Book Jacket

 

rank  Editors Pick
word count 99047
date submitted 19.10.2009
date updated 23.02.2014
genres: Literary Fiction, Horror, Popular S...
classification: moderate
complete

Faust's Butterfly--Part I of the Lost River Trilogy

William Holt

A classic retold: In 1990, vigilantes secretly track a murderous sorcerer to a southern Indiana cave, ready to kill him or die trying.

 

In summer 1990 Nora, a biology teacher at Lost River College, confronts two disturbing facts: an unknown blight is killing plants and animals alike in a quiet neighborhood near her house, and a fragment of a human ear has been discovered in an underground river by her fresh water biologist friend Wilbur.

The two facts eventually help identify a human monster: a sadistic murderer with paranormal abilities that allow him to kill without leaving evidence, except for minds flexible enough to notice what others--including the police--do not.

Eventually Nora and three friends join in a highly secretive vigilante quest that may be the death of them all. The murderer's accomplice, a creature that looks like a harmless tropical butterfly but presents unknown dangers, is as big a worry as the murderer himself..

The Faust legend--that of the man who sells his soul in exchange for supernatural power--has been told and retold for centuries in plays, novels, stories, films, and operas and has been called the quintessential narrative for the modern world of runaway technology. What most of us do not expect is that the legend might quite literally come to life.

 
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caves, magic, murder, mystery, science, strange creatures

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HarperCollins Wrote


‘Faust’s Butterfly’ is a powerful Supernatural Crime Thriller. The concept beneath it should, in theory, make it a highly marketable book. However, there are various issues that need to be addressed before publishing would be wise.

There were several positives to note in the manuscript. The concept, whilst stemming from a story that has been rendered countless ways, is itself original and fresh. The characters are well-drawn, largely contrasting, and regularly surprise the reader. Nora, the protagonist, is a likeable and multifaceted character: she struggles to hide her insecurities, and suffers from a difficult past and a dogged desire to discover the truth.

You have managed to establish a real sense of threat and menace by creating an antagonist with terrifying powers who is connected to the others characters in a manner they can’t escape. On top of this, you have included many elements of a traditional murder mystery, which make certain plot twists and character profiles familiar, but in a setting so different from the norm that it feels new. We empathise with the characters, fighting against fear and an infinitely more powerful enemy, and spurred on by the personal loss he has created for each of them. Their vigilantism can be at times a touch unconvincing, but it is nonetheless admirable.

However, strengths aside, as mentioned already are certain issues which let the book down. These are certainly issues which can be addressed, and I believe that doing so would significantly improve the potential of the book.

One of the issues which struck me on first read is dialogue. The dialogue in ‘Faust’s Butterfly’ is at times unrealistic. It feels functional, and doesn’t reflect the nuances of real speech or real relationships. It is rushed and yet at the same time drawn out; the characters discuss what they need to discuss to move the plot forward, yet you also include the rest of the conversation right down to the closing goodbyes. Economy of words in conversation is important. People don’t want to read what looks like a simple transcript of a long telephone conversation. It’s important to extract the central details and move on. I would also advise that you think more extensively about subtext – what can be said without being said, the meaning between the lines, the emotion which is not instantly verbalised. This makes speech more natural, and dialogue far more subtle and interesting.

The long and detailed explanations of biological science which no doubt come from the author’s own interests and specialised knowledge is undoubtedly impressive and would serve a non-fiction title well, but in this title they are occasionally cumbersome, and almost unreadable in places. I would advise stripping these down to a bare minimum; they currently serve to stunt the pace of the action.

Pacing is another issue. The opening chapters are too consistent in pace; even the exciting scenes are described in such a drawn-out way that they lose their impetus. I’d recommend varying your pace to keep the reader’s interest. This can be achieved through character – and driving the story with the struggles of each character. It is important to remember that each character is the protagonist in his or her own narrative – many of the characters in Faust’s Butterfly feel like plot devices.

The relationship between story and character is important in other respects: the characters in ‘Faust’s Butterfly’ occasionally make enormous leaps in logic, seemingly on very little evidence or reason, to get them to the next point in the narrative. Again plot seems to be sprinting ahead in the race towards the interesting parts of the story, leaving characterisation, imagery and emotion lagging well behind. The happenings in the neighbourhood in question in ‘Faust’s Butterfly’ are doubtless very strange, but I was not convinced that a scientist of all people would be so quick to accept a supernatural explanation given by someone she’s only just met? Nora is set up as the calm, reasoning type, determined to find the truth through reason and science. She seems to betray these principles several times.

