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  • Bryan W. Alaspa

Books to watch for: Urbantasm by Connor Coyne

One of the great things about being a writer is the fact you often get to meet or become friends with other writers. In this world of social media and in a landscape where cross-promotion is often key to achieving any kind of publishing success, using social media and maintaining good relationships with other writers is so key. Authors really should not consider themselves competition, but colleagues in a tough industry.

One of my favorite writer pals is a guy named Connor Coyne. I got to know him when he lived in Chicago and he invited me to speak at a regular gathering his literary group did here in Chicago. I got to read from my book and we have kept in touch even as he moved to Michigan.

Connor is a great writer. His ability to create amazing characters in a richly painted fictional background is something to be truly admired. Needless to say, I was excited to get an early copy of his novel Urbantasm - a four part novel he started working in more than 10 years ago.

Well, folks, let me tell you something - add Connor's name to your list of authors to watch and keep looking for Urbantasm Part One: The Dying City.

While trying to think of how to describe Connor Coyne's epic new noel Urbantasm, I kept thinking about another artist in a different medium: Georges Seurat. The man who helped pioneer pointillism is almost what I would use to describe this epic tale. Literary pointillism may be a whole new genre Connor has invented.

This is a coming of age tale, crime story, thriller, suspense novel and a use of fiction to condemn and glorify urban decay and corruption Upton Sinclair would recognize while writing The Jungle about Chicago.

Connor uses language a bit at a time, hurling words at you for long paragraphs and only when you step back do you realize you have a true and complete picture of the area he was describing. This is not to say the novel is confusing. Far from it. From a pure storytelling perspective, this is a fantastic read. Realistic characters in real peril and dealing with real-life situations. Then a bizarre pair of sunglasses is found and things get - weird. We see each character, read each part of the tale, and only when we reach the end of part one do we start to see the whole coming together.

It's breathtaking writing. I feel Urbantasm is destined to be a classic.


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