August 18, 2009

Blog Tour & Review: Bleak History by John Shirley

BLEAK HISTORY, already optioned for a feature film, is an original dark and gritty urban fantasy novel by the acclaimed and award-winning author John Shirley. In near-future New York City, bounty hunter Gabriel Bleak, a man blessed and cursed with the ability to communicate with the dead, is relentlessly hunted by a clandestine government organization with mysterious links to his past. Now Bleak and other members of the Shadow Community--a slowly growing underground group who all have supernatural abilities, and who all considered a threat to national security--must uncover the looming danger brought about by those at the upper echelons of power--a return to the dark ages…and quite possibly a capitulation to the demonic.

My Review:
Bleak History was definitely a surprising read for me. I was expecting a paranormal/urban fantasy that is pretty similar to a lot that I’ve read recently but Shirley really kicks it up a notch with Gabriel Bleak and the ShadowComm members. It’s really different than any urban fantasy that I’ve ever read. There is a lot of detail in the numerous characters and the story has a lot of depth. It isn’t the usual puff piece that has every cliché in the genre. And the book has its own unique theories about the paranormal and spiritual afterlife. I especially loved the ending which I of course I won’t divulge ;)

I really enjoyed the way Gabriel wasn’t your average hero. He was just a guy trying to get through life with an amazing talent. The only down side to the book for me was the overwhelming number of different terms and groups that Shirley imagined for the book. It got a little confusing at times but once I was about a third of the way through the book it became easier to remember what was what in the story.

I recommend Bleak History for anyone who loves reading Urban Fantasy.

More Tour Participants:
I Heart Monster
Debbie’s World of Books
Sci-Fi Guy
A Journey of Books
Simply Vamptastic
Starting Fresh
Booksie’s Blog
Falling Off The Shelf
Patricia’s Vampire Notes
My Friend Amy
Cheryl’s Book Nook
Morbid Romantic
Drey’s Library
Temple Library Reviews
Jeanne’s Ramblings
Never Not Reading
My Guilty Pleasures
Fantasy Freak

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Lisa Rusczyk said...

Grats, Mr. Shirley, on getting a movie option! Once I get my charger from Amazon for my Kindle (cat ate through the old one and my beloved device is dead) I'll buy your book and check it out.

Good luck.

donnas said...

Great review. It sounds very interesting.

Unknown said...

Even though I am actually not a fan of urban fantasy, this book does sound interesting and I'll definitely be looking into it some more.

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