Monday, May 21, 2012

CSFF Blog Tour: Beckon by Tom Pawlik

An anthropologist, a scientist, and an Indian guide go to visit an old wise man about some strange markings and a cave legend. The old man looks at them and warns them not to go into the caves, that evil lurks there.

Of course they go anyway. Beckon, by Tom Pawlik, explores what happens next in a familiar yet creepy story of monsters and would-be immortals. Reading it was a bit like watching an old episode of X-files or watching a Saturday afternoon sci-fi flick. Even though I was rarely surprised by the plot or characters, I just had to keep reading to watch the whole thing play out. Such novels are like science fiction comfort food, right down the satisfying squish of monstrous exoskeletons crunching under our hero's boots. I read it-- even in the drive thru, to the amusement of the doughnut lady. I enjoyed it. I'd recommend it to anyone who wants to spend an afternoon or two in some paranormal escapism, though if you read it too late into the night you may be checking under your bed for you know what.

That said, I felt that Pawlik misses the bigger story that lurks just in the shadows beyond what he explores on the page. Beckon examines just how far people will go to avoid death, and the horrific ways that quest can enslave them, but the author rarely slows down to let this examination hit home. We're hustled from one viewpoint to the next, one life-or-death moment for the next, a rollercoaster that makes great adrenaline reading but doesn't really create a strong bond with these characters whose lives-- and souls-- are on the line. . I did, however, find at least one of his Christian characters quite compelling and felt that her story arc was one of the most elegant of the entire book. I wished he could have explored her journey in more detail.

So, my two cents is: read this to revel in a bit of good old-fashioned man-vs-monster storytelling. Just sit back on the couch, close the blinds, and ignore the strange tapping sound at the dark end of your hall.....

To find out more about Tom Pawlik, check out his website and his blog

Or head over to Amazon and read Beckon for yourself.

If you want to hit a few other stops on the review tour, you can find more about the book at these other sites:

; Noah Arsenault
; Julie Bihn
; Thomas Clayton Booher
Thomas Fletcher Booher
; Beckie Burnham
; Brenda Castro
; Theresa Dunlap
; Nikole Hahn
; Ryan Heart
; Bruce Hennigan
; Janeen Ippolito
; Becky Jesse
; Jason Joyner
; Carol Keen
; Leighton
; Rebekah Loper
; Katie McCurdy
; Shannon McDermott
Rebecca LuElla Miller
; Nissa
; Joan Nienhuis
; Faye Oygard
; Crista Richey
; Kathleen Smith
; Jessica Thomas
; Steve Trower
; Fred Warren
; Shane Werlinger

The Big Fat Disclaimer: I got this book for free with the intent of reviewing it and sharing my two cents.


Rebecca LuElla Miller said...

Excellent article, Karen. I found myself thinking about the issues involved, the morality of it all. I think the characters asked too, in between running for their lives. But mostly they asked the antagonist rather than asking themselves. They didn't really wrestle with their decisions--sort of made them only to regret them later. It didn't pass on the full effect of what was going on, I don't think.

Is Myrtle the character who you would have liked to follow more?


Nissa Annakindt said...

I pretty much liked the book, but didn't really bond intensely with the characters.

Nathan said...

First, good article.

Second, I've been hearing a lot lately about "blog tours." What are they? How do they work?