Tuesday, December 18, 2012

A Stop in the Oculus Virtual Book Tour

I am honored for my blog to be a stop on the Oculus Book Tour. Oculus is Michael Offutt's second book and the second book in A Crisis of Two Worlds series.

Goodreads Description of Oculus...

Autumn has arrived in New York, and Jordan Pendragon is a freshman at Cornell University. Gifted in mathematics, he balances life as a research assistant with that of a student athlete.

But Jordan also has a quest. He must find the Black Tower, a monolithic edifice housing a thing that defines the very structure of the universe. Jordan believes it is buried somewhere in Antarctica under miles of prehistoric ice.

October finds Jordan earning a starting position with the Cornell hockey team. But a dark cloud gathers over his rookie season. Unexplained deaths, whispers of a cannibal cult, a prophecy, and a stone known only as the Oculus, cast a shadow over his athletic ambitions. It is the start of a terrifying journey down a path of mystery, murder, and to a confrontation with an Evil more ancient than the stars.

My Humble Opinion...

Michael Offutt’s Oculus picks up where Slipstream left off. Jordan and Kathy are starting their freshman year at Cornell and have brought along their significant others, Kolin and Dylan. They know their futures are uncertain and Jordon is in search of the Black Tower, but they want to attempt normal lives for the time being. Jordan has joined the school hockey team and Kathy has joined a sorority, shooting for typical Ivy League college experiences. But the dark forces of Avalon have followed them back to Earth.

The adventure really beings when Jordan is introduced to one of Kathy’s sorority sisters, Myd, and awakens the stone on her necklace called the Oculus. Jordon discovers the mystery behind his father’s murder and Kathy gets the opportunity to speak with her dead mother, which is all part of something greater that we only get a glimpse of in this book. King Arthur, Merlin, Excalibur, and the Lady of the Lake are more than fairy tales, but secrets that Jordan and his group must unlock to uncover his ultimate destiny and aid in his search for the Black Tower.

There are many pieces coming together that will most likely reveal a sublime picture of the Black Tower itself. From the Horcus to the cannibal cult, from the gruesome discoveries in the asylum to revelations from deceased parents, from the court of King Author to angels and demons, we are given glimpses into very exciting elements to where the series is going. The bloody climax in Hell’s Kitchen is a hell of a rush and my favorite scene in the series thus far. I am also really intrigued with the growing relationship between Jordan and Alex. With Oculus taking place solely on Earth, it may be more approachable, but there also seems to be filler scenes slowing us down from the real adventure. I want to know more about the mysteries plaguing these two worlds!

Oculus is a big setup for Caledfwlch, the third book in A Crisis of Two Worlds series. There are some great revelations in this book, but few resolutions. I think the true adventure is just beginning and I can’t wait to find out how all the pieces fit together and where Jordon’s journey ultimately leads. If you are a fan of Slipstream, then Oculus is a must-read. But if you’re just being introduced to the series, then you really should start at the beginning.
A few minutes with the author...

Thanks so much for joining me today! I very much appreciate you taking a few minutes out of your busy day to talk with me.

