Book Blitz: The Elf by Max Dune
Author: Max Dune
Published: October 20, 2016
Publisher: David & Duke Publishing
Number of Pages: 318
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Synopsis: Elves are dying in the North Pole, and none of their scientists can find a cure. They believe it’s a virus, unleashed by a powerful enemy. All signs point to Jack Frost, who’s been biding his time from afar. Watching. Waiting. Plotting. One brave elf, to save his kind, will venture out to meet evil in the eye. But he uncovers a mystery more dangerous than he could have ever imagined. Now Lucian must join a group of warriors and fight. Fuego; a flame-wielding pyro. Tiktok; a brilliant bomb expert, Yuriko; a deadly ninja assassin. And Bullets; a hot-headed gun aficionado. These unlikely heroes must learn to work together and defeat the rising evil. Or Christmas will soon be lost…forever.
By the time we reach the forest, though, my enthusiasm has dwindled. The place seems to have been drawn out of a nightmare. The black trees twist violently out of the ground, and their equally dark leaves form a canopy so dense that hardly any sunlight breaks in. I bite my lip, staring at the path of gloom and uncertainty that cuts through the densely packed trees. A plethora of worries swirls around in my head, especially since we already encountered one mythical monster who tried to kill and eat me. I do my best to shove those grim imaginings aside and strap on my headlamp. After it’s turned on, I snap Blitzen’s reins.
The reindeer remains still as a statue. He stares into the dark labyrinth of timbers.
“I’m not thrilled either, but what other choice do we have? Going around the forest will take much longer, and our supplies might run out. We have to go through it.”
He huffs unhappily, then proceeds.
I can almost feel the darkness pressing down on me. It has a suffocating effect as we move carefully through miles of eerie maze. My ears strain to pick up any animal sounds, but apart from the distant howling of winds above us, silence fills the air. I turn my face from side to side, shining my headlamp beam on the massively thick trunks. These trees make the pines of the forest that encircles Santa’s Village seem like twigs by comparison. I’ve never seen anything like them, which makes me think magic is at work here.
And that makes me nervous.
After awhile, I begin humming Christmas carols. It helps calm me, and I’m sure it brings comfort to Blitzen too. I have to question the logic of my current plan. Because, to be honest, I don’t know the full extent of Frost’s powers. Santa hasn’t told us much. Apart from his flying, all we know is that Frost has dangerous ice-wielding powers. But what if he has other secret powers at his disposal? Such as super healing, for instance. If that’s the case, he could have recovered from the bullet wounds by now. I frown at the possibility; a healthy Frost will be much tougher to kill.
Off to the right, leaves rustle.
I stop humming and turn my head. I see them. A pair of golden eyes, shining in the darkness. I inhale sharply, then increase the intensity of my headlamp for better visibility. I instantly regret the decision. The eyes belong to gigantic black wolf. It rests on its haunches, with hits head lowered, perfectly positioned for an attack. A low growl escapes its throat, sending chills up my spine.
Before it moves, I raise my crossbow and take aim.
It doesn’t budge. It just maintains its battle-ready crouch, never blinking, sizing us up, salivating hungrily as it does. My chest tightens to the point of aching. God, what do I do? I think, shaking in fear. Should I shoot it or wait for it to make a move?
Blitzen lowers his pointy antlers and waves them in the wolf’s direction. A warning to our enemy: “Back up or I’m making wolf-kebabs.”
A smile forms on my face, half from nerves but half in great pride. Blitzen the Barbarian doesn’t mess around. I couldn’t have asked for a better companion, and I’m beyond grateful for my comrade’s brazenness, not to mention his intimidating physique.
Suddenly the wolf throws its head back and howls. As if on cue, more yellow eyes appear in the inky blackness surrounding us. The pack joins him, releasing their own haunting wails. The reverberations of the cries crackle through my eardrums and make my hair stand on end all over my body.
“Go, Blitzen. Go!” I cry.
About the Author: Max Dune is a Southern writer who spent most his childhood watching TV, devouring comic books and weaving magical worlds in his head. In his mid-twenties, he decided to follow his true passion. He has since created a number of short stories, novels, screenplays and TV pilots. To be alerted to future books and giveaways, please sign up for his newsletter at http://eepurl.com/b5Is91
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