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Release: May 2011
Editor:Christine I. Speakman
Line editor: Penny Ehrenkranz
Cover artist:Delilah K. Stephans
Kan not only has complete amnesia but superhuman strength and the ability to bring back the dead. Soon a beautiful girl complicates things even more. As Kan learns his identity, he finds he is faced with a deadly evil and a cosmic mission.
Kan knew at once the little girl was dead, her brain and body smashed beyond repair. Yet he ran across the street to where the child’s mother knelt screaming.
Passing the stunned school guard, Kan didn’t even glance toward the driver who had raced off down the street.
By the time he reached them, the mother had gathered her child’s crumpled body in her arms and was wailing, swaying back and forth on her knees. Over the girl’s bloodstained chestnut curls, the woman’s upturned eyes were puddles of grief imploring an indifferent sky.
“God, don’t let her die, don’t let her die. Oh, God…”
The mother’s desperate, pleading voice called onlookers like a siren’s song. People crossed the pavement, some at a run, some at a cautious walk. Even as he was preoccupied with thoughts of the child, Kan tasted their minds, finding some shocked, others curious, and a few hungry for suffering in a repulsive way he had never understood.
“My God,” a man said. “Did you see what happened?" His eyes passed over Kan's tall muscular frame. "The car must have thrown her twenty feet.”
“It was a Nebula 10,” someone replied. “Black. Didn’t get the license number.”
In the middle of the street, the crossing guard still stood frozen in the hot sun of San Luis Obispo, California, her chalk-white face staring in their direction. Kan sighed and nudged her mind. “Not your fault,” he told her. “Call the police.”
The guard blinked and came to life. She reached for her cellphone.
Within a minute, a dozen people clustered about the mother and child. Get back, Kan wanted to shout, though he had no business being here himself. Have you no shame? Respect her grief. Every day, he fought a ceaseless battle to keep his nature secret, to slink beneath the radar of prying eyes. True, so many of these creatures needed help. He was the only one, though, and their vampiric needs drained him. If he got careless or let compassion rule his head, they would learn what he was and hate him for being different.
He started to leave just as a man pressed against him, eager for the sight of a little blood. Nor was he the lone ghoulish rubbernecker. A plump, middle-aged woman pushed forward, too. Kan’s hands twitched with an unfamiliar hunger of their own to smash and destroy. The desire alarmed him. Tempted to give in, he knew he would be no better than they if he did.
Despite his need to leave, the mother’s wails and the child’s limp, ruined body held him. He glanced past them at the elementary school seventy yards away beyond a well-trimmed lawn. Yellow daffodils stirred in the breeze. It looked calm and sedate, though he knew the doors could burst open at any moment and new company could come.
Kan began to turn.
As he did, the mother’s stricken eyes found his. Help me, they seemed to cry. Help my little girl.
Before he could stop himself, Kan knelt and held out his arms. “Give me the child,” he said.
He cupped his hands, moving his fingers. “Your child. Give her to me, while there’s still time.”
For those who like shortcuts, don’t read the first few pages then skip to the end. This is one book where every chapter counts. I recommend this to anyone who likes a good science fiction thriller. Actually, I recommend this for everyone that likes a good book. - READ FULL REVIEW Unwriter Ron Berry Review
Oftentimes, the central plot of a story is whether or not a character has the strength, power, or agency to affect his or her surroundings. It’s compelling because we all wish we had more control and ability ourselves, and we can identify with someone who needs more to protect a loved one or fulfill a dream.
Kan, the principle character in John B Rosenman’s Dark Wizard, undeniably has power, more than he needs, even wants. The question that comes up as a result of Rosenman’s romantic fantasy is does it matter from where one’s power derives? Kan has amnesia, but in place of the mundane details of a life lived, he knows other things, like whether a little girl that’s just been struck by a car is dead or not, and the thoughts of every onlooker at the scene, and what would happen if he were to bring the child back from the dead. A clean slate of a man, Kan seeks to do right, but the darkest of thoughts occur to him at times, a voice in his mind he doesn’t recognize as his own. The choices that such a character makes are interesting, and Rosenman does not hesitate to take every advantage to create a world where such a man is tested as he walks down the road of rediscovery. Kan is a man divided, and what’s more has no idea how much of him is evil, and how much is good. Is the desire for valor enough to overcome villainous origins? Rosenman’s very appropriate title is not a definitive answer, but more simply a place to begin to investigate that idea.-Review by J.E. Cammon