What is your dream cast for you’re A Crisis of Two Worlds series?
I’m actually not sure. I’ve drawn pictures of Jordan, so I’d want an actor that looks like the guy does in my picture. I’ll include it with this as an attachment.
Who has influenced your writing the most?
Probably William Gibson.
What is your writing space like?
I just have an office with a window that’s right off the kitchen. I use a computer with three big monitors. It’s a gaming computer with two NVIDIA GPU’s, is liquid cooled, and has an i7 processor with RAID linked solid state drives.
Which character do you relate to the most in your books?
Jordan. What he thinks about is basically what I think about.
What is your favorite scene in Oculus?
I like the climax of the book. I think I pulled that off really well, and it has a great “epic” feel to it.
What is the next book on your TBR pile? 
By the time this gets posted it will be Walking Dead: The Rise of the Governor.
What book do you feel deserves more hype? 
Provex City by author Michael Pierce J Seriously, people…if you are reading this, read Mr. Pierce’s book!
What other genres would you like to write? 
Fantasy. I’m posting one on a free online website that has lots of readers. I post about 2000 words every weekend and let it sit for a few days before writing more. I like the fan mail I’ve been getting.
Can you tell us anything about the third book in the series, Caledfwlch
LOL sure, but SPOILER ALERT: It picks up where Oculus leaves off. We are introduced to an assassin from the same order as Kolin who goes by the name Genesis (I do love my biblical allegory). He has a neck tattoo of a red rose (Kolin’s is purple), and we find that the tattoos have a kind of magic to them (each color does something). Kolin’s gives him heightened reflexes and extreme touch sensitivity (which is why he’s so good at what he does). I go on to explain that Kolin can even feel a person’s body heat from across a dark room. I explore Kolin’s background: he’s actually a genetic experiment done in a test tube on Avalon for a project that wanted to create a perfect man and a perfect woman in order to start life over with two people that have perfect genes.  Genesis is hired by Charon to kidnap Robbie to be the vessel of the Horcus.  Robbie in the meantime has essentially gone insane because his resurrection permanently “opened a door” that allows him to speak with the dead. The only peace Robbie gets is when he’s around Jordan because ghosts are afraid of Jordan for good reasons. Additionally, Andy has changed physiologically from the Life Green he got injected with near the end of Oculus. He basically can’t die of natural causes. His skin regenerates almost instantly if cut. It also gives him a sex addiction that leads him down a destructive path of self-gratification that ends with him getting the skin off his back flayed off. It’s a very bloody scene. It regrows, but with a strange and picturesque tattoo that covers his whole back. This tattoo whispers to him of Eden driving him to bouts of painting that consume his nighttime hours. There’s very little hockey in the third book. This is intentional because it is apparent to Jordan by the end of Oculus that he cannot live a normal life, or for that matter, the life that he desires to live.
Write a Tweet about Oculus that readers can copy, paste, and Tweet (and RT)! 
I’ll just ask anyone who reads this to tweet this post by clicking on the twitter button. That’s probably easiest.
Thank you again, Michael! It has been a real pleasure to be a part of your tour. Below are links to Michael's blog, Goodreads, and Twitter, and links to get Oculus and Slipstream for yourself. Thank you for reading and be sure to check out the rest of the stops on the Oculus tour (click on the tour badge at the beginning of the post).

Michael Offutt writes speculative fiction books that have science fiction, LGBT, and paranormal elements. His first book, "Slipstream" has received some critical acclaim and was published by Double Dragon in the spring. The sequel, "Oculus" came out in November 2012. He has one brother, no pets, and a few roots that keep his tree of life sufficiently watered. By day, he works for the State of Utah as a Technical Specialist. By night, he watches lots of t.v., writes, draws, and sometimes dreams of chocolate.


  1. Well, I'm so late trying to comment on your 12/18 post, Michael, that it looks like I'll instead be the first person on your 12/19 one.

    These newest revelations about Oculus sound fantastic! And I especially like the link to Arthurian legends. It really does sound like you've written an epic.

    1. It's a big story with a huge cast at this point. But when I actually sit down to write it, the book almost writes itself, ya know?

  2. This was so enjoyable and interesting to read,
    I would love to be able to write novels apart from poetry.
    Who knows one day I any surprise all.


  3. King Arthur is for real? Now that would be cool.
    How do you pronounce the third book's title?

    1. It's Welsh. I can't pronounce anything Welsh LOL. But to give it a try "kah lead fich". That's how I pronounce it.

    2. Have you ever heard real Welsh spoken? That is really difficult language. When I visited Wales, I prayed I would find someone who spoke English. Otherwise, I was sunk.

  4. Great review of Oculus Michael P. I'm almost half way through it right now and can't wait to read to the end. I did however skipped your question about Caledfwlch. I don't want to read too much about the 3 book in the series just yet.

    Mr. Offutt, what website do you post your fantasy pieces on? (:

    1. Um...I'll email it to you because it's a nsfw website, i.e. porn.

  5. The third book certainly sounds interesting. I won't bother to try spelling the title.

  6. Great review and interview! I skipped over the spoilers. I need to catch up on my TBR list and dig into these books!

  7. These two books are SO going to be the ones I'll be reading. :-D

  8. I just started Slipstream. So far, it's really awesome. Damn you Michael for keeping me up late!

  9. @Mary: LOL.

    @Mr.Pierce: I really think that I nailed the Hell's Kitchen part followed by the climax. Endings are hard to do and when I penned that I was like, "Oh...this is good."

  10. Thank you, everyone, for your comments in support of Michael Offutt's books!

    Mr. Offutt, thank you for letting me be a stop on your tour! Congrats on your second book!. :)

  11. What a SWEET review. I have got to get the second book. (Have not forgotten, just slow that way) The first one is EXCELLENT!

  12. I'm going around to all of the wonderful blogs I follow to wish you a Merry Christmas. Have a safe and happy holiday, Michael!


    1. Oh, btw...I can't say enough how much I love your header! Wonderful!

  13. Great review and I loved the interview, Michael! Excellent as always. Thanks.


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