by Christian Warren Freed
Light Elves. Dark elves. Dwarves. Trolls. A dragon living under the city who spends his time watching reruns of 80s shows and a Grateful Dead loving Giant wearing tie dye and forging weapons?
Fantasy author Daniel Thomas never imagined the mythical creatures he wrote about actually existed and wishes they weren't. Daniel is about to embark on the longest and worst night of his life as he is drawn into an elf civil war happening in Raleigh, North Carolina. The only thing keeping him alive are two dwarf brothers who smoke too many cigars and have more guns than the US Army.
Making matters worse is a secret government organization determined to keep it all a secret.
Where Have All the Elves Gone? is part James Bond, part Eddie Drood, and all chaos as Daniel sets out to save two worlds before they collide.
The story is set in and around Raleigh, NC, an area with which I am very familiar. As such, much of my enjoyment was in recognizing the locations and in picturing the epic fantasy-meets-reality clashes between humans, dwarves, elves, and gnomes. In particular, the zoo scenes, my adopted hometown, and the fairgrounds. It's obvious the author has done his research or is a local.
As for the fantasy, it's interesting. I always enjoy a new take on "what if" elves, dwarves, etc. are real, and in this story, that is paired with "what if" an author's stories reflect reality. Besides that, I found a few of the features of the fantasy creatures a bit too convenient, and I was getting hung up on how they were going to cover up the destruction.
Overall, worth a read. I enjoyed it because I like fantasy/reality mash ups, reluctant heroes, and action.
I received the review copy of this book from NetGalley.
About the Author:
Christian W. Freed was born in Buffalo, N.Y. more years ago than he would like to remember. After spending more than 20 years in the active duty US Army he has turned his talents to writing. Since retiring, he has gone on to publish over 20 military fantasy and science fiction novels, as well as his memoirs from his time in Iraq and Afghanistan, a children's book, and a pair of how to books focused on indie authors and the decision making process for writing a book and what happens after it is published.
His first published book (Hammers in the Wind) has been the #1 free book on Kindle 4 times and he holds a fancy certificate from the L Ron Hubbard Writers of the Future Contest. Ok, so it was for 4th place in one quarter, but it's still recognition from the largest fiction writing contest in the world. And no, he's not a scientologist.
Passionate about history, he combines his knowledge of the past with modern military tactics to create an engaging, quasi-realistic world for the readers. He graduated from Campbell University with a degree in history and is pursuing a Masters of Arts degree in Digital Communications from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill.
He currently lives outside of Raleigh, N.C. and devotes his time to writing, his family, and their two Bernese Mountain Dogs. If you drive by you might just find him on the porch with a cigar in one hand and a pen in the other. You can find out more about his work by following him @ https://www.facebook.com/ChristianFreed or on Twitter @christianwfreed.