My guests today are the writing team of Cynthia and Scott Green, who joined us to discuss their debut novel, GunKnight, which began as a short story but slowly blossomed into a full length novel. They’re currently working on GunLord, the second installment of The GunKnight Chronicles. Cynthia is a nurse educator and Scott is a mechanical engineer. When they are not doing their 9-to-5 gig, they are a science fiction writing team. They have a young son that provides them with a multitude of exercise and inspiration. They enjoy books, movies, and travel. They never miss a San Diego Comic Con and are always on the look out for the perfect sunset.
Star Wars, Star Trek, or Firefly? — Yes to all…We’re huge sci-fi fans.
Worst movie ever? — Bubba Ho-Tep
**Note FROM BARB: I think they nailed that one. Tagline: “Elvis and JFK, both alive and in nursing homes, fight for the souls of their fellow residents as they battle an ancient Egyptian Mummy.” Halloween movie night no-brainer!
Best writing advice? — Writers write, write something and be productive everyday
Favorite weird food? — Ketchup and ranch dressing as a dip. Coca Cola and Orange Juice in the same glass.
What is your process as a writing team? Scott wrote the 1st draft, and it mutated as it got typed out. Then Cynthia did a 2nd pass, adding color and details to the story. Next came the many many editing passes and tense and person perspective changes.
Contact Link for Cynthia & Scott Green: http://www.gunknight.com
BlurbA lost knight follows a path into a strange new world, recalling his past to save his love, that is the monster. In a land filled with killer Necrodroids, crazed RifleWraiths, and deadly SandStriders the Gunknight called Colt begins to recall his past life. He was a young disciple at the temple of the Enlightened Fist. The monks of the Bohsai tree, train him and other orphaned children to be GunKnights, an elite squad of noble assassins. But forbidden love grows between Colt and Terra, a clone descendant of a legendary GunLord. His repaired memories are the key that will prepare Colt to face the real monster that dwells at the end of the path.
- Book Title: GunKnight, (The GunKnight Chronicles Book 1)
- Authors: Cynthia and Scott Green
- Genre: Science Fiction
- Length: 277 pages
- Release Date: April 15, 2014
- Purchase Links: Amazon | Smashwords | Barnes & Noble
My Review: 3 1/2 out of 5 stars for GunKnight
As I read GunKnight, the debut novel from the husband-and-wife team of Cynthia and Scott Green, I was reminded of the lines from Ecclesiastes 1:9, “The thing that hath been, it is that which shall be; and that which is done is that which shall be done: and there is no new thing under the sun.” Chapter 1 of GunKnight is titled 420 Years After, and we soon realize that the events leading to the narrator waking up following an as-yet-unknown injury actually occurred centuries earlier. For the young knight, Colt, to complete his quest, he has to rediscover and come to terms with those events.
While Colt, the GunKnight of the title, wanders through the desert world he finds on awakening, the interspersed chapters reveal the events of his horrific childhood, training, and lost love that brought him to his mysterious quest. As he remembers more and more of his past, the path he’s on continues to lead him to a confrontation with other forces which have also somehow survived the centuries.
I had a difficult time deciding on a rating for GunKnight. On the one hand, with its chapters alternating across centuries while converging on a reveal of the event that precipitated Colt’s odyssey, the novel’s structure is both ambitious and interesting. The writing, especially when it comes to describing the world Colt finds when he wakes up centuries in the future, is clear and descriptive. For example, one of the first things he sees is a massive, mysterious wall—“It looks like solid gold from here. But I can tell that it has a glassy sheen as it slowly oozes like rolling oil.” The pace is fast, and packed with action scenes that include enough blood, death, and technology for the most exciting of first-person-shooter games. Even though the plot and setting are reminiscent of traditional science fiction stories, I particularly appreciated that some of the strongest, most kickass characters—both good and bad—were women.
But I also had trouble with some of the events being a bit derivative. When Colt is accepted into the school which will mold and frame his entire life, it is with a sorting scene reminiscent of Harry Potter. The school seems to have based its training methods on Hunger Games, while Colt’s adult service has echoes from Star Wars to Avatar to Lord of the Rings. The technology was strange too. For example, although the hero’s symbiotic biosuit can cure near-fatal physical damage and manufacture weapons as needed, it seems to lose info connectivity inside a building. Whatever is providing that connection link has somehow survived centuries, but it can’t actually provide information about what has happened during that interim. Sadly, as with many independently published books, there are a number of grammar mistakes that escaped the editing process. Finally, if a book is the beginning of a series, that should be made clear to the reader—hopefully before the very last line of the book comes completely out of thin air and leaves you saying, “Huh?”
With these pluses and minuses, I would give GunKnight three and a half stars. If you’re looking for an action-packed sci-fi adventure, it makes a fun read. And the inventive, ambitious structure and plot would make me interested in picking up future works by this creative team.*I received this book for free from the publisher or author in exchange for an honest review. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.**