Yup….its been awhile since I made a post, life can certainly get in the way sometimes! I had to dust off my writing skills for my buddy Eric Shelmans latest and greatest new release. This one is nail-biting, intense, and like all of Shelman’s novels, a great frikkin ride. But also worthy of noting is that his gift of creating memorable characters really shines in this one. But alas I have not yet finished the book so I am going to shut my yap and pass this on to my two good friends who have read the book and can’t stop singing its praises…so I pass on my pulpit for this particular show and I will be back soon….maybe very soon if these two don’t behave!!!
Please welcome back Giles Batchelor and my besty Lana Sibley…oh and try to ignore that odd British way Giles talks and spells…hahaha
Giles: Hi everyone! Obviously this isn’t everyone’s favorite book nerd (does she prefer bibliophile?). My hair is shorter and I don’t do glitter. I’m guest posting from over the pond once again. This time it’s not ‘cause blondie sucks, well not entirely, just somehow I have more time on my hands. Oh yeah, and I’ve read the book we’re going to talk about. In fact, while I type this I’m one of very few people lucky enough to have read this book. It could be because it’s a totally limited edition printed on the skin of a rare Norwegian elk with only 3 copies in known existence, OR it could be that the party starts on July 19th with its worldwide release and everyone finally gets to read it.
Lana: (Elbows Giles out of the way) Hey everyone! Rise up! The glitter famine has to end! And don’t listen to Giles, he’s being all droll and British. If you’ve been wondering where Blondie’s been, besides that silly work thing, she’s busy spending her summer on some special projects and writing her own book (it’s going to be amazing!). She’s hardly had any time at all to sip frozen margaritas beside her Olympic size infinity pool. We need to talk about a book that those of us who have had the chance to read in advance of its release on July 19th are beyond excited about it, so Giles and I have volunteered to step up to the twinkly, glittering plate.
Giles: Today we are talking about…(Imagine a drumroll goes here and Blondie you can’t replace it with a glitter bomb, I’m just not having it.)
Lana: Sorry Giles, there’s gonna be glitter. I know you’re afraid your man card is at risk if you sparkle like a vampire in the sun, but you should have read the fine print on the friend contract. If you’re hanging with Shannon and me you’re gonna get glitter on you. Cue glitter bomb!
SCABS: The Gemini Exception
by Eric A. Shelman
Giles: I was going to write “by The Very Versatile Eric A Shelman”, but I think that would make googling for his author page…interesting. This guy is rather versatile though. Did you know he sings and has hundreds of thousands views on his Youtube videos? And besides his singing, he offers professional narration services to other authors…
Lana: He doesn’t sing those. But he might if you ask him to.
Giles: Excuse the interruption but I’ve digressed. Back to the star of this show which is Scabs: The Gemini Exception. What can we say about scabs? Have you ever had a scab? Did you sit there in school picking at the scabs from yet another graze on your knee? What if they never healed? What if any minor cut or abrasion scabbed over and never healed, even the smallest opening in the skin, like a mosquito bite. What if that scab kept growing to cover your whole leg, whole arm or even entire body?
Lana: It would be horrible. And kind of gross as this thing creeps up all over you. And mostly freaking incredibly terrifying, that’s what.
Giles: Yeah, not a pleasant thought… but well, that’s kind of the point, no one said Mr. Shelman writes fluffy unicorn filled marshmallow puff stories. He writes horror. Scabs is no exception so it has some icky bits.
Lana: Icky bits might be just a tad too mild. No glitter here people.
Giles: The story centers around two brothers, Scott and Warren, separated by an acrimonious divorce when they were young and then growing up living their separate lives. Scott just over the border in Canada, Warren in Florida. They have the same hobby and use it to communicate with each other from childhood – carrier pigeon.
Lana: I love the pigeons! It’s so amazing that these birds have the abilities that they do. You know, I get lost in roundabouts. And this isn’t just fiction. They really do this stuff in real life! Also, I’d like to add, I really love the brothers too. They’re kind of hot, but you probably didn’t notice that, Giles.
Giles: Uh…anyway… One day the lights go on. I know it’s the opposite of your average apocalypse where the lights go out, and when I say lights I don’t really mean those dangly things hanging from the ceiling that Edison invented. This light is more of an all pervasive light from everywhere. Inside, outside there is no shadow, no night time – the light is everywhere and never turns off. After the light has been on for a couple of weeks, the first reports of scabs begin to come in. People with innocuous little injuries – a scraped knee, a paper cut, a mosquito bite – their skin begins to scab, and the scab keeps growing. Doctors can’t help. The government has no clue.
Lana: (Snort) That’s not fiction either.
Giles: And from then on things just get weird. Scott and Warren (War to his friends) decide that they need to get back together and both set off to meet up halfway between Florida and Canada.
Lana: And it’s not just Scott and Warren. They manage to find some companions along the journey. This is where, to me, this story has all the best parts of the zombie apocalypse genre even though there are no actual zombies. It’s people who band together to survive. They say that you can’t pick your family but you can pick your friends. And I love that friends become family in these apocalyptic stories. And of course, there’s the unrelenting threat. But in Scabs, it’s a threat that unfolds as you go along but it’s every bit as terrifying and unrelenting as zombies. The threat isn’t slow in showing up either. Just like in all Shelman stories, once it begins, it takes off and just keeps accelerating. I couldn’t stop reading.
Giles: To say there are some challenges on the journey would be an understatement, but I really am in spoiler territory if I say any more. What I loved about this book is the characters. They are real, they have depth, emotion and feelings. The shared past of Warren & Scott is well explained, the differing paths they have chosen, and the bond they share as twins, is explored in depth. Oh wait, I hadn’t mentioned they were twins, probably unimportant (It’s so totally not) – Gemini=Twins – clues may be in the name.
Lana: Don’t forget the pets! They’re important to the story! A huge delight for me is that there aren’t just two legged characters in Scabs. So many apocalyptic stories totally ignore the animals. Those of us who have pets know that they are part of the family. The pigeons are their own characters. You will get attached to them. And…there’s a dog too. And that’s a character that’s super special to me.
Giles: I’m just gonna keep waffling away here till somebody tells me to stop…
Lana: Stop Giles. No really, you’d better stop.
Giles: Wait here comes Blondie, she looks angry. She’s waving a glitter cannon at me and telling me my time is up. I’ll be quick, buy SCABS, read SCABS, enjoy SCABS. Whatever you do, beware of SCABS!
Lana: Yep! What Giles said! And one last thing… if you’re a fan (or even if this is your first foray into the twisted mind of Eric A. Shelman) this one is truly different from anything else this author has written. This is a really BIG story. Set aside plenty of time to read Scabs: The Gemini Exception. Bring some Kleenex, leave some lights on and don’t start it too late in the evening, because if you do, you may miss work the next day
DONT MISS THE RELEASE PARTY!!! https://www.facebook.com/events/461575684001729/
Check out this awesome video!! https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=c4Q8x3Z2MK8
Eric is kinda awesome… http://www.ericshelman.com/
and of course all the cool kids hang with Eric here: https://www.facebook.com/groups/AllThingsZombie/