Zakk reviews Conceiving by Thomas S. Flowers

“Ex Libris The Eyes of Madness, simple and honest reviews from a simple reader…”


Zakk reviews Conceiving (Subdue book 3) by Thomas S. Flowers, 356 pages published by Limitless Publishing LLC (November 29, 2016).

“Memaw often reminded Luna of those red foxes from children’s stories, those sly devils that outwit the hunters and the hounds in some merry clever chase. Perhaps giving even death itself a run for his money. But for how long? she wondered. For how long?”

Synopsis

Dark things are dwelling in Jotham, Texas. Malicious forces are seen emerging from the sinister house on Oak Lee Road…

With little memory of the events that took the lives of his friends, Bobby Weeks tries to move on with his life, and finds a job at a warehouse on Galveston Island. The evil in Jotham won’t leave him behind, though. Strangers from the cursed town find him, offering information about what happened to his friends. It all leads back to Baelo University…back to Jotham.

Luna Blanche has always been gifted, but now she must use those gifts to save Bobby…

Luna goes to the Mississippi Delta to take care of her dying grandmother. She misses Bobby, and when she attempts to see Bobby through her mind, all she finds is a deadly future. Fearing his life is in danger, she leaves the Delta and searches for him in Jotham.

Neville and Boris Petry want nothing more than the picturesque American Dream…

After Boris accepts a new job teaching at Baelo University, the Petrys move to Jotham to finally live out their dream. Following a drunken faculty party, Neville discovers she is pregnant. She should be ecstatic, but dreadful dreams lead her to feel as if something is wrong with the baby, her husband…and the school.

Four destinies bound on a collision course, a plot conceived in the shadows of Jotham…and an evil biding its time…waiting for them all.

“Providence was one of them old time words poets liked to use. Carried a bit of a sting, right? As if some higher power truly cared about anyone. Who are we? Ants under the magnify glass. Shadow puppets in the cave. Particles of dust caught in a sunbeam.”

Fist Thoughts (judging the book by it’s cover):

I am already familiar with the work of Mr. flowers having read a lot of his published output. Hobo, Reinheit (a particularly nasty piece), Are you Hungry Dear? , The Incredible Zilch Von Whitstein.  I’d go so far to say that I am a fan and was enthusiastically following along with his social-media updates on his WIP Subdue, and how the tale was growing on it’s own, not able to be contained by a single volume. Birthing multiple releases. I was intrigued and excited by every update.

I read Dwelling, the first book in the Subdue series shortly after it’s release, and I enjoyed it. Though with it’s blunt conclusion it was obviously a piece of a larger story. The characters had depth, dimension, a certain heat to them. Knowing that the second volume was completed, with a third in the works and a possible fourth coming down the pipeline, I had a difficult time getting psyched to read Emerging, Subdue book 2. Starring at a 250 page book expecting another blunt wrap-up left me a bit uninterested.

With Conceiving’s release imminent and heading out on tour with Hook of a Book I felt that Emerging needed read. Low and behold, Emerging did indeed wrap-up the current arc, a pleasant surprise. Another pleasant surprise, it hooked me deeper, faster, than Dwelling did. Leaving me a bit energized to find out where Book 3 was going to take us, the readers.

Suffice to say that with what has preceded in the Subdue series, coupled with my previous Thomas S. Flowers experiences, I have high expectation for Conceiving.

“And what is life, Mr. Weeks, without a little uncertainty? Without chance, or fate you might say?”

Final Impressions (judging the book by it’s content)

When Emerging, Subdue book 2, wrapped up in a pretty convincing and spectacular fashion, I was thrown for a bit of a loop. See, I thought for a moment that I wasn’t just a simple reader and that I had the whole thing figured out. Emerging was going to push the Subdue story along, throw in some exposition, all in service to set up the looming third volume, and then end in a blunt, cliffhanging fashion.

But then… something strange happened. Emerging firmly placed a stake in the current story arc with unexpected casualties and an explosive ending. The thing you’re hoping for but not expecting to get, not yet anyways, happens. And it is rad.

Now what?

Where does Conceiving take us readers? Well, deeper, of course. I don’t really want to give away to much, for those who haven’t read the first two entries. If you’re planning on jumping right in, Conceiving does work well as a stand-alone novel, although you will get a bit more depth, and a stronger payoff, if you take the full journey.

That being said, I really enjoyed this book. It is my favorite of the three Subdue books, and quite possibly my favorite Thomas S. Flowers read period. Mr. Flowers does a magnificent job of relating to me the numerous difficulties of a soldier returning to a non-military life. There’s not as much of this in Conceiving as in Dwelling or Emerging, for reasons I won’t say, but it’s still here and feels honest, it feels true, as well as the (still prevalent in America) racial tension peppered in. There is a strong human factor present through out and it grounded and captured my attention.

Conceiving really adds scope to the events of the first two Subdue books and ups the ante on the paranormal factor. What could have been taken as a confined event is shown to be a larger conspiracy as a new family moves to Jotham, Texas and the true nightmare shows itself. While our returning characters, Bobby and Luna are facing new challenges, separately. With Bobby’s arc tied more directly to the new players while dealing with the aftermath of Emerging. Luna story here delves deeply into her ancestry and here inherited blight, it’s full of enchanting and heavy moments. A phenomenal angle to read.

But all roads lead back to Jotham, and you haven’t experienced anything yet.

P.S. I am STOKED for book four.