I like the idea of the group being ‘vigilante’ – it allows a lot more freedom to the group, but also makes them seem much closer to danger and potential violence at all times, which is an important element for the story. I feel though that perhaps we could use a better reason for why the group has decided to go vigilante - i.e. why getting the police involved would hinder them or is simply not feasible.

In its current form, I don’t think this manuscript meets its commercial potential. It’s lacking the spark to take it to the level it would need to really crack the market. I’d recommend looking at the novel from a new perspective: ‘what would really shake up this novel? What would be controversial? What would be exciting?’ This might be changing one of the main characters completely, changing the setting or time, perhaps even introducing some kind of intelligent non-linear narrative form, which when done well in crime stories can be extremely effective.

Taking some of these points into consideration on top of an already interesting premise could make this a strong novel.

turnerpage wrote 848 days ago

Like a cross between Day of the Triffids and the best of Stephen King. That parched dystopian landscape that you describe so vividly reminds me of much of Australia. Faust's Butterfly should be required reading for every Authonomite - particularly those of us here showcasing genre fiction. Your book is up there at the top because of your talent, skill and mastery of your craft. And as John Breedon states below this one has both commercial and critical appeal. Can't wait to see the HP review of this one! When can we buy it? Six stars.
Lambert Nagle - Revolution Earth

Stark Silvercoin wrote 855 days ago

The story of Faust's Butterfly is a clever twist on the classic Faustian bargain story, only it’s told from the perspective of those on the other side, fighting against the super-powered villain.

From that unique idea, author William Holt has created a story that reads like a modern Lovercraft tale, and this is coming from one of that author’s biggest fans. In fact, I think if HP Lovecraft were alive today, he would be penning stories very much like Faust's Butterfly, which blur the line between horror and literary fiction, which is, of course, no easy feat. Both Holt and Lovecraft have mastered this skill.

Back-story and mystery are blended perfectly with characterization and action. In many ways, Holt is a better tale-teller than someone like Stephen King, whose horror tends to be more in-your-face. Holt’s horror is more subtle, building slowly. Once readers are hooked, they will keep going, even though they know the fearful aspects of the tale are growing.

It’s a bit like boiling a frog. If you do it all at once, the frog will jump away. But if you rise the temperature slowly enough, it will allow itself to boil. Faust’s Butterfly is like that. Readers stay there, not really noticing as things get more menacing and more frightful. It’s bound to surprise a lot of people and give them a literary experience they are not likely to expect or forget.

The author uses all five senses beautifully to bring readers directly into the story, as well as subtle clues and metaphors that alert readers will pick up on. The novel is one that can be read more than once, with new insights on each passing. It should have no trouble garnering critical acclaim and commercial success once published.

John Breeden II
Old Number Seven

J.Adams wrote 933 days ago

Congratulations on an excellent novel, Bill!

In spite of misgivings about reading a horror / thriller, Faust's Butterfly was nothing but a true pleasure. Your plot, characters, and descriptive passages are thoroughly engaging. It was very difficult for me to put the book down, and it was not because you created cliffhangers, but because the world you've designed is utterly believable and compelling. Additionally, you introduced detailed and well-researched snippets of literature, history, science, sectarian and religious philosophy, art, music, and film that were utterly delightful to come across. I highly recommend this book, which I read in its captivating entirety.

Bill, you are a true Renaissance Author of the highest caliber. and I sincerely wish you much success with this gem.

Cheers!
Judy

Helianthus wrote 1043 days ago

If power corrupts even the pure of heart, what will it do for the criminally insane?

So, I've been avoiding reading this, because there was much chat about how frightening it was. Just as I worked up to it, you changed the pitch to reference a sadistic killer, and that pushed me away for another week. But curiosity finally drove me to read it, and stubbornness drove me to read all of it.

