Award-winning psychological thriller The Phoenix Project by D.M. Cain is priced just $0.99 for four days (from 17th July to 21st July).
Winner of the Kindle Book Review Best Sci-Fi Novel of 2016
How can you fight to the death, when you’ve given up on life?
As violence and terrorist attacks become more prevalent, the world descends into chaos. Outraged by the lawlessness, citizens demand a harsher penal system, and the Phoenix Project is born.
In prisons across the country, inmates fight to the death in a weekly bloodbath while the nation cheers them on.
Raven Kennedy, a prisoner who has never forgiven himself for his unspeakable crime, struggles against his own guilt and self-loathing. But even as the real war rages on within himself, Raven is forced to battle some of the prison’s most ruthless killing machines.
Fighting for his life and a chance for redemption, can Raven survive long enough to unravel the anger and regret that shackle him – and find the forgiveness he seeks?
★★★★★ In my humble opinion The Phoenix Project is a masterpiece in every sense of the word. – Stewart Bint, Author
★★★★★ A not-so-gentle reminder to check our own morals, our beliefs and our system of justice. To repeatedly ask ourselves, am I okay with what I see in the mirror? – Lisa Veldkamp, Author
★★★★★ The Phoenix Project is a compelling read, beautifully written in a way that totally captivates your imagination. Dark and sometimes uncomfortable, this book gives a disturbing insight into a postmodern world of anomie and repressive state force. – Amazon Reviewer
Fantasy novella Origin of Shadow by D.M. Cain is FREE for four days: 2nd July – 6th July 2020.
The voice broke into his thoughts, everywhere and nowhere at once, deafening, yet somehow a whisper. “Are you ready to learn the truth?”
Heir to a notorious crime syndicate, sixteen-year-old Vincent Wilder is determined to live up to his father’s intimidating legacy, and expand his violent empire. The Wilders have terrorised the city of Pabell for decades and Vincent knows the business inside and out – and has dirtied his own hands more times than he dares to count.
But no matter how ready he thinks he is, nothing could have prepared him for life at the helm. His father was a man of many things, but secrets wasn’t one of them. Or so Vincent had thought. The deeper Vincent gets into his leadership role, the more terrifying and inexplicable skeletons he uncovers.
With the threat of a revolution, a mysterious and intrusive voice in his head, and a long-lost history he knew nothing about, is he really up to the challenge?
★★★★★ – “I have not seen this type of book writing before, and it looks very promising. I found it very interesting and cannot wait for more.”
★★★★★ – “A gripping and intriguing short story, and a great introduction to this series.”
In the majority of fictional worlds we consume, we see people who are different than those around them. Harry Potter was a wizard living amongst muggles. Gandalf has lived for thousands of years, using his fantastical abilities to great effect.
As you can probably tell, many special powers come down to simply “magic”. Someone was born a witch or wizard or with the gift of flight or whatever it may be, and that’s that.
But if this is overdone, how can a potential author separate themself from the crowd. How can you make your characters special without simply giving them an overused magical quality and a weak explanation?
Simply put, you need to make the special abilities in your world unique. Create a backstory that goes deeper than “He is magical because I SAY he is magical!” Now more than ever, readers and viewers want to dive deep into fantasy worlds, and creating a unique reason for special abilities helps them do just that.
Let’s take a look at a few samples.
X-MEN: Genetic Mutations
Wolverine heals and has blade-like claws sprout from his hands-on command. Cyclops fires beams from his eyes. Jean Grey controls things with her mind. Each character has a unique special ability, but each ability is tied to a common cause: freak genetic mutations.
So-called mutants have mutations in their genetic code that give them radical powers; but, like most mutations, these also come with downsides. Wolverine feels the pain every time those claws come out. Cyclops needs special glasses to hold in his beams.
By giving them a scientific backing, the X-Men went from simply being superheroes to being a unique relative, the Mutants.
The Stormlight Archives
Written by Brandon Sanderson, the Stormlight Archives are set in a mystical world much like Middle Earth. Highstorms sweep through the land with mystical energies swirling around in them. The rich and powerful own shardplate and shardblades, powerful pieces of armor and weaponry that charge through the highstorms.
Likewise, Surgebinders are the closest there comes to magicians in this fantasy world. They can bind different ‘systems’ – such as gravity and adhesion – and manipulate them. Users do this through binding with a spren, a small mystical creature. Like shardplate, Surgebinders need to recharge in highstorms.
By creating a storm system that really fuels almost everything mystical in the Stormlight world, Sanderson thought up a unique way of giving his characters special abilities.
Star Wars – Jedi/Sith Abilities
Although it annoyed a lot of fans in the process, the Force got an explanation. Midi-chlorians – microscopic organisms – live in every race in the galaxy and give them the powers of the force. Some people have more, some people have less.
From there, through focus and meditation, users can increase the potency of the Midi-chlorians, therefore increasing their powers.
All three of these are great examples of different ways to introduce magical powers into your universe. People latch onto unique ideas, so if you can discover a different approach to what you want to achieve, you’re on your way to success.
What are your favourite uses of power or ability in film or literature? Comment below or message me with your ideas!
Fantasy novel The Shield of Soren by D.M. Cain is FREE for four days: 21st May – 25th May 2020.
Young Soren is the apprentice of legendary warrior, Raven Lennox. At the age of sixteen, Soren is expected to fight in the eternal war against the Brotherhood of Shadow – but he seems to be more interested in mischief than battle.
When one of Soren’s adventures goes off course, he accidentally unleashes a deadly threat. As an age-old prophecy comes to pass, Soren must take a perilous journey deep into enemy territory.
But does he have what it takes to save the realm, or will the Brotherhood destroy everything he loves?