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ISBN: 9780997296808
Publisher: Weasel Press
Publication Date: 2016-05-06
Number of pages: 132
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  • Regular price $26.94

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In Brinwood, few come out alive. The community of this town is forced to survive under the control of harsh religious fanatics. Traitors are murdered and displayed as a warning to keep their subordinates brainwashed and worshiping. Casper was living outside of Brinwood as an exile, told never to return, but when he received word that has family was in danger, he snuck through the border in hopes to save them. Will he be able to escape the cold grip of their leadership?

Review from Yellow Chair Press, by Susan Summers:

"Brinwood by R.K. Gold is a short novel that reads like part of a longer series. The action begins from the opening sentence when the main character, Casper Delirium, receives a forbidden phone call from his mother telling him his brother is dead. Casper is decisive and commits to an immediate plan of action. He leaves everything and breaks his political exile to return to Brinwood.

Brinwood is a city that has been taken over by religious fanatics and is separated by fences and patrols along the perimeter. The hero is on a quest to rescue his mother who has been cowed by fear and religious rhetoric and his sister, Macy, who is a strong, fierce and deadly young woman around fifteen years old. Through many twists, Casper finally realizes that Macy understands the culture she endures better than he does.

The two main antagonists are the leader of the Double Black Sash cult, Dorn Hackshire, and his sadistic teenage granddaughter, Milly. Milly is deceptive, treacherous and unpredictable. She has unique traits that make her a perfect evil villain.

Gold’s writing highlights the empty desperation of living under cult control as in this passage:

"Now only four blue chairs and a pale, skinny coffee table occupied a room once full of life. The sliding glass door that used to lead to the backyard was boarded up. I didn’t even want to see what happened to the vegetable garden.”

Gold is also an environmentalist and poet. He uses poetic language in an unexpected, unobtrusive way and hints at his passion for environmental issues. Both of those influences are evident is this passage;

“…Dorn took a deep breath and looked out at the water. The moon reflected off the surface and illuminated the beach. “I always wished we could’ve saved this lake,” he added. “When I was younger I used to make some of the most fantastic sand castles. Truly, they were a sight to see. My sister- rest her soul- used to compete with me to see who’s castle could last longer during high tide. She would-“

This story is fast paced. It contains several highly choreographed fight scenes and some good dialogue. I liked the strong female characters and the fact that the girl who needed “rescuing” ended up being the heroine in most regards. The writing is crisp with few embellishments to interfere with the tempo.

I was left wanting to know more about how Brinwood became a separate, self-run government, how the sister became a skilled fighter, and more background about how and exactly why Casper was exiled. I hope R.K. Gold will continue this story as part of a series and answer some of these questions."

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