I'm amazed to say, it wasn't all that frightening in the expected sense. There were a couple of bits that I had to skim over because I didn't want any more torture scenes embedded in my mind, but I could see that they were short and not overdone. I was actually sort of fond of the butterfly, as he didn't seem evil really, just...curious. (The killer himself was another matter - I'm sure you know which few passages I was compelled to flit past.)

Fret not, Authonomites: If I can read this, anyone can.

Peter Peverelli wrote 207 days ago

Hi William,
I have read the first five chapters and will certainly read on. The only reason I have stopped, it is that I need to leave my home. It is a compelling story and this is one of my favourite genres.

I admire and envy your broad vocabulary. For a non-native speaker of English like me, the proper word at the proper place is always an additional problem on top of building your story line.

However, some paragraphs seem to strike me as a little too verbose. You have a great eye for details, but sometimes readers do not need all the details. For example, we all know how to apply iodine, as iodine comes in more or less the same type of packagings on both sides of the Atlantic. In Chapter 2 you have included a very detailed description of the entire process of applying iodine to a scratch. I felt my attention draining away while reading that scene.

Still, this is a promising story and I am looking forward to read more of it in the coming days.

All the best to you and your family,
Peter - One Turbulent Year

CMWoods wrote 219 days ago

I just started reading this book and thought I would comment. I wasn't really looking for something to read but found it anyway it seems. Read a few chapters and will continue as time allows.

William Holt wrote 224 days ago

I was wondering. Circa the third chapter you bring a great deal of literary and even entomylogical references. What persuaded you to do that?



I just felt like shifting to full omniscient for that brief chapter. The creature is in appearance an insect but is actually an ancient horror completely outside the ken of conventional science and accessible only through myth and unfettered imagination.

garion9 wrote 224 days ago

I was wondering. Circa the third chapter you bring a great deal of literary and even entomylogical references. What persuaded you to do that?

garion9 wrote 244 days ago

Its interesting that you open with Marlowe's Doctor Faustus rather than invoking the more well known Goethe rendition of this classic tale. I wonder what persuaded you to do that? From looking at this first chapter it does seem like there are parallels; your violent and less bookish telling seems in line with the playwrights sensibilities.

Also I like that you've given this legend a distinctively American tone; like Poe read through Stephen King. I'll have to read on! Chapter one was really good.

sayla wrote 671 days ago

Liking it so far, I got it on by bookshelf. Interesting story, told in a very readable style. I'll keep coming back to it and continue reading further.

Thanks.

P.S My book http://www.authonomy.com/books/44865/said-the-spider/

Michaelgray83 wrote 676 days ago

Chapter three is where I was really pulled in. I like the shifting perspectives in your writing. First the butterfly, then Janice and her daughter, next Nora, and then back to the butterfly. The regular shifting keeps my attention.

Suggestions: In Chapter one I feel there could be less details, allowing us to get to Janice's mysterious death more quickly. Keep the section with her death as is and certainly keep the details about dressing Barbie, but the other stage-setting details could largely be cut down. If Chapter 1 is streamlined, than we will be gripped enough to read Chapter two and three as is.

I look forward to reading more.

mhebler wrote 737 days ago

From the beginning, you present a world within our world that has already been decomposing, which is a great introduction. The mystery starts right away with a bloody and unexpected death that keeps our attention and intrigue.

Admittedly, I have only read up to Chapter 5 at this time, and do not expect "Faust's Butterfly" to be any less gripping, as I continue to read this novel at a later date. If I did have one criticism to give, it would be regarding some of the dialogue sounding a little hokey at times, which pulled me out of the mystery and took me out of the moment. I also had trouble hearing the character's distinctive voices.

Other than that, I'm curious as to what lies ahead and looking forward to finding out soon. Great job!

AidanRyan wrote 738 days ago

You have a very strong opening. I like that you start with the kestrel and jump to Janice. I also like that this work of paranormal fiction has a strong literary bent - descriptions like that of the Kentucky Bluegrass lawn staring back with toadstool eyes elevates this far beyond genre fiction. Setting is great too. That said I agree with much of the HC review - of course, I only started yesterday and I haven't finished the book, so I can't say if I agree with their suggestions regarding the plot.

Olga13 wrote 740 days ago

all the best... your book deserve to be published... the art of how to write a novel...all the best...

