Evening's Empire Paperback – 5 Jun 2003
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"A marvelous fantasy."--"Science Fiction Weekly""The sense of strangeness grows, and develops into an intriguing mixture of absurdity and menace, dream and waking, as categories slip loose from their boundaries."--"Locus"
Evening is a small town on the Oregon coast, famous for its cheeses. Russell Kent, an opera composer from Massachusetts, lost his beloved wife there a year ago to a freak accident, and returns now to confront his ghosts. Kent has been commissioned to write an opera based upon Jules Verne's TWENTY THOUSAND LEAGUES UNDER THE SEA, which story fills his dreams, and only in Evening does he feel himself able to return to work. There, he also discovers many strange things (even beyond the cheese sculptures), finds new love and new friendship, and is initiated into a fantastic secret the whole populace is hiding in a cavern beneath the town.See all Product description
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Feeling a bit guilty, Russell has an affair with Megan Sumner, the owner of the bed and breakfast he is staying at. He also begins to meet many of the residents, but feels uneasy as he senses everyone shares a dark secret except him. Russell finds a thirst to learn the undisclosed as he starts questioning anything and everything for everyday occurrences here in Empire seem slightly off center or eccentric.
This is a strong fantasy suspense thriller that builds the tension to extremely high levels as readers accompany the hero with a need to know the truth. The story line is loaded with action and filled with an assortment of characters that manage to make the everyday appear eerie. However, the climax feels abrupt as a series of inexplicable disclosures with few or no real clues occur in a very short stretch as if a page limit barrier was hit. Still, David Herter displays his talent to keep the thrill at its acme and the need to know even higher in this powerful fantasy suspense tale.
As his heart heals, Russ finds love and friendship in the town of evening. His creative energies recaptured, he begins satisfying work on his opera, the echoes of the music in head matching the mystical elements created of sun, sea, and secrets. For soon he learns of the town's secret, an empire hidden under the hill that will change his world.
Author David Herter combines contemporary fantasy with a literary form of story telling to pen a haunting, lyrical tale in EVENING'S EMPIRE. The echoes and subtle nuances drawn from literature and music result a surreal sense of the unexpected that subtly draws the reader into a tale as odd in the telling as in the content. Yet the rhythms and interweavings are almost magical in their allure, making it impossible to put the book down. At once riveting and bizarre, readers will find their imaginations taking flight with EVENING'S EMPIRE. Very highly recommended.
The town of Evening had a secret. Something everyone kept quiet about and secretly worked on, unknown by the rest of the world. Quietly, the population of Evening hid a fantastic secret in a cavern beneath the town and only referred to as "downstairs". After many decades of work, and several deaths, the secret was about to be revealed!
This story seemed to flow as smoothly as mellow music. A small bit of curiosities to begin with, followed by a constant undercurrent of tension. The story kept me guessing as to what the big secret was. Even as my imagination ran wild, I never came close to the truth. David Herter has masterfully created a novel that will keep its readers on the edge of their seats! Recommended!
a) make the protagonist a modern classical composer struggling to write an opera based on 20,000 Leagues under the Sea.
b) make the villains the owners and operators of a cheese factory.
c) wait for over a hundred pages before introducing the first hint of supernatural phenomena.
d) leave the fate of many of the secondary characters unresolved.
This novel is encumbered by all of these obstacles. It starts very slowly, and concentrates on character more than your typical fantasy novel. Personally, I enjoyed it immensely. As for the ending, the ending of 20,000 Leagues Under the Sea leaves the fate of several characters hanging, just like the ending to Evening's Empire. There is an important difference, in that in 20,000 Leagues Under the Sea there is no possible way for our heroes to find out what happened next, whereas in Evening's Empire the presumption is that the characters will discover what happened in a few months. Somehow, this makes the ending much more unsatisfying. Unfortunately, Herter seemed to miss this distinction.