Now here’s something interesting. Hang with me. This is going somewhere.
I did something I don’t usually do. I grabbed a copy of a Book 2 in a series without having read the first book. I did this for a couple reasons. First, I needed something different from what I usually read (whatever that is). Second, I didn’t have the first handy. And finally, the book I picked up—Earthbreaker, which was a book in the Gaia Charmer, World Warrior series—is written by Robert Jeschonek, who is one of my favorite authors. I’ve commented on his work around here a few times already.
Bob would not steer me wrong. He knows how to write. He’ll keep me up on all the things I need to know. Which was spot on thinking. The book had a few callbacks—moments where you could feel the writer filling in the small bits I needed to know—but in the end, the story itself hung together just fine.
I loved it.
I can see where it’s not for people who don’t get into paranormal, comic booky super-hero kinds of things, but if you’re like me and find it fun to jump into them, I’d guess you will love it, too.
Jeschonek’s slant here is fun. His characters are interesting and cleanly drawn, the pace is good, the read is quick. Through it all, Bob’s love of the comic book superhero is simply tasty. Having read this one, I intended to end this by suggesting you start with book number one. Natural, right? I assume they were written in order for a purpose, and without spoiling things, I can feel the bigger story on both ends here.
Then I went to look for links and found the series had been taken down. What? I thought. Did Bob do something weird with them? Usually I use the term “weird” (in a good way) when talking about Bob’s writing rather than his business practices.
Curious, I reached out to Bob and found that the indie/traditional world has struck again. He’s reconfigured and rebranded the story, and entered a deal with Aethon Books. This means the series title is now The Gaia Files, and now the series is four books strong. And, oh yeah, he’s taken the pseudonym R. J. Sierra (which he’s given me permission to reveal). I’m admit I’m not attuned to the purpose of that change, but I suppose it makes some sense, given the new business arrangement. old days authors had to change names as a kind of witness protection thing. Today is different. So I found that kind of fun to think through.
Unfortunately (to me, anyway) they are only available on Kindle Unlimited. Such is life. I’m sure lots of readers are happy with this, so that’s good. Readers make the world go around. As a writer I find KU to be bothersome, though (he says, telling KU fans to get off my lawn!).
Bottom line, rebranding books this way is an interesting thing about the new world. Sure, it happened on rare occasion in the old days—I remember Diann Thornley had a self-published book that got picked up and reconfigured way back in the 90s. It happened. But this kind of thing is much more the norm, now. A series never really dies, you know? Independent writer/publishers are bound only by their imaginations and the number of hours in the day.
So, really, I’m happy across the board.
And if you have a KU account, I’ll strongly recommend you grab DEad to the World, which is the new Book One title, and have at it. I think you’ll agree it’s a good summer beach read—even if you’re not on the beach.