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The Mountain God of Darkness

Norman Westhoff
Norman Westhoff Author Interview

The Color of Greed is the second book in the Erebus Tales series. What were some new ideas you wanted to explore in this book that was different from book one?

The first book, Stone Fever, was conceived as a pure adventure Western, geared to a Young Adult audience, and very much action-driven. In The Color of Greed, I wanted to broaden the stakes, the scope and the timeline. So, for instance, this book takes place over several months, compared to the first one in just over a week. SF was set wholly in Antarctica, except for some flashbacks. CoG jumps between life in an Antarctic village during the long dark season and power centers of the Northern Hemisphere.

I also wanted the protagonist to have to make more difficult choices, and to show the resulting consequences.

Keltyn continues to be an enthralling character. What were some challenges you felt were important for her character development?

The fact that she is Native American (actually, the correct term in Canada, where she is from, is Indigenous Peoples) initially striving to succeed in a white-male-dominated field like industrial science. Then she finds herself rescued from near-death and adopted by a poor family in a nomadic village; her loyalties and goals shift dramatically. (Spoiler alert: even more dramatic challenges to come in the finalé, Gifts of a Dark God, to be published 11/21.)

What are some sources you feel informed this novel’s development?

As a traveler to many foreign countries, including several trips to less-affluent parts of the world, I’ve always been interested in what may be described as “cultural anthropology.” This field compares how different societies deal with similar needs, like food, clothing, and shelter, on to more abstract pursuits like art and religion. For more on that, readers may be interested in an ongoing photo-essay series: https://www.instagram.com/StoneFeverBook/

When you throw in the other variable, of how drastic climate change may result in mass forced migrations over hundreds of years, the stage was set for a sci-fi series based on the trope of first contact.

What can readers expect in book three of the Erebus Tales series?

The plot thickens: each of the five point-of-view characters from CoG completes their own narrative arc in this epic finalé that spans two years. Erebus, the mountain god of darkness, will have the final say.

Though mature Y.A. readers will hopefully have been hooked by the first two books, the themes from them are expanded for the benefit of adult readers, and the length is about 20% longer than the first two books.

Author Links: GoodReads | Facebook | Website

In this sequel to Stone Fever, a year has passed since geologist Keltyn SparrowHawk, abandoned in post-glacial Antarctica by her crew-mates from Canada, survived a near-fatal bullet wound. Now, she tries to make a new life with the nomadic tribe that took her in, but clues point to mega-industrialist Sir Oscar Bailey readying a second mission to exploit the iridium treasure by Mt. Erebus. Sure that his plan spells disaster for her tribe, Keltyn must first inspire her Onwei friends Luz and Joaquin, her gaucho lover, and tribal leaders.

Back home, anthropologist Fay Del Canto begins an affair with Harry Ladou, to pry the crew chief away from Bailey’s orbit. She knits together an umbrella group of environmentalists and endangered tribes, until a shadowy faction of eco-terrorists begins to strike across the Bailey empire.

The mogul dispatches his rising star Helmut Gans onto the second mission, and recruits Keltyn’s estranged mentor Russell McCoy to fill her place. Keltyn must take drastic measures to counter him, at the cost of her own freedom.

The Color of Greed: Erebus Tales, Book 2

The Color of Greed: Erebus Tales, Book 2 by [Norman Westhoff]

The characters we came to know and love in Stone Fevre are back in The Color of Greed: Erebus Tales, Book 2 by Norman Westhoff! Keltyn SparrowHawk, the beloved geologist, is trying to make a life for herself with the tribe that took her in a year following the traumatic events of book one. And the capitalistic mastermind, Sir Oscar, is back to his cruel doings and planning another mission for the iridium treasure. Keltyn hears of this and does everything she can to stop him. Can she foil Sir Oscar’s plans? Find out in The Color of Greed.

Norman Westhoff has done it again in the second installment of the Erebus Tales! I may even say he has gotten better at his craft since the first book.

First things first, I want to dive into Westhoff’s improved storytelling skills. The first book in the series was so well written, I didn’t think it could get any better. The story flows easily and I was able to easily understand what was happening in this thrilling adventure story, this is important to me as I just finished another book that was very convoluted so I much appreciate the clarity of Westhoff’s writing.

I mentioned in my first review that there was never a dull moment in the book and it was very easy to read despite the drama and complexity of some of the issues. The same remains true for book two. I felt that chronologically, book 2 does a better job at connecting events and scenes together.

Although we explore a lot of the same themes as book 1, book 2 further elaborates on these themes beautifully. The Erebus Tales series can teach anyone who reads it a valuable lesson on modern society.

The Color of Greed is a riveting Western action adventure novel filled with alluring characters, a vivid setting, and a storyline that takes Keltyn on yet another perilous journey. Something about this story reminds me of The Revenant, with stirring characters on a compelling journey. Or even Michael Crichton’s Dragon Teeth with it’s effortless yet enthralling storytelling. Readers who enjoy a wild western style adventure will surely enjoy this novel.

Pages: 301 | ASIN: B093MGMYKL

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