Wednesday, January 23, 2013

Review & Giveaway: Overkill by Steven Shrewsbury (4.5/5)

By Joe Young

[For giveaway information and entry rules, see the Rafflecopter widget below]

About the Book:  A great flood once wiped clean the earth, destroying everything upon it.  Before the deluge, in a time now forgotten, the world was a place of warriors and witches, conflicts between kingdoms, and, until their extermination, dragons.

In this world, men may live centuries, fallen angels have begotten terrifying spawn, and sometimes, the best hope can be found in a brothel.

In the land of Transalpina, a new religion spreads, and important men are dying mysteriously, slain by what can only be the fire of dragon breath.  Summoned by the Queen Garnet, the legendary warrior Gorias La Gaul returns to the place where he once saved the queen's young granddaughter from treachery and enslavement. The Princess Nykia is gone, and soon others may try to claim the throne.  The queen has little choice but to turn to the only man who ever told her no.

With the aid of one of the queen's elite guard, the battle maiden Alena, and the young palace servant Orsen, the old mercenary will face pirates and traitors, monsters and foul magic in the quest to find the missing heir and learn the truth behind the disconcerting murders.

Deliverance will come for Gorias La Gaul, but for now there are women to love, secrets to discover, and killing that needs doing.
Review:  Shrewsbury (another great Seventh Star Press author) writes a tight, action-packed litany of humor-laced carnage and bawdy interludes between which is principle character, Gorias La Gaul, wanders.  The universe that Shrewsbury has created is populated with characters that live five hundred or more years in a time where the fighting between factions includes killing dragons. Since Gorias La Gaul has killed all the adult dragons, all that are left are dragon worms.  These are adolescents waiting to grow into a real dragons with six wings and scales that are almost impervious to weapons and fire. 

What I enjoyed most was Gorias La Gaul’s attitude, a perspective created from a life that has included over seven hundred years of satisfying lustful maidens and constant battles with the greedy plotters in the kingdom.  His involvement in most every important battle during his life time and knowing the real people and the imposters that wandered through his life leaves him with an appreciation and lust for life that makes him a man of principle and someone who knows what and who is important.  The fact that he has given up on the encumbrances that love entails and uses paid whores to find sexual satisfaction doesn’t deter him from satisfying a long line of wenches that seek him out because of his reputation.  Though, it also makes him a ready target for any tough out to prove himself. 

It is amazing that a seven hundred year old man is as capable as Gorias La Gaul, especially since Viagra hasn’t even been invented yet.  He wears a suit of amour that he created himself from hollowed out dragon worms and weilds swords made from angel wings (especially effective since they can sever even large broad swords), making Gorias almost invincible.  Plus, seven hundred years of fighting experience generally gives him an edge.  Gorias is an unnaturally large man and very strong with long hair and beard that made him stand out in a crowd of fighting solders.  He also rides a large strong war horse named Traveler that also gives him an edge. 

Killing is as natural to him as eating and breathing so his taste for good food and drink as well as bawdy women was also natural.  He has served and serviced the queen of Transalpina and readily answers her call for help in finding and rescuing her grand daughter, Nykia, who had been carried off by the pirate whip mistress Noguria.  Gorias’s world is peopled by mythical creatures, wizards, dragon worms, evil people and double dealing ministers from court that are difficult to recognize.  The love of a rowdy fight, drinking to excess, and taking advantage of the ladies are just some of the endearing attributes of Gorias, an honest and humorous man for all ages.  The delightful plot excursions keep the reader guessing and trying to read even faster to stay abreast of the action.  I highly recommend this book as simply an entertaining escape from life. Four and a half stars. 
About the Author:  Steven L. Shrewsbury is a fantasy and horror author who has well over 300 tales published online or in print.  He is the creator of Dack Shannon and the Majestic Universe, as well as the novels Tormentor (Lachesis Publishing), Hawg (Graveside Tales) and Stronger Than Death (Snuff Books).

He has appeared in many anthologies, most recently Harlan County Horrors from Apex Publications.  Other anthologies include Deathgrip: Legacy of Terror from Hellbound books; Blackest Death-Vol I from BDB; the high fantasy epic Grimoire De Solace from iUniverse, the hardback Cemetery Poets, Scary, Atrocitas Aqua from DDP.

For more information on Steven L. Shrewsbury, please visit his website at


About the Reviewer:  Joe Young has visited the Far East as a sailor, a business engineering representative and most recently a tourist to China--still waiting for Europe and South America. He's traveled to or through most U.S. States and enjoyed lots of business travel opportunities.  He has a First Class FCC Radio Telephone License and a Private Pilot's License, and is an agnostic with mystical overtones. He alternates meal cooking duties weekly with his wife. Mile High Buttermilk Biscuits are one of his specialties.


The Giveaway: The people at Seventh Star Press have offered up a helluva prize pack to go along with Joe's most illustrious review. One lucky winner will receive an ebook bundle of all the Gorias La Gaul tales to date. That includes the novels Overkill and Thrall as well as the short stories "Author and Finisher of Our Flesh," "Beginning of the Trail," and "Insurmountable." Sign up to win using the Rafflecopter widget below. Open to both domestic and international entrants. Contest ends at midnight, January 31, 2013.

a Rafflecopter giveaway


  1. Seventh Star Press is awesome, and I love Steven Shrewsbury. Less convinced by the prowess of a 700-year-old lover... Am I missing something?

    1. Maybe what you are missing is the truth of the axiom, "experience counts"! Surely 700 years is sufficient time to develop a technique that women find pleasing and isn't that the point?

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