New Mexico author Keith Deininger blends elements of fantasy with horror in his surreal, literary style, a style described as disturbing, surreal and cinematic. Originally from Colorado, Deininger moved to Los Alamos, New Mexico and earned his BA in creative writing from the University of New Mexico. His novels and poems have been honored with awards and plaudits form well-known fellow writers.
FEVER TRILOGY is comprised of FEVERED HILLS, BURIED SOLDIERS, and APOCALYPSE ARTIST, each novella is about 60 pages making the possibility of reading the entire trilogy in a few hours not only feasible but inevitable, so interlocked are the parts of the Trilogy.
Distilling each story helps the reader new to Keith’s work grasp the intensity of his writing. In Book 1, ‘Martin is disturbed. After a nightmare trek through a war-torn landscape plagued by a spreading psychosis known as The Fever, the sixteen-year-old soldier returns home to discover that not even there is he safe from The War. Soon he meets Elizabeth, who might be a witch, and Richter, a hulking, former philosophy professor with a penchant for violence. Together they will learn of the true horror they now face: dark, insane and deadly.’ Book 2 – ‘Alone in his childhood home, in an apocalyptic city savaged by fever and madness, Grady spends his nights beneath the moon digging in the backyard, tormented by memories of his nightmarish time at war. He digs to recover something from his childhood, evidence of a humanity to which he desperately clings to: the plastic toy soldiers he used to play with, buried somewhere in the dirt. When he witnesses a young girl, without pity or malice, kill a young boy with a rock, he knows the Fever has spread. And when the little girl warns him that his greatest adversary is headed in his direction—the tyrant and army general known as the Bearded Man, he knows he must find his buried soldiers before he is discovered. But things are not what they seem to be, and the soldiers Grady unearths may be more than he’s bargained for. And Book 3 – ‘After the bombs, in an apocalyptic world savaged by a spreading psychosis called The Fever, Martin, a 16-year-old soldier, arrives in a city leveled by mortar bombardment and hollowed out by fire. After having lost everything he's ever loved, fleeing from a massive army of crazed soldiers, he arrives with a singular purpose, to kill the one responsible for it all: the tyrant known as the Bearded man.’
Or in his own overall survey, Keith summarizes the trilogy – ‘After the bombs, in an apocalyptic world savaged by a spreading psychosis called The Fever, two men, who do not yet know each other, struggle to survive, tormented by memories of their nightmarish experiences at war. While 16-year-old Martin flees to his childhood home and dishonorably discharged Grady spends his nights digging for relics from his past, a massive army is forming, legions upon legions of crazed soldiers led by the tyrant known as the Bearded Man. But things are not what they seem, because the world has slipped over the edge, past the point of no return, and not even death can stop The Fever’
Some authors who capitalize on terror/horror overlook the poetry of fine writing. That is not the case with Keith – he opens his Trilogy with the following beautiful prose: ‘It seemed only natural, perched upon the cliff with canvas and brush, to seek to recreate the rich vibrancy of colors laid out in the valley before him, however inadequate his paints were to the task. Green splotches of paint became the trees; blue, the river; gray, the sky. He worked in a trance of concentration, blind to all else in the world. His breathing came in shallow gasps as layers of increasingly fine brush strokes blended and became the details of the large manor house peeking above the hillside. The rest of the city was lost in a blur of earth tones at the foot of the distant mountain, but the manor house was so large, so ornate, it jutted from the canopy of green, its domed tower rising upon a set of carved marble pillars, perfectly in focus for the center of his painting—man in harmony with nature. Martin did not know if the manor house was a place of worship, or sanctuary for the wealthy, or, perhaps, a museum of natural history. It was unimportant. To him, its value laid purely in aesthetics.’
From there, dive deeply into a superbly crafted dystopian collection of stories. The door has opened to a new and important author in Keith Deininger. Recommended. Grady Harp, September 18
In a world savaged by insanity and unrelenting horror, an epic struggle between light and dark is about to begin...from an award-winning and #1 Amazon bestselling author...
But things are not what they seem, because the world has slipped over the edge, past the point of no return, and not even death can stop The Fever.