foreverrhapsody: Snow White is dead. (Default)
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You're probably sick of any mention of Shadow of the Templar that I make, but it's all with a fangirlish sentiment, so I figure it's alright. (Plus, it's my livejournal. Hah.) See, I really want someone to squee with these about, and the only way I can get people to really do that is to post about it on here. Yes, there is a livejournal community and yes, I am a member of it, but I'd love to convert as many new people as I can. Besides, I honestly can see why anyone wouldn't want to immerse themselves in this four novel series that you can read for free online, all at the website linked above.

But now you're probably asking me why you should be reading these at all, and I totally understand. It's ok, I was like that at first. I didn't understand why anyone would want to read a long piece of original fiction when there's plenty of television shows, novels, movies I could be paying attention to, not to mention my school workload, spending time with real live people, and other such draws of real life.

Then I read the first novel, and I couldn't stop. And it was at this point that Livejournal failed, and I lost the rest of what I had written. Ah well, life's a bitch.

This is the author's general summary:

Simon Drake is an up-and-coming young FBI hotshot, an agent with a personal track record so outstanding that it borders on unbelievable. Not yet thirty, he's already the leader of his own special ops team; a ragtag bunch of talented but nigh-uncontrollable lunatics, it's true, but under Simon's inspired leadership they're a force to be reckoned with, a team with an unparalleled success rate, a team with an almost unblemished record--until now.

Jeremy Archer is the brilliant and unpredictable scion of a long line of international art thieves, simultaneously a phenomenally wealthy English socialite and one of the most infamous criminals in the world. At twenty-seven years old he's already wanted on nearly every continent for thefts totalling more than ninety-one million dollars, and yet no one has ever come close to catching him--until now.

Now?

May the best man win.

Yes, I'll admit, the only reason I had for reading this piece of original fiction in the beginning was strictly the promise of canon slash, but in the end, there's so much more. Simon's team of misfits is hysterical. They're all very well drawn characters that are so very real, and even though it doesn't seem like it from the description, they're just as much a part of the story as the two main characters Simon and Jeremy are. Part of what I love the most about Simon's team is that they are made up of a whole bunch of people much like myself and my friends. They're geeks, nerds, and very well versed in internet culture. Every time I reread the series, I catch more and more references to such geekly pursuits as Star Trek, Lord of the Rings, and Battlestar Galactica. In fact, because of the nature of the relationship between Simon and Jeremy, the novels read more like the effect of Jeremy on Simon and his team, rather than the odd sort of love story they're portrayed as, and that's the part I love best: the interaction between Simon and Jeremy, and Jeremy and the members of Simon's team.

The first book, The Morning Star, serves to introduce the characters, both in general and our two main characters Jeremy and Simon to each other. Simon and his team go after Jeremy Archer, who is in persuit of a rather large and magnificent diamond. But things aren't always what they seem, and Team Templar are forced to work with the thief, things start to change. There are a few mentions of characters and things you'll see in the later three books, which I especially enjoyed upon rereading.

The second book, Double Down, has the team dealing with a thief whose methods mirror Jeremy Archer's almost completely and whose connections are somewhat darker then Archer's. Plus, the team deals with their ever increasing connection to Viktor Karpol, and Simon juggles his work and his more-than-work connection to Jeremy. This book is probably my least favorite, but I still enjoy it, enough to keep reading along with the series.

The third book, With A Bullet, is definitely my favorite. Team Templar deals with the return of a man they'd had dealings with in the past, a man who holds a grudge against the team for actions detailed in flashback scenes that don't seem shoehorned in at all. What makes this book my favorite is not the plot, but the manner in which Jeremy is brought in to a story in which he would have nothing to do with originally is completely awesome, not to mention my absolute favorite scenes at the end of the book. In a rush to finish it, I ended up getting yelled at by my aunt 'cause I'd stayed up 'til four in the morning. Oops.

And the fourth book, High Fidelity, takes everything, throws it all on its ears, and wraps it up in an emotional, completely satisfying ending that I just love to bits. I wish I could say more but, lest I spoil everyone, I cannot. You'll just have to read it. Everything is wrapped up nicely at the end, and what isn't, the author has written or is in the process of writing many short scenes and stories that fit in the universe and make me squee so much. You will not be disappointed, I promise.
 
But what of the relationship that the summary above talks about? It's perfect. It's not sappy at all. They'll break your heart on numerous occaisions because of how stupid or stubborn they are, but the moments that do count will make your heart ache for this dysfunctional couple. Both men are completely believable, both incredibly stubborn and loath to talk about feelings, not to mention the baggage their jobs and own personalities bring. Again, that's all I can say without making specific references and spoiling everyone, but it's worth it, completely.

