The Thirteenth Hour - a New Adult Fantasy Novel by Joshua Blum

The Thirteenth Hour's Amazon page: http://www.amazon.com/dp/B00RFHG6WW

The Thirteenth Hour book trailer: https://youtu.be/hpcIUpwTiFY

Do you remember those 1980s fantasy movies with the big hair and electronic synthesizer soundtracks - movies like The Neverending Story, Ladyhawke, and Labyrinth?  If you can imagine those films in illustrated book form, you have some idea what The Thirteenth Hour is like.

It's essentially a fairy tale aimed at adults, chronicling the adventures of a young man named Logan who grows up in an orphanage with his best friend, Aurora.  When Logan is eighteen, he's drafted into the Imperial Army, where he is ultimately picked for a mysterious mission to find the elixir of eternal life for a petulant, immature, and thoroughly narcissistic ruler.  On the way, he is unexpectedly reunited with Aurora, and both characters have to reconcile adulthood with who they were as children.

One could classify the story as adventure or fantasy, though not a serious JRR Tolkien-style fantasy.  The book doesn't take itself too seriously, though there are plenty of introspective, psychological parts where the characters grapple with balancing that difficult no-man's land of feeling older than an adolescent but too young to classify oneself as an adult.

In some ways, the book grew up with me, since I wrote a very early draft of the book the summer after I finished high school.  I'd drawn from some of my favorite novels and (mostlty 80s) sci-fi and fantasy films as inspiration for the narrative and illustrated a number of black & white and color pictures to add visuals.  Although I'd written the story because it was the sort of thing I'd always wanted to read but never found, I never really intended to publish it.

So life went on - going to many years of school, working to pay the rent, getting married, changing diapers, etc.  But the story wouldn't let me go, and I kept working on it, little by little, over the next sixteen years, reworking and editing the story and characters until I felt like they, too, had grown up.

If you're interested, there are two short stories that serve as bookends to the novel that are available free on Smashwords that may serve to whet your appetite, available here:

https://www.smashwords.com/profile/view/writejoshuablum

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