Wednesday, February 21, 2018

Book Review: 'Dagger' by Walt Popester

Author Walt Popester lives in Italy though he has traveled all around the world. Now he creates dark fantasies that apparently were initiated by the experiences, visions, tastes, smells, cultures and people met during his journeys.

Walt is a unique writer, unafraid to trip into wild arenas of incredible concepts and still keep is reader reeled into the story at hand. AS he states, ‘the struggle between good and evil is not clear, nor easily identifiable. It is a tormented process, internal to the protagonist, with an outcome difficult to predict. I do not sell pre-cooked messages to the reader. I decided to create a text that would be open to multiple interpretations.’ And yes, multiple interpretations are here – choose the direction you wish the story to explore and you have a solid guide to take you there – or not, depending on how Walt decides to roll his eyes and make us ponder alternative.

His synopsis hints at the venture ahead: ‘Son of a god. Raised as a rogue. Hidden from everyone. Searched for by everybody. The power within is waking up. Are you ready? Dagger is a street kid, growing up in a city ruled by a brutal totalitarianism. He came into the world through a blasphemous ritual to resurrect his father. Too bad the father in question is a bloodthirsty god whose soul was banished at the dawn of time. The boy is hidden in a guild of rogues, where an albino girl is the only person in the world who does not consider him a monster because of his red eyes. One night the Gorgors, servants of the exiled god and incarnation of the deepest nightmares, set fire to the entire city to flush him out, and Dagger realizes that there is no refuge for him. Soon, he will realize that no one can fight against himself.’

Walt brews his story with mysticism, horror, and sheer fantasy – but the reason his book works so well is the ever-present smirky humor and naughty dialogue he drops into every circumstance he describes. And that is why he is going to succeed: he creates fantasy that become near credible and then laughs – and so do we. Grady Harp, November 15

Editor's note: This review has been published with the permission of Grady Harp. Like what you read? Subscribe to the SFRB's free daily email notice so you can be up-to-date on our latest articles. Scroll up this page to the sign-up field on your right.

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