Christine May wrote 744 days ago

Well written first chapter. Look forward to reading the entire book.
Christine C. May

Tarzan For Real wrote 778 days ago

This story sounds most intriguing especially its correlation to the Faust legend. I will read your work and give review and rating accordingly.

My work is kicking it up a notch in New Orleans, the Gulf of Mexico, and bayou country where I'm from. But it's also a trans global social exploration of humanity, belief, and the consequences of choice from my travels to western Africa, northern Mexico, and Europe. It's called "The Devil Of Black Bayou" and you may find Faust or his close friend making an appearance to flesh out the story.

Elen wrote 783 days ago

Just read the first chapter. Powerful, pounding prose. Constantly building tension. A woman's entire tragic life within one chapter. Congratulations. An excellent beginning.

Pamela Finnegan - Elen of Wessex

Elen wrote 783 days ago

Just read your first chapter. Really wonderful. Powerful, pounding prose. Building threat. An entire woman's tragic world in one chapter. Congratulations.
Pamela Finnegan - Elen of Wessex

Elen wrote 783 days ago

Just read your first chapter. Really wonderful. Powerful, pounding prose. Building threat. An entire woman's tragic world in one chapter. Congratulations.
Pamela Finnegan - Elen of Wessex

thull wrote 813 days ago

Hi William,
Just read some of your book. Actually I set out to read 3 chapters but ended up reading 12 chapters... shows how good this is... this book should easily bubble all the way to the top... This is going onto my shelf after I star it and back it... so I can read some more.
Congrats Wiliam... great book.
Regards,
Tom Hull
"King Arthur and the Secret of the Universe"

marfleet wrote 819 days ago

I found that this is a book that draws you in. I intended to read only the first couple of chapters but because the book sets the scenes so well and the build up, while gradual, is well sustained, I have found myself well past that and will probably go on to the end.
5 stars for now but probably a 6 by the end.

Some points that I noticed that you may wish to look at

Chap 4 they were originally asking hundred >and< ten
Chap 5 A high school graduate who wants to come here is probably in, usually with some financial assistance. Sentence a little awkward and unclear. “A high school graduate who wants to come here is probably in >some financial difficulty.<” or “A high school graduate who wants to come here is probably in [, usually with] some financial assistance.

Cheers
Andrew

The Nekrologist wrote 836 days ago

congrats for making it to the top! A deserving victory for a compelling read which I remember from about a year ago as an up and coming contender....

dsjred wrote 837 days ago

Congratulations, William! I see you made it up for review. That's great, I started reading your novel about a week ago, I have to admit it's a bit dark for me--the death and poor child finding her mother that way was really sad. But, your writing skill is very apparent and the subject of the book is really fascinating.
Hope the publishers see all your talent and decide to publish your novel -
Donna (Search for the Cherokee Treasure Tunnel)

FrancesK wrote 837 days ago

wow. This one will FLY.

InspiredbyFaith wrote 838 days ago

Congratulations I am happy for you.

FrancesK wrote 838 days ago

I've read the first 19 chapters and will finish it tomorrow it it is still available - yes, Stephen King comes to mind, and Silence of the Lambs - there is something unbelievably horrible at work here, and I look forward to finding out what it is. I like the way you expect your reader to have a brain!

DerekTobin wrote 839 days ago

Hi William
I just read chapter 1 and can see why you're doing so well with this book. I love the writing style - and agree with others who feel it is in a Stephen King vein, I def also got that vibe which is, in my view, always a good thing. Excellent description, pacey flow and nothing out of place or clunky, in short - a perfect introduction to a book.
One thing I considered - the two sentences "She turned on the tap, picked up the water glass. And she convulsed, flinging the glass into the sink." I felt it might scan better as 1 sentence - perhaps "She turned on the tap, picked up the water glass, but then convulsed, flinging the glass into the sink." But I know I'm def just splitting hairs here. Anyway good luck with getting published William and all the best. Six stars from me.
Derek
The Angel Chord

Lisa Lawton wrote 840 days ago

I enjoyed this more than I thought I would, Bill. To me, it reads like a Dean Koontz or recent Stephen King novel. You somehow don't bombard the reader with information appertaining to the plot, but slip in snippets of what might be occurring, tantalizing the reader to push-on in the hope of finding something they can guess at, in order to come to a conclusion as to what exactly is causing the phenomenon.
I'd leave out some of the adverbs you use because the precise way you write to get the character's actions across, you don't need adverbs, and they do tend to slow the pace a little. But that is only in my opinion.
I for one would like to see the HC review on your work, so you better make it public when it comes. And I hope my backing and star rating of Faust's Butterfly helps it on its way.

