that falls in your lap. Or conversely, how you even find employment like that. I don’t mind admitting that I would have killed (or come to think of it, I would kill in the present tense) for a position like that.

I am assuming the the post holders of these globe trotting writers are of the college educated, “I’ve got a degree in journalism, Literature and  English,” variety. They also appear to be quite young. (Trust me I am not ageist, it”s just that at my age anyone under 35 is young in my book.) I’m also a bit confused about how these folks get remunerated for their efforts.

I rather naively thought that everyone who blogged regularly was a lot like me. I don’t mean older with thinning hair and an expanding waist-line, I mean writers who had deserted their passion for the pen and pencil and were trying to come back to their abandoned love. I blog in order to free up my mind and see if I can still string more than two words together in a sentence and not wind up sounding like a jackass.

It has taken me two wives (and two divorces) two children, too many years away from my birth country and too long pissing about with things of no real consequence to realise that I never should have stopped writing. Funny how everything in this ‘literal’ direction of my life falls into the ‘two’ or ‘too’ category.

It took an injury at work to make me realise that I needed to spend my ‘off-duty’ time doing something more creative. I knew that acting was out of the question. I haven’t practised the craft in so long, that I think I’d be hard pressed to remember a single line, let alone blocking and camera angles.  Then there’s the question of scheduling. I don’t think that my ‘9-5’ job would like my ‘hobby’ encroaching on their turf.

So writing seems to be the answer. It was always my first love anyway. I just sort of forgot how to do it.

I retrieved my anciently old ‘Mike’s Writing‘  file folder out of the attic, blew the dust and cobwebs off it and looked at it’s contents. A random collection of short stories, news articles (yes I was published a few times long, long ago, but it was for a USAF newspaper and it didn’t pay squat), and a screenplay that I kept ‘tweaking’ until my tweaking time ran out.

Holding these written antiquities in my hands, I marvelled at how long it had actually been since I had put a blank bit of paper in front of me to fill with ideas and stories. Okay, romanticism aside, I also couldn’t remember the last time I’d sat in front of a black computer screen either. But looking at those old abandoned relics of my imagination, gave me a little buzz of excitement.

I remembered how I felt when I’d written them and then done some superficial editing and read the stories back. I also remembered letting a very small amount of people I trusted read them to see what they thought. Feedback had been good. I also remember not being able to afford the money needed to send manuscripts through the post to publishers who might or might not like my work.

These days, it seems much easier with the new e-books and kindle and their respective counterparts. So  I’ll try it this ‘new’ way and see if anyone else would like to read the fruits of my latest labours. Well, read them when I’ve finished labouring over them.

So here I am, wondering how on earth one becomes a travelling writer and how well it pays.  Not that I’m in the market of course, it’s just that I’d like to know just how jealous of them I need to be.

In the meantime, does anyone know of any job openings?

Writing boxes
Writing boxes (Photo credit: practicalowl)