"Hansen-Hill has enough talent and skill she could have opted to write a terrific but more traditional novel. That she was gutsy enough to write a book about relationships within the framework of an already unique story? Right on!
As an independent author who tries to read as many self-published or micro-published authors as I can, I've run into books that make me shake my head. THIS IS NOT ONE OF THEM.I encourage you to buy a copy of Gilded Folly and take the time to really read it.'
"N. D. Hanson-Hill is a talented author. Within the first few pages of the story, I had been immediately drawn into the action. The author then toyed with me as the story slowed down just enough so I could be brought up to speed on who everyone was, their purposes, and what was really going on.
There were also a couple of really interesting twists and touches that I felt added something extra special to this story. The characters were fully three dimensional with their roles and decisions not being cut and dried and their evolution being fluid throughout. These characters didn't know it all, even though at times they think they have it all figured out. I also thought that the tie in between Micts and vampires was particularly brilliant and that the background story on the Folly was inspired."
"Lots of latitude in your job," Fitz said quietly, but his narrowed eyes gave him away. Wick was adept at sleight-of-hand - at making things disappear. What kinds of things? Research? Weapons? People? "You've always been good at hiding things."
Damned humans, Wick thought. He chewed on his lip to keep from voicing it aloud. Fitz asked Wick coldly, "Are you a terrorist?", then held his breath as he waited for Wick's response.It was the last thing Wick had expected, and it was all he could do not to burst out laughing. After his admission about the Mict, he'd been expecting some outcry of "alien", at the very least.
His lips twitched, but he fought to control himself. Fitz looked so damned serious, and Wick was very conscious that he was lying on the floor, and unlikely to be going anywhere for a while. Besides, he and Fitz had been friends a long time.And, he had to admit, the man wasn't far wrong. Wick thought about it. Invading an alien land, living undercover, indoctrinated as hell, out to kill someone.But it would never do to tell him so. Not here, and definitely not now. Wick tried to bite his lips, but they just kept on talking, all without the benefit of his brain. "Yeah," his mouth said, sounding slightly shocked. "I guess I bloody well am.
He was slammed back, against a tree. Slammed and pounded to centre the blood beneath the skin. Wick kicked and punched and pounded back, but he was blinded by smoke. It rose around him, while bony fingers raked at his clothes. His eyes ran, his lungs screamed, and a howl was choked off in his throat.He was falling now, dimly aware of pine needles jabbing his skin. Awareness faded quickly, displaced by the lassitude which was filling him. He knew he should fight the feeling; knew what it signified, but all he wanted to do was sleep.It was the Hambre Muerte, the Death Gorge.No!
Tradition demanded he lie here and die now, grateful for the mercy of last-moment oblivion. It was the way these things were done...
No! Not here! Wick's fingers were already growing numb. He gritted his teeth, forcing the digits to close on a pointed branch. Then he jabbed it, into the bony head. There was a satisfying crunch .The Mictlampa ripped back, with an audible slurp, its jagged teeth torn away from Wick's muscle. Its moment was past, and instead of a wily predator, it was confused and disoriented - flailing and blind Tastes of a leech, and eating habits to match...Wick lay there limply, worried about the demon's reputation for persistence, and worrying more about its companions. Was it alone?He recalled another sorry fact from his past. Micts never travel alone...He wriggled his fingers, clenched his fists, bent his toes, and jiggled his limbs - determined to lose the lassitude. The blood scent would bring the others in.No way! He crunched the bloodsucker with his foot, right in the face. The creature flopped back, writhing in agony, all the while making a low-pitched grunting sound.
Wick pushed himself up to a sitting position, grabbed another branch, and whopped the thing again.The beast was knocked back, onto the pine needle carpet. Silent now, it did what tradition claimed: melted away, into the undergrowth. At least, Wick was sure that was what it had intended. Its actual disappearance looked a lot more like a wobbling retreat.Wick sat there, in bloodied triumph, listening to the crunch and thud as it ran into branches, shrubs, trees. He wondered if, ten years ago, he would've had the balls to offer a challenge.
The annoying background hum was growing louder, and it was accompanied by a sibilant whine which made his skin crawl. Only one insect made a noise like that: mosquito. What was worse was the vibration. This wasn't one mosquito, or even one thousand. Jeremy had a sudden urge to turn tail and run.Instead, he buried his hands in his sleeves and his face in his shirt. Then, he forged ahead. They were on him now. In the overwhelming assault, he barely heard the splash, or the one which followed. All he knew was that the whining persistence of his winged adversaries was giving way to high-pitched squeaks.Hundreds of them...
Then it was raining. With a cheerless insouciance the skies filled, all without benefit of wind or cloud. This was a pelting rain-haired bodies with leathery wings. They plummeted limply, as though stunned, then abruptly spread wings and took off in devour mode, to consume the insect horde... Jeremy dropped to his knees, arms shielding his head. Mosquitoes were no longer a concern. He was being pounded by something far larger.Insectivores, ravenously hungry and navigating by sonar.He'd been around the world, but he'd never seen anything like this.It was raining bats.