Recommendation

If you have the time, take on all three of these books, it’ll be worth it for the added pop to Conceiving. If you want to jump straight into Book 3 you’re still in for a hell of a ride. A definite purchase. 5/ 5

Zakk is a big dumb animal!

**Note: While I was offered a complimentary copy of this book from the author and/ or publisher, I read Conceiving via my paid Kindle Unlimited Subscription. I am reviewing it voluntarily. These are my honest, unbiased feelings. I did not receive any sort of compensation.


Thomas S. Flowers, Biography

Thomas S. Flowers is the published author of several character driven stories of dark fiction. He resides in Houston, Texas, with his wife and daughter.

He is published with The Sinister Horror Company’s horror anthology The Black Room Manuscripts. His debut novel, Reinheit, is published with Shadow Work Publishing, along with The Incredible Zilch Von Whitstein and Apocalypse Meow. His military/paranormal thriller series, The Subdue Books, Dwelling, Emerging and Conceiving, are published with Limitless Publishing, LLC.

In 2008, he was honorably discharged from the U.S. Army where he served for seven years, with three tours serving in Operation Iraqi Freedom.

In 2014, Thomas graduated from University of Houston Clear Lake with a BA in History. He blogs at machinemean.org, where he does author interviews and reviews on a wide range of strange yet oddly related topics. You can learn more about Thomas and all his strange writings by joining his mailing list at http://goo.gl/2CozdE.

Praise for Thomas S. Flowers III

“Thomas S. Flowers is a fantastic writer. There is no other way of putting it. He writes a single book but has so many different writing styles within that single book that all come together beautifully to present you with a story that totally engrosses you.” – Confessions of a Reviewer

“Thomas S. Flowers has allowed this story to brew slowly, allowing the mystery and horror of the house on Oak Lee Road to reveal itself bit by bit. The author is a master of taking an everyday, normal object and twisting it into a horrific monstrosity—Greg at 2 Book Lovers Reviews

“A page-turning, emotional book with shades of Stephen King’s IT and the best parts of Peter Straub’s KOKO. Thomas Flowers has written an extremely personal book of friendship, loss, and trauma that deserves praise not just for its sharp characterization but also its brutal honesty.” – Duncan Ralston, author of Salvage, on Dwelling


Dwelling, Book One in the Subdue Series

A group of inseparable childhood friends are now adults, physically and psychologically devastated by war…

A horrifying creature emerges from a sandstorm just before Ricky Smith dies in battle. Forced to leave base housing, his widow Maggie buys a home on Oak Lee Road in the town of Jotham. Maggie is isolated in the historic house…and disconcerted by strange clicking sounds inside the walls.

Jonathan Steele attempts to drink the painful past away…

Jonathan was wounded in that fateful battle and now suffers from PTSD. He wants to put the nightmare behind him, but when Ricky’s ghost appears with cryptic warnings about Maggie’s house, he begins to question his sanity.

Bobby Weeks is a homeless veteran struggling with a lycanthropic curse…

Afraid of bringing harm, Bobby stays far away from those he loves. But after a full moon, a mysterious woman approaches him and reveals a vision about a house with a sinister presence, and he realizes staying away might no longer be an option.

Minister Jake Williams lost his faith on the battlefield…

While Jake will do anything to reconnect with God, he turns to vices to fill the religious void. But a church elder urges him to take a sabbatical, and a ghost tells him to quit the ministry, and his life is more out of control than ever.

When Maggie wakes in a strange subterranean cavern, she can’t deny her home harbors dark secrets. Desperate, she sends letters to her old friends to reunite in Jotham, and events conspire to draw them all to the house…unaware of the danger awaiting them.

The friends have already been through hell, but can any of them survive the evil dwelling beneath the House on Oak Lee?


Emerging, Book Two in the Subdue Series

Traumatized by war, friends gather for a reluctant reunion…

A historic house in Jotham, Texas harbors a malevolent force, and as her fear grows, widow Maggie Smith pleads with three lifelong friends to gather in her home. But will their presence combat the darkness…or feed it?

Minister Jake Williams fears Maggie has had a breakdown…

Feeling he has no choice, Jake locates the other intended guest, Bobby Weeks, who agrees to go with him but struggles with keeping his lycanthropic curse hidden.

Jonathan Steele, a wounded veteran battling PTSD, arrives with his disgruntled wife. After drinking too much at dinner, Jonathan insults the homeless Bobby, and Bobby is missing from the house the next morning.

The dark past of Maggie’s home awakens in the present…

Jake, whose faith is in doubt, confides in a local priest while he and Jonathan search for Bobby, and Ricky’s ghost makes another visit to Jonathan, causing him to become fixated on saving Maggie from the evil that surrounds her.

As the danger intensifies, trust is elusive, and betrayal is certain…

Maggie might be lost, Bobby confronts a terrible choice, and Jake and Jonathan fight to save them all—before they become more victims of the horror emerging beneath the deadly house in Jotham.


Purchase Links

Conceiving – Book Three Amazon

Dwelling – Book One Amazon

Emerging – Book Two Amazon

Three Book Set

Limitless Publishing is offering all three books in one boxed set. Available NOW for a price of only .99 cents! Get it here! (limited time pricing.)


Want to Feature?

If you’re a media site, blogger, or radio/podcast host, and you’d like to feature Thomas S Flowers or review Conceiving please contact Erin Al-Mehairi, publicist, at hookofabook@hotmail.com.


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One Comment Add yours

  1. Zakk, I’m floored by your review, man! I’m really glad you dug this new story. If you liked Conceiving, just wait for Book 4, Converging.

    Like

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