Tuesday, October 8, 2019

S. Andrew Swann's "Teek: The Children of Prometheus"

Does she have psychic powers? Oh yeah!

Years ago, way back in 1993, I stumbled on the book “Forests of the Night” by S. Andrew Swann. The cover alone, which features an anthropomorphic tiger holding a rather large firearm, was enough to get me to shell out the $4.99.

Put simply, it was amazing. Riffing off the idea of genetically-engineered animal soldiers, Swann crafted a genius story where those animals—or rather their descendants—now found themselves not on the battlefield, but in a post-war society that had no idea what to do with them.

Swann was the first author that I actively sought out and tried to follow online. I loved his website, where he provided a couple of essays for wannabe-authors (just like me!) and when I sent him an email or two, asking questions, he actually responded.

Recently, he’s decided to go indie, and the small press/indie ranks couldn’t have asked for a better member. As an indie, I was very fortunate to join S. Andrew Swann’s street team, and received an advanced reader copy of his latest re-release “Teek: The Children of Prometheus”.  Here’s my review:

There is no point in S. Andrew Swann’s “Teek: The Children of Prometheus” that isn’t wholly believable.  Swann creates original, believable, and relatable characters that could walk through the doorway at any time. While the story itself is set in the 90s, Swann deftly avoids the classic tropes of stuffing his world with nostalgic items. Instead, the story he provides is practically timeless.

The world needs more
anthropomorphic tigers!
Swann’s urban fantasy story centers on Allison Boyle, a pretty average high school girl with pretty average teenage concerns—boyfriend, grades, social circles. There is one catch, of course. Over the last six months Allison has suffered debilitating migraines, often when creepy Chuck is around—and he seems to always be around. When push comes to shove between Chuck and Allison, she lashes out with a power she didn’t know she had—telekinesis, or “teek” for short.

Life for Allison suddenly becomes incredibly complex. Her ability is both wonderful and the root of most of her troubles. She goes from run-of-the-mill high schooler, to fugitive-on-the-run, tracked by men with guns who have “teeks” of their own. Only Allison’s best friend, Macy is able to help her as they start to run across country toward Allison’s father or may or may not be able to keep her out of the clutches of something far more sinister.

All of Swann’s books are extremely real and engaging, and “Teek: The Children of Prometheus” is a wonderful edition to that library. What sets Swann’s books apart from so many others in the urban fantasy/science fiction genre are the rules. He sets up the rules of the world, and then sticks rigidly to them, never giving his characters and easy out. The pacing and flow of the story are expertly crafted by a master as Swann breathes life into every scene. It’s less like reading a book, and much more like watching a real life drama unfold. Readers will love Swann’s attention to detail, the incredibly alive characters, and the overall scope and scale that he creates.

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