Archive for August 1st, 2008

Hex Breaker: A Jain Lazarus Adventure. By Devon Ellington. Published by Firedrakes Weyr Publishing. 2008. Digital Novella, 113 p. $4 as e-book; $6 on CD.

Do you want a paranormal thrill ride of an adventure complete with zombies, gods, and dragons, crackling dialog, a feisty heroine, a strong and stoic hero, a sidekick who’s more than he seems, and a prevailing sense of hope? Then HEX BREAKER’s what you’ve been looking for to fill a few sultry summer hours.

Jain Lazarus is a professional hex breaker. That means she comes in to situations where there’s unexplained paranormal activity and figures it out, working for a semi-secret society. She gets a call from friends working on a film set in Western Massachusetts. Strange things are happening behind the scenes on the film, people are quitting, and everyone is scared. Things have been disappearing and then turning up destroyed; someone smears what looks like blood and brains on the side of the leading lady’s trailer; a rattlesnake is planted in a scene and nearly bites the leading man. A local detective, Wyatt East, who’s more pragmatist than a paranormal believer, arrives on the scene and is immediately suspicious of Jain’s motives and background. When one of the crew members turns into a zombie, attacking his colleagues including the leading man and the sidekick, and Jain stops him via decapitation, East suspects Jain’s behind the trouble out of some twisted need to be a hero. He’s determined to stop her, in spite of his growing attraction to her. Jain is equally determined to stop whatever the film crew’s stirred up, in spite of Wyatt East. How they navigate the conflict between their desires and the need to find a solution before there are any more fatalities creates a fascinating, taut tale. Twists on traditional takes on zombie, demon, and dragon mythology also add an extra boost to this fun, tightly told tale that abounds with strong, smart characters and a fascinating glimpse of what it’s like to work behind the scenes on a film set.

HEX BREAKER is slated to be the first of a series featuring Jain Lazarus. I want the next one soon, and I hope Wyatt, Billy, and the rest of the crew return.

–reviewed by Jean Abbott.

Additional comments:

From Lily: I’m a fan of Ellington’s blog Ink in My Coffee. I followed the process of the novella’s creation in the blog, and think it’s even cooler than I expected!

From Max: I’m officially a fanboy now.

From Kent: Guess I know what I’m reading this weekend.

From Debbe: I don’t really read this genre, but maybe I’ll try a few pages. I’m not promising anything, though.


To purchase HEX BREAKER, go to Firedrakes Weyr Publishing.
To read an excerpt from HEX BREAKER, go to the Hex Breaker website.

Come back on Monday, where we start an interview with Devon Ellington that’s so in-depth and raw that we had to spread it out over a whole month!

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