It's not often I get to write a post like this, but when it happens, it's an awesome feeling.
Once upon a time there was this guy who wanted to be an author. He approached an author he admired, one to which he felt an unexplainable kinship, and he told him of this authorial dream. I was that author and I basically said to this fella the same thing I say to everyone. "Just write. Stop talking about it and do it."
And he did. His first book was Southern Gods and was magnificent.
Then he got an agent and now has book deals and a new fantasy series coming out and is living the dream.
But somewhere along the way he wrote (is still writing) a YA series. When I saw that, I said to myself, "That's odd. I never took him for a YA author."
But then of course I've written a YA book (co-written with Yvonne Navarro and comes out this year), so why shouldn't he have.
I thought about reading it, but said to myself, 'Nah. I just don't have the time.'
Then we got together last month at Midsouthcon, a Memphis genre convention and he gave me the first two books of the trilogy, The Twelve-Fingered by and The Shibboleth. Now I felt like I had to read them. I like this guy and he's asked me to so I just had to.
I adored The Twelve-Fingered Boy. Just adored it. Written from the POV of a sassy middle-teen, petty criminal I could feel the truth of the character. Shreeve, his name, has a little of me in him. He's that friend I never had. He's also part of the author. I could hear his voice saying some of the words. The Twelve-Fingered Boy was damn terrific.
But as good as that was, The Shibboleth is even better. Wow. I just finished it and fucking Wow. I'm so damn pleased that this author has accomplished what so many have tried and failed to do-- create something new and wonderful that will stand the test of time.
I mean, if this 48 year old white dude can read a YA novel and come away with the absolute knowledge that it's the best book I've read this year and in my top ten books of all time, then it's just fucking spectacular.
The guy's name is John Hornor Jacobs. I call him Jakes. If you don't know his name yet, you will. If you want to be fucking amazed and thrilled, Pick up The Twelve-Fingered Boy as a calling card. Once you read that, you'll plummet into the next book like I did. You can find them at an independent bookstore near you or at Mysterious Galaxy.
Gosh. I wish I was a fly on the wall when you finish these books just to see the smile on your faces.
And Jakes, if you're reading this, Good Damn Job. I'm proud as hell to call you a friend. I'm also proud to call myself a fan.