Sunday, January 30, 2011

Apocalypse film - Perfect Sense

Perfect Sense , starring Ewan McGreggor, this recently screened IFC film takes a documentary style look at the Apocalypse. An unnamed pandemic devastates humanity on a worldwide scale as a chef and epidemiologist fall in love. The film is not dystopian in its telling, but rather (quote) "trying very hard to be an affirmation of human values," says Mackenzie (the films director).

I'm looking forward to its North American release.

Monday, January 24, 2011

Betelgeuse and the end of the world.

Betelgeuse is a giant red star that is dying.

Some predict it will go supernova over the course of the next 18 months. But could this be the cause of the Apocalypse some say the Mayan calender predicts? The Mayans were masters of astronomy, and it is considered scientific fact that Betelgeuse is very close to dying. But it is 640 light years away, and would have had to have actually blown its top in the 5th century for us to see it next year, and then what damage could it do to us?

None. It would rain down neutrinos at worst, which are harmless. So my opinion (after reading several articles on the subject) is that this could not cause an Apocalypse here on earth, but could it signal one? Who knows. Either way, read the book that will help you make sense of the end times before they come knocking. The Judas Syndrome - by Michael Poeltl

Wednesday, January 19, 2011

eStar Books News: Guest Author!

eStar Books News: Guest Author!: "Todays guest author Michael Poeltl! He was kind enough to answer some questions for me. Q: What type of stories do you write? A: I writ..."

Death has a name – By Jerry Hanel

A very original story which could use an editors touch.

A paranormal detective story set in London, England, Death has a Name enjoys a very original plot line. The Truth – an all encompassing knowledge that exists in the Universe - has been a nuisance to the main character all his life, seeing it as a smoky incarnation whispering truths of recent murders and ancient cold cases. The Truth seeps out of file folders, the sleeves of trench coats and visits him at night offering the truth of an event. Though the connection he shares with the other side is distressing, his strange ability to see The Truth has earned Brody a contract position on his local police force.

The reader becomes quickly involved in the story’s main plot line as Brody is approached by a vision asking him to follow through on a truth both baffling and disturbing. Soon thereafter Brody’s detective friend shares a case he is currently working on, and they realize Brody’s visions are somehow connected.

The story then takes off as the connections between Brody’s psychic experiences and Phil (the detectives) case become more and more entwined.

That’s when the paranormal aspect to the book raises a few crescendos and the bigger picture is appreciated. Death is coming for us all.

The character development is well done, as is the plotting of the story but the book could use an editor’s touch. The dialogue between characters doesn’t come across as sincere, spelling and grammatical mistakes could all be eliminated with one pass through by a professional editor. Once this is accomplished the book would read much smoother, not having the reader stumbling on words or sentences that seem misplaced.

Hanel has a wonderful imagination, and Death has a Name is a very original work of fiction.

-By Michael Poeltl

Eating during the Apocalypse

Well, we'll all have to do it won't we?

This book - Apocalypse 2012 Cookbook - will give you options you never knew you had. Taking on a hunter gatherer scenario, and putting those items into a recipe that is both nutritious and delicious will be a tough job come the end times, but this book claims to give us that.
I haven't reviewed the book as yet, but I did find an interesting article on it and yes, it is satirical, but does it actually offer recipes for the end of days?

You be the judge, it sells for just under nine dollars on Amazon and under five dollars for your kindle.

If you pick it up, please review it here.

And remember, for the ultimate survival guide visit

Saturday, January 15, 2011

Review of Hope Burned - by Michael Poeltl

Hope Burned - by Brent LaPorte

Was, in a word, disturbing.

Suffering years of abuse by his father and grandfather on a farm in rural anywhere, the story of Hope Burned spends a considerable time living and reliving the mental and physical abuse of the main character at the hands of these uneducated hicks. LaPorte instills an immediate sense of compassion for the boy, as the reader experiences each brutal attack in the unnerving first person telling.

Though what happens to the main character is unforgivable, what happens to the young victims his grandfather brings back from town and imprisons in their Mill is much worse. The boy, rarely out of his crawl space save to cook or work the fields, catches the eye of one young girl as his grandfather drags her towards the Mill, towards her unspeakable fate.

As the story unfolds, and the boy grows up independently of his captors, he finds that he shares more in common with his father and grandfather than just his lineage. As he looks at his own young son, retelling the story of his life, he makes a stark realization, and the story goes where you’d least expect it.
LaPorte’s deliberate, short prose is captivating, and as with any good first person narrative, you can tell the author was living the story as it developed.

