Bloody, broke, and face down on the floor is no way to end a job… even for a “monster.”
Life hasn’t been easy for Scars of No-Clan. The king has a bounty out on all monstrous folk, leaving half-orc warriors like Scars no choice but to work for the local evil wizard. Now adventurers have hit the wizard’s dungeon, wiping out years of hard work along with most of his co-workers. He’s left with a handful of survivors: an outcast goblin scout, a heretical gnoll, the wizard’s bizarre apprentice, a bandit cut loose from the stockade, and a murderous knife-fighting lady bugbear. They have to escape before the adventurers find them–and the only way out is through the darkest reaches of the dungeon.
Scars wanted to walk off this job the day he was hired, but going out like this is going to look terrible on his résumé.
RUN LIKE HELL is available HERE on Amazon!
To answer a few likely questions:
-I don’t know if there will be an audio version or not. This is a short novel and usually my longer stuff works better for Audible. We’ll see.
-Paperback may a bit in coming, as with Last Man Out. My usual channels for getting the formatting and production stuff have closed so I have to work out a new pathway.
-YES, I will absolutely continue Poor Man’s Fight and Good Intentions. No, I can’t tell you when the next book in either series will be out, though GI 4 will probably be sometime next year. A sequel to Wandering Monsters may likely hit before that, though.
Hope you enjoy!
I liked Wandering Monsters quite a bit. The characters, the world, the premise, it all works very well. God help me, but I think you did the best job with that asshole troll at the jail. He was so true to life it made me want to jump into DigDig’s body so I could beat him to death with a shovel. Gah.
I do have to ask, the evil overlord who took over in the recent past and is stoking resentment against people who are different, was that a bit too on the nose or am I just damaged from the last few years? And if it was intentional, does that make the Princess the equivalent of non-complicit Ivanka? I’m not sure I can handle that.
The princess is absolutely not Ivanka. At some point, the comparison of “she’s like this person, except…” breaks down, because the “except” is literally everything about them. At one point, in the very final revisions, I thought, “Gosh, is anyone gonna think she’s supposed to be Ivanka?” But that seemed silly to me. She sure isn’t in any way.
The king isn’t Trump, either. I don’t think I can write to that level of incompetence. But if you see echoes in the same hate and the same bullshit, well. That’s a tale as old as time, right?
Which is to say Trump’s bullshit shouldn’t surprise anyone.
Yeah, she really didn’t come across as Ivanka at all. The King came across as an evil, hateful bastard in it solely for his own gain, though, so where else was my mind going to go? We’re living in the darkest timeline, dammit.
In any case, great story, can’t wait for more of it or whatever else you want to write next. But I’ll give you a nickel if it’s a new Good Intentions book. I’m going through Rachel withdrawal.
lol at PeterM and Peter.
I did like the book.
A bit of SJW here and there, but very lightly applied so it was actually enjoyable.
Are you going for sort of Demontech (by David Sherman) traveling group of warriors that grows into a community, pursued by implacable enemy, searching for a place where they can settle?
I consider “SJW” to be high praise, whether intended or not, so thank you.
To answer your question, yes and no. The books (and the crew) won’t ignore what’s going on with their people, but they are also not super interested in becoming epic leader types.
The not becoming epic leader types is why I brought up Demontech. The inner circle is two marine privates and a dancer. What ends up happening is that each of them is “adopted” by different military group that attach to inner circle along the way. So they receive the input from the community, discuss it within the inner circle, then declare their decision to the community.
The fact that implacable enemy is always there in the background, always pushing, always a threat makes sure that community does not splinter.
Just a fantastic story. Can’t wait for more from the Crew. Though I have to say, my most quoted character is from the Murder Hobo side. I have to randomly interject, in various forum and social media posts:
Just wanted to say that I enjoyed the Poor Man’s War series and REALLY enjoyed Wandering Monsters. I recently discovered the LitRPG genre and have read a bunch of the leading authors. Elliott Kay is a way better stylist, storyteller and word smith than any of them. So this is a way to wallow in an RPG style fantasy world without having to force myself to read second rate writing. THANK YOU!!!
Also, I really enjoyed that we could just jump into an RPG world without having to come up with some sort of contrived premise that crosses between reality like in The Land series. It’s a fun world with intriguing characters. Very refreshing overall.
The development of the down-and-out characters into a team – a family – was well done and meaningful. Most fantasy lit and Hollywood in general has friendships built on saving the day, which gets old fast because that’s not really how anyone makes friends in most of our ordinary lives. These characters share their vulnerabilities and that makes them strong. Well done.
My one reserve is that their bond is supposed to superpower this group of low-level dungeon scrubs to the point where they are so powerful that they are able to defeat an invincible force (or at least we have to accept the premise that defeated enemy are invincible or else the collapse of the entire dungeon and therefore the motivator for the entire story line doesn’t make any sense). Basically the ending destroys the beginning in terms of plot structure. It didn’t ruin the story for me but there was a part of me that got a little upset that the ending did not really get sufficiently explained based on the premise at the beginning. Perhaps if they had found the Sword of 10,000 Truths I’d be more ready to accept the ending;)
In any event I will definitely buy the sequel as soon as it comes out. Let me know!
Long time reader, first time commenter.
Run Like Hell is my favorite of your books published to date. The characters especially are more interesting and the writing is better than in your previous books.
I’ll be recommending it to a number of friends I play tabletop RPGs with. I haven’t recommended any of your previous books to anybody because while I really enjoy them, the Tanner series is sort of embarrassingly Mary-Sue and the Good Intentions series is just generally embarrassing to recommend to people.
Good luck and I hope your writing goes smoothly.
Glad you liked Run Like Hell.
I don’t believe in the “Mary Sue” critique. It began as sexist garbage and has only added on more nonsense with age. If you dislike Tanner, that’s completely fair, but I would strongly suggest you read up on the history of “Mary Sue” stuff. As for Good Intentions, I have no regrets regarding its embarrassing nature.
Huh, I don’t know anything about the history of the critique – I’ll look it up.
I thought it was a general term for when a protagonist seems blessed by luck/proficiency past the point of easy belief (Is it Marty Stew if a male protagonist?). I do like Tanner and the series quite a bit and will continue to get any more books in the same universe.
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