And that's all I can say. I'm going to invite some of my fellow fans from the official Livejournal community, [info]teamtemplar, to come and correct anything wrong I might have said, or perhaps to add to this madness. My only hope is that some of this might have caught your attention and you will go on to fall in love with this series as much as I have. Look, it even has a TV Tropes page, which is spoilery in some places but mildly entertaining and fun!

You've described it all perfectly

Date: 2009-07-30 08:31 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] dawnkj63.livejournal.com
I don't know what I could add except how much the characters enter my thoughts during quiet moments. They live and breathe in my memories and I find myself smiling in remembering something they said or did. I originally read the free books offered online, but simply had to own them, hold them in my hands as I reread them ... so I bought the series to add to my bookshelf.
I highly recommend it if you enjoy action, slash, humor, and characters who will haunt your days, nights; you will welcome them when they do.

Re: You've described it all perfectly

Date: 2009-07-31 05:07 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile] foreverrhapsody.livejournal.com
:-D Thanks for the compliment, and thank you very much for adding your own thoughts :-D

Date: 2009-07-30 10:26 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] secretsolitaire.livejournal.com
This is what I wrote in my original rec of the series (back before the fourth book had been published):

Okay, let me start by saying I don't really like mysteries or spy novels. Action movies make my eyes glaze over. I've never seen a James Bond film. And as a reader I tend not to do very well with complicated plots or fast-paced action sequences (see the aforementioned eyes glazing over).

And yet, this series of crime caper novels has completely eaten my brain this week. The two main characters are Simon Drake, a cocky young FBI agent who leads his own special ops team, and Jeremy Archer, an art thief/cat burglar/international man of mystery. It's a huge cliche to say that sparks fly when they meet, but, well...sparks fly.

The two main characters are supported by the fabulous, hilarious members of Simon's special ops team, a motley crew of overgrown adolescents and misfits. Many of the ensemble scenes with these guys (and a gal!) had me laughing out loud. The author has a real ear for banter, and her dialogue positively whips along. (Sometimes it's probably a bit too slick to be believable, but that's part of the pleasure of these novels -- they're larger than life, escapism at its best.)

I simply could not stop reading these over the past three days. They're long, but do give them a try. And could someone please stop me from going back and reading them again from the beginning?

Date: 2009-07-31 04:54 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile] foreverrhapsody.livejournal.com
*points to everything you said* Yes, also this. I don't mind mysteries or spy books, but they don't hold my attention as much as fantasy or sci-fi usually does.

No, I will not stop you! I'm probably going to reread them soon as well. Maybe we should do a group/community reread or something?

Date: 2009-07-31 10:24 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile] purplevks.livejournal.com
Maybe we should do a group/community reread or something?

Oooooh, shiny idea.

Date: 2009-08-02 06:17 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] foreverrhapsody.livejournal.com
Isn't it? Wanna plan something with me? :-D *bounces*

Date: 2009-08-02 06:19 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] purplevks.livejournal.com
Yes? :D How do you plan something like that?

Date: 2009-08-02 06:49 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] foreverrhapsody.livejournal.com
Uhhh.... I dunno. Just, general dates and maybe when we could post discussion posts or something. I haven't actually thought it all through, much. I just thought it'd be a cool idea.

Date: 2009-07-31 11:26 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile] secretsolitaire.livejournal.com
Ooh, a group reread would be really fun! I don't have time to do it any time soon (I have a vacation coming up), but that's something we should consider for over at [livejournal.com profile] teamtemplar.

Shadow squee

Date: 2009-07-30 10:28 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] gaycrow.livejournal.com
I'm popping in to say that I introduced a few people to Simon, Jeremy and crew, and they've all really enjoyed the series. Loved it, in fact! So please give it a go.

I loved the stories so much that after I'd read it the first time around, I went back and read it all again. (At one stage I was in a loop of reading, and just read the stories over and over again. It's that good.)

The author is very generous, and has answered tons of questions about the characters, and gives us lots of out-takes to keep our addiction satisfied.

I can't recommend this series highly enough. It's brilliant!

re: Shadow Squee

Date: 2009-07-31 04:52 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile] foreverrhapsody.livejournal.com
:-D Thanks for the comment, and the good words. I really hope our/my efforts are successful...

Date: 2009-07-31 10:27 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile] purplevks.livejournal.com
To the people of [livejournal.com profile] foreverrhapsody's flist:

GO. READ IT. IT IS AMAZING.

Everyone's already said ever thing else. -_-'


Date: 2009-08-02 06:16 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] foreverrhapsody.livejournal.com
:-D Yes, this. Every bit helps, although it doesn't seem to have done much good yet. *weeps*

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