Jak Phoenix – The Space Adventure Reviewed


Jak phoenix ebook paperback independent space opera sci fi book coverHey Everyone!

Jak Phoenix, the space adventure novel by Matt Williams, was recently reviewed positively by the good folks over at Feathered Quill Book Reviews.  The review is reprinted below:

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Jak Phoenix

By: Matt Williams
Publisher: Azore’s Crown Publishing
Publication Date: April 2010
ISBN: 978-0-9865266-1-9
Reviewed by: Eloise Michael
Review Date: September 17, 2010

If you thought that Han Solo was the real hero of Star Wars, then Jak Phoenix, a novel by Matt Williams, is for you. Jak and his partner, Baxter, are space pirates traveling the Azore’s Crown Galaxy in an outdated ship called The Tempest. The ship constantly needs repairs on the fly, partly because it is old and pieced together from several different ships, and partly because of the scrapes that are common to the life of a space pirate.

Williams’ characters are familiar archetypes of science fiction. Jak is irreverent and prefers to work no harder than is necessary to feed himself and to stock the bar on The Tempest. His treatment of women is obnoxious. Then along comes a woman strong enough to turn Jack around. Jak’s friends are mechanics and engineers who get by on their intelligence and the ability to collect and make use of what others see as junk. There is, as well, the typical assortment of villains– from weak and servile to evil-cyborg-scientist to megalomaniac.

Williams breathes new life into these archetypes, thoroughly developing each character, not with lengthy descriptions, but through the characters’ actions and conversations. Readers will have no trouble keeping the characters straight; Williams creates lasting images of their physical appearances while at the same time revealing their motivations. As readers get to know the characters, they will find themselves liking and identifying with Jak and his friends.

Above all, what makes Jak Phoenix a good book is the pacing. Williams brilliantly balances action with plot and character development throughout the book. There is never a dull moment, whether Jak and his friends are outmaneuvering attackers in space, boarding an enemy ship, fighting robotic soldiers, or outwitting captors.

Though the action never lets up, the plot of Jak Phoenix always continues to move forward at an engaging pace. The details that Williams includes in the middle of all this action will create vivid pictures in his readers’ minds. Readers will get hooked early and want to stay with the book to find out what happens.

The plot is fairly simple; Jak must rescue a race of aliens– perhaps the whole galaxy– from an evil mastermind who has quietly been building armies in a corner of the galaxy. It is a tried-and-true plot line, and it’s simplicity works in Williams’ favor. Readers of science fiction want an alternate universe, which is believable, characters with whom they can identify (even if they happen to be aliens), and a story that will keep them turning the pages. Williams easily achieves all three within the context of a plot which, like his characters, is original enough to be memorable but sticks to a basic formula that works.

Williams’ grammar is not always perfect, and his sentences are occasionally awkward. This does not interfere with the story, however. If Williams’ style is a little rough around the edges, it complements Jak, himself, who chooses practicality over appearances. The narrator’s voice reads the way an average science fiction fan might talk, which many will find appealing. Readers will find this well-crafted novel diverting, will want to recommend it to a friend, and will look forward to Jak Phoenix’s next adventure.

Quill says: Perfectly paced to keep science fiction fans absorbed and engaged.

For more information on Jak Phoenix, please visit the book’s website at: www.jakphoenix.com

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The original review can be found at http://www.featheredquill.com/reviews/sciencefiction/williams2.shtml

The book they reviewed is available on Amazon right here: http://www.amazon.com/dp/0986526614/?tag=azorscrowpubl-20

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Musical Accompaniment


Jak phoenix ebook paperback independent space opera sci fi book cover

Jak Phoenix now has an instrumental theme song.  I know, I know, the bandwidth used when everyone flocks to hear it could quite possibly disable the Internet, but I’m selfishly willing to take that risk. 

This was recorded at home with my own instruments.  Even though I tried to mellow the guitar tracks into the mix as much as possible, I’m quite proud of the awesome growly tone on the rhythm guitar track from my Fender Texas Special pickups. This sound has absolutely nothing at all to do with a Space Opera tale, but I think it works.  Even if it doesn’t, it has to for now.

