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Book Review: Emma’s Rose – Author Eric A. Shelman

Emma’s Rose

By Eric A. Shelman

Dolphin Moon Publications

355 Pages

Arthur Wells is just your ordinary everyday loving family man with a vision. Albeit a wealthy tycoon that travels every corner of the world at a whim, just a man with the American dream. With an eclectic taste for exhilarating adventure Mr. Wells finds himself with family in tow in Romania to explore some of the deepest darkest, unchartered territory on the face of the earth. His endearing affection for his daughter is reflective of a most unique flower he spots deep inside a cave in which he wants to present to young Emma as a gift. The consequences of unearthing such an unusual plant comes in the form of catastrophe. Now staring directly into the eyes of a global viral infection, Arthur is the sole blame for Emma’s Rose.

As a critic, writer and general all around horror aficionado, I’m beyond proud to call one Eric A. Shelman friend and confidante. Eric’s efforts will always hold a special place of sentiment in my reading collection for numerous reasons. I could compose an entire article on those reasons alone. I feel it is critical to mention Eric’s inaugural Dead Hunger edition, The Flex Sheridan Chronicles was the very first fictional novel review I’d reviewed six years ago this Halloween. A lot can transpire in six years. In Shelmanland, multiple editions and variations of Dead Hunger later, and numerous other works, we find the faithful reading audience before Emma’s Rose.

One of the carnal rules of writing, is simply write what you know. Simple enough. A common theme of the author’s works is a global outbreak. The cataclysmic results of a microscope entity that damage control knows no bounds, is the predominant premise of Shelman’s endeavors. Most admirably this writer has found a formula that works for him and allures a vast audience of faithful readers. Sure some may argue that Emma’s Rose is simply a dash of Dead Hunger and a   sprinkle of Scabs repackaged but I would beg to differ. I’m perpetually impressed with Shelman’s ability to flex his story lines and continues to present likeable, believable characters from all walks of life.

You know you’ve made your impact in the horror realm when others begin to rib your product. An ongoing joke I used to have with avid Dean Koontz fans was to question have you read the latest Koontz? You know the one with the global conspiracy, all the sarcastic characters and the dog in it? Well, that narrows it down but I’m hard pressed to find any readers, die hards or just exposed who could not tear through the pages of his work.

The same could be vouched for Shelman. Say, have you read the latest Shelman novel, you know the one with the global outbreak, coming of age road trip and the characters based upon those closest to him? Well, you get the gist. At the same time, Eric’s reading audience continues to grow and grow. I’m proud of all he’s achieved and whether critic or otherwise, I will gladly tear into his work with just as much invigorated enthusiasm as the last.

The character of Arthur Wells is complex yet very likeable unto the masses. Deep down we can see a little bit of Arthur in all of us. Just a man that wants the best for his family and will stop at nothing to convey how special his wife and daughter are to him. His sense of emotion and panic is depicted with raw integrity. Wells is vulnerable, falling to pieces as he realizes his moral responsibilities. Shelman appeals to our empathetic nature, drawing the readership deeper into the fray.

Even his unorthodox hobbies and pursuits raise the constant intrigue. At first I thought the writer had created a passion for cave exploration with an affection for siting the word spelunking. It grows on you trust me. Say it aloud three times and prove me wrong.

Some of the death scenes are extremely hard and challenging for the subconscious to process. I always admired Shelman’s refusal to confirm to the cookie cutter formula of horror writing. When chartering across these paper landscapes, rest assured there will be some turbulence and most definitely some disturbance.

So rather you’re brand new to the works of Eric A. Shelman or a member of the Street Team, I implore you to slow life down a little bit. Curl up before a fire. Ride the commuter train and stop to smell the roses. In this case blossom in the twisted mind of Eric A. Shelman and Emma’s Rose.

 

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