By Michael Poeltl

Find Hope Burned on Amazon

Wednesday, January 12, 2011

Another positive review for the sequel of The Judas Syndrome, Rebirth

And the Saga Continues.
reviewed by Rose Keefe - January 12, 2011

`Rebirth' is the sequel to Michael Poeltl's debut novel `The Judas Syndrome' (2009). I'm not surprised that he wrote a follow-up, because the ending practically begged for continuation. But I was also wary, because sequels can be like designer knockoffs- compelling in their own way, but rarely as good as the original.

`Rebirth' continues the dark saga of a teenaged band of post-apocalypse survivors. Narrated by Sara, Joel's girlfriend, it fluidly resumes where `The Judas Syndrome' left off. Crises that erupted at the conclusion of the previous book have such disastrous consequences that Sara's new fight for life exceeds all past conflicts. This time the stakes are higher: she has given birth to Joel's son, and paranormal influences indicate that the boy has a vital destiny to fulfill. But treacherous former friends, roaming killers, and other grim remnants of a dead world assail them both, making it possible that they won't even see tomorrow, let alone the infant's adulthood.

I agree with another reviewer that `Rebirth' is gentler in tone than `The Judas Syndrome', but the core themes of courage, desperation, and hope remain strong. Putting Sara in the figurative pilot's seat has not resulted in a piece of post-bomb chick lit; because she has so much to live for, she's just as ruthless as her male associates when she has to be, and her actions keep the storyline gritty and fast.

Fans of the first book will find much to enjoy in this second, exciting offering from Michael Poeltl. The dreaded `curse of the crappy sequel' definitely doesn't apply here.

Saturday, January 8, 2011

Rebirth, the 2nd book in The Judas Syndrome series - Reviewed

January, 8th 2011

By: Andrea Kraus

An evolution of story and storytelling

I recently read The Judas Syndrome and decided to see where the author took me on the next installment of his post-apocalyptic journey. I was not disappointed, and saw a growth and evolution not only stylistically, but also in the themes of the story. As in his previous work, the story is most definitely character driven and uses the post-apocalyptic setting as the vehicle by which we get to know both the corporeal and non-corporeal participants in this story.

Rebirth is told from Sara’s point of view – she survives an apocalypse, and has experiences no 19 year old woman should be expected to endure. It spans from the end of The Judas Syndrome and moves on 9 years into the future, exploring many spiritual and emotional topics amid the backdrop of a post-apocalyptic modern culture. Sara has to learn how to fend for herself and her newborn son, and has to re-evaluate everything she knows about herself, the world she lives in and the world she cannot see. The paranormal themes are far more apparent in this installment than in the author’s previous book.

Although this book doesn’t shy away from a bit of profanity and adult themes, is not as raw as its predecessor. Like Sara, it is a gentler telling of the story – although no less gritty and courageous. This is a good story for those who prefer their post-apocalyptica to be woven through with other genres, such as the paranormal and spirituality. As with his other work, I find Rebirth to be an enjoyable read which flows nicely and is easy to read.

For where to purchase the book, Rebirth, visit the website.

New review for The Judas Syndrome - Apocalyptic fiction, Future Fiction

New review for The Judas Syndrome
January 8, 2011

by: Andrea Kraus

The Judas Syndrome
Fun read, interesting character development

Post apocalyptic fiction isn’t normally my go-to genre, but this story goes beyond the simple plotline of “what happens after the bomb”. If you enjoyed Stephen King’s “The Stand”, the movies “Stand by Me” and “Band of Brothers”, and appreciate strong character interactions, this little gem is worth your time. The Judas Syndrome is a story of a group of stranded teenagers who find themselves struggling to survive in a world destroyed by a madman’s ideology. They’re guided by nothing more than their wits and a little bit of supernatural intervention.

The author has a good writing style and is very eloquent – you can tell that he has stepped into the protagonist’s shoes and is actually experiencing the story as it unfolds. He allows the complex interactions of the characters to drive the story, rather than rely solely on external circumstances. In other words, it’s all about the characters, not about the situation.

The astute reader may recognize subtle quasi-religious sub-themes which surface now and again without being overt or overshadow the storyline. I will admit that initially I was a bit disconcerted to imagine a bunch of 17 year old stoners speaking with the level of maturity and insight in this story, but as the tale unfolds, it is less of an issue and even becomes somewhat plausible. Or maybe I give teenagers more intellectual credit than I should. /shrug All in all, this was a fun book to read, and I found it highly enjoyable.

Please be aware that although the main characters in this book are teenagers, this story is definitely written for the adult reader. If you are comfortable with strong language, characters who engage in copious drug use, and mature themes, this story is a good value.

For where to buy the book, visit the website.