The song is on YouTube below this article. I don’t really have anything for a video yet, but YouTube is the best way to get any sort of multimedia out. You’ll just see a few still images while the song snippet plays.

If you have a second, I’d really appreciate if you could go to YouTube and “Like” this or throw down a comment.

Thanks again for reading!

Matt Williams
Author of the Jak Phoenix Space Adventures at www.jakphoenix.com
www.facebook.com/jakphoenix

Read Jak Phoenix:

Smashwords.com
Amazon.com
Amazon.ca
Amazon.co.uk
Barnesandnoble.com
Chapters.ca
iTunes (For iPad and iPhone)
Kobobooks.com

Smashwords Sitewide Promotion


Aren’t deals great?  Especially when you’re supporting something as revolutionary as Smashwords.com, and the building blocks they’re laying on what could potentially be the future of publishing.  From July 1st to July 31st 2010, many ebooks will be heavily discounted. Fortunately that includes my space opera novel, Jak Phoenix – at a 75% discount.

Since it only costs a buck, I would love it if you could take a chance on the book that has been a part of my life since 2008. Support the independent spirit!

Here is the link to the book where it is being sold direct on Smashwords.com. http://www.smashwords.com/books/view/9293

Feel free to throw down a review, or contact me directly if you want to talk about an aspect of the story.

Thanks again for reading!

Matt Williams

Author of the Jak Phoenix Space Adventures at www.jakphoenix.com

First Post of the New Jak Phoenix Blog!


Jak Phoenix Paperback and Ebook Cover Art

The following is a blog entry entitled, ‘Jak Phoenix: Doing Something About it,’ from Matt Williams, author of the novel, Jak Phoenix.

I started writing Jak Phoenix in September 2008, after beers with friends led to the inevitable conversations nerds have about movies, comics, space and how we always had ‘better ideas’ than the churned-out supply of Hollywood remakes and reboots.

‘Better ideas’ is a pretty subjective term, but after the 50th conversation about being able to do something better without having any experience doing said task, I decided to put my money where my mouth was. Write a book. Pretty easy right?

Wrong. Writing, while rewarding, is difficult. Decent original ideas are hard to come by. The line between something marketable and garbage is pretty blurred. I am convinced the key to being a successful author lies more in self-discipline and an intense work ethic. Putting words down is tiring, stressful, boring and exhilarating all at the same time. At the very least, my efforts over the 15 months dedicated to putting the book together has given me the utmost respect for writers of anything; be it books, news articles, scripts, plays, or commercials.

I am no Hemingway. I am several large steps below a guy who has read a Hemingway. My goal was never to write a life changing magnum opus of epic proportions, but to have fun with the archetypes we all grew up admiring. From a literary standpoint, I’d have to say my biggest influence came from Ian Fleming. Not from a story perspective, but in action, suspense and pacing. What you read won’t be boring. I can promise you that much. My short attention span wouldn’t allow for boredom.

I set out to write a story that made me feel like I did the first time I saw the original Star Wars. Jak Phoenix morphed into something different when my focus swayed a little into the comedic field, but the simplicity, strong characterizations and appeal to mainstream readers remained intact. I wanted something everyone could have fun reading, with relatable flawed characters and a light tone. I’d had enough of the doom and gloom so prevalent in media these days. I’m not ashamed to admit I wanted a slam bang space opera.

My novel is far from perfect and I am the first to admit it. But, I went out on a limb and ‘did something about it,’ and for that I am proud. My fiancée’s understanding to my dedication toward sitting at the computer for multi-hour stretched will also never be forgotten. Her support is part of the reason she is my fiancée.

If you have read Jak Phoenix, I sincerely hope you enjoy it, as I certainly did while I was writing it. I picked the book up off the shelf the other day and started reading it. With my best attempt to separate myself as the author, I can honestly say it still put a smile on my face. Goal accomplished.

Matt Williams

http://mattdwilliams.wordpress.com/

Author of the Jak Phoenix Space Adventures at www.jakphoenix.com

Jak Phoenix is available at:
Amazon.com Paperbacks
Barnes and Noble Paperbacks
Barnes and Noble ebooks
Smashwords ebooks