Reviews for The Powder Merchant
AllBooks Review--Emily Jane Hills Orford says: "Alexander Volga is a very evil man. From the day he was born, he manipulated and abused both family and friends. He made his way to the top, becoming one of the world's richest men. His success came at a price, a price that others had to pay. He has no regrets in the present life, no regrets for what he has done to others. His only regret is that he cannot go back to his former life, which he believed was lived as an ancient deity god.
Alexander may be the most evil character in the novel, but he is not the only character to have lived in the past. His godson, his former lover, a basketball star, and a drug enforcement officer all had previous connections to each other in former lives. It makes for a bizarre tale of multiple lives and virtual realities, intertwined with twentieth-century mobsters and drug trafficking, murders, and a lost city underneath the mysterious Bermuda Triangle. This fast-paced story is a real page-turning thriller. Watch out for the ending, In reality, the reader can only assume Alexander's real demise.
This is David Orange's first novel. He is a writer for food and wine magazines, as well as being an accomplished Broadway and television actor. He has several thrillers in the works.
The Powder Merchant is a highly recommended powerful story that grips the reader from the first page."
Bookreview.com says: "The Powder Merchant is very good! The imaginative novel about time travel, the Mafia, Greek gods and basketball has one of the most original plot concepts I've seen in years. Suppose people did have previous lives and the gods of Greek mythology were real. David Orange's characters (knowingly or not) are reliving their Olympian roles and relationships in modern times...
The writing is fluid, plus there is some wonderful authenticating detail. Orange's emphasis is on plot, which zips along like a Japanese express train...There are some good dynamics between Pete, the young, idealistic basketball star and his godfather Alexander. Pete's doubts about his godfather's guilt gives the story some depth, as does those scenes between Franco, the angry father, and his two children. I love the Charles Dickens-like chapter heads: "A Puzzle Piece Slides into Place," The Invisible Hand vs. the No-nonsense Lady." "Working the Lie," and even the clever "Dirty Harriet." The ending is satisfying and the creation of Atlantis in cyberspace has to be totally original. I did want to know what was going to happen even if this three-dimensional chess game was, in effect, more an exciting game of checkers.
But what about the search for Atlantis (real or imagined)? "The Powder Merchant" reminds us, this is a place both familiar and uplifting in that we are more alive there--much like book readers are drawn to and lose themselves for awhile. Sometimes even to discover their real nature between its pages." John Lehman of BookReview.com
ROUNDTABLE REVIEWS SAYS: THE POWDER MERCHANT is the debut novel of David Orange, magazine writer, stage and television actor, and owner of a wine importing business. While science fiction aficionados got to know him as the Sleepy Klingon in movie Star Trek VI: The Undiscovered Country that had him rubbing elbows with the past and future genre greats, such as William Shatner and Rene Auberjonois, it is this debut novel that will introduce him to a wider range of genre lovers.
THE POWDER MERCHANT is the "what if" story that details the life's dream of one Alexander Volga, rich beyond belief and ruthless in an effort to make his dream of immortality become a reality. A firm believer in reincarnation, Alexander is no longer content with living life over and over again, but instead wants to return to the time he enjoyed the most--forever. Yet a past life nemesis is on his heels, and even as she does not know of their past battles--she is a formidable foe and may quite possibly hinder his plans for immortality. With others' lives being little more than pawns in this game of making himself master of his destiny, there is nothing that will stop Alexander from finally achieving immortality--or is there?
THE POWDER MERCHANT is not your typical science fiction fare that appears to have left behind the carefully cultivated science precepts of an Isaac Asimov or Robert Silverberg, and before long simply degraded the genre to "shoot 'em up quick" style writing--albeit against the backdrop of starships and light sabers. Instead, it takes on the scientific idea that within a short 20-some-odd years people will have the opportunity to scan and integrate themselves into their computers and thus inhabit a world in Cyberspace.
David Orange explores the possibility of cyber induced immortality, and the lengths to which those with an interest in this life will go to cheat death and still shuffle off this mortal coil. Even to the genre challenged reader who might gnaw off his or her right arm than sit down with a tome shelved in that section, THE POWDER MERCHANT will present an engaging read that is hard to put down and that presents possibilities few have ever really thought through.
This is science fiction the way it was meant to be--engaging, plausible, just barely far enough removed from reality to be still comfortable yet close enough to possibility that it causes soul searching. Do yourself a favor and pick up your copy of this book, you will not be disappointed."
Joe Elic, longtime veteran Broadway/film comedic actor whose credits include memorable roles in One Flew Over the Cuckoo's Nest, The Producers (original) Three Penny Opera, This Was Burlesque, Twilight Zone TV guest spots, and numerous other credits.
Says Joe: "My love for science fiction goes back to the olden days of television when working with the famed Twilight Zone creator/writer/director Rod Serling. If he were alive today to read David Orange's vastly original debut novel, THE POWDER MERCHANT, he would be deeply intrigued by its unique premise: ancient Greek gods incarnated and living today, some loving, others warring and out to settle old scores. This compelling suspense thriller is a galloping, one-sitting read. I would love to see THE POWDER MERCHANT made into a film. "
MUTANT SPECIMEN L (NOVELLA)
"A powerfully insightful story that goes into the possibilities of genetic manipulations and mutations...This fast-paced, action/adventure goes beyond mere science fiction into the realm of the speculative fiction...The result is devastatingly gruesome and downright scary."
Emily-Jane Hill Oxford- award winning author of "To Be a Duke"
"Star Trek and sci-fi fans should know: David Orange has come a long way from his Sleepy Klingon days in Star Trek VI, and this venture into "horror with a heart" is a spellbinder with ignored science fiction overtones of our lives. His fourth tale is part "Frankenstein," part "Devil in the Dark"--and all based on a real-world eco-crisis that is truly looming in Florida. Grab "Mutant Specimen L" before it grabs you."
Larry "Dr. Trek" Nemecek,best-selling author of "The Official Star Trek: The Next Generation Companion."