All my best,
Lisa. x

Philthy wrote 840 days ago

Hi William,

I apologize. I’ve actually been meaning to check this out for a couple months. In fact, I’ve started the first chapter before, but whenever I tried diving deeper into it as I’d hoped to do, I was interrupted by something else. That said, my intention was always to read past my normal one or two chapters. I’m not able to get too far now, unfortunately, but once (if) I make it to the shelf, I hope to go back and read deeper into a few books. This will be one of them.

Below are my findings. As I tell everyone, they’re my humblest opinions, so take them for whatever they’re worth. I can tell you now, though, that I’m a fan, and am embarrassed it’s taken me this long to comment.

Chapter 1

“counter tops” is one word

“Obviously, she thought, she was overstating the case.” I think the second comma should be deleted, though I’m having a hard time deciphering how you intend that sentence to be read. If she’s thinking those words, why not italicize?

“With a little subtle guidance from her…” This is a looooong sentence. Might need to be parsed out a bit. Unless I’m missing a period in there, it looks like it covers five lines.

The last short paragraph in the first chapter…I almost wonder if that shouldn’t be summed up in a later chapter. Seems to dilute the impact here, but maybe there’s no other place for it.

A great, great first chapter, though. Harrowing.

Chapter 2

Love the continuation of the kestrel’s story. A great way to introduce the next character.

This is fantastic writing. Honestly, one of the best things I’ve read on Authonomy. Will gladly back it, though I may be too late to actually support it like it deserves, with only a day or so left on the clock. Your descriptions are sensational. They remind me of Stephen King (not sure if you’re a fan or not, but there’s no denying his aptitude for descriptions). Your voice is similar, almost reminds me of Black House, though that was a bit different style.

Great stuff. Best of luck with wherever you take this. I hope to read more at some point.

If you have the chance, I’d love to hear your thoughts on my story, Deshay of the Woods. No worries if it doesn’t interest you, but I could certainly use the feedback.

All the best,
Phil
(Deshay of the Woods)


D. S. Hale wrote 841 days ago

William, this manuscript should be a book. I want to hold it in my hands, curl up on the sofa with a cup of coffee and the cozy fire, and read it all night long! I am giving you 6 stars, and a place on my shelf. I've been on site a little over a month and only just now got to your book. Shame on me! I will be coming back to finish it. Good luck with the Editors! This deserves a place in my bookshelf. When a publisher picks it up, please let us know so we can purchase our hard copy.

Sincerely,
D. S. Hale
Jessup and the Teleporter

Rosalind Barden wrote 843 days ago

Faust's Butterfly is tightly and smoothly written. The image of the dead falcon falling on the woman is excellent. You're almost at #1 and I hope you get there!
Rosalind Barden
American Witch

Mark Cain wrote 846 days ago

Nice job. Good luck!

str8 wrote 847 days ago

Bill-
This is a great book. Honestly, I avoided it at first, thinking it outside my area of interest. But now, after having read the first couple of chapters, I really like it. Very nicely done.
-Nissim
(Dragons, Heroes, and Animatronic Teddy-Bears)

Marla-Bowie wrote 847 days ago

I wrote out a whole paragraph about this book but somehow it disappeared before I could click submit. So here goes again:

I enjoyed your story, good tension building. Had me wondering what could possibly be going on, made me want to keep reading. What I had trouble with is that some of the areas seemed a bit dis-jointed. I had to reread some paragraphs to figure out how it fit together. For example, in chapter three, if you had started it off with the paragraph that goes "It observed the woman taking soil from the lawn across the street..." then continued with the rest of the chapter the was it was, I would have immediately connected it to the story - to the chapter before. But as written it felt out of place until I got to the end where it finally connected it to the story. In chapter two, Nora hears the scream of a girl and then you suddenly change the subject. I was waiting for her to react to it but she never did, which I thought was strange. I did like the first chapter a lot. It captured my attention and set me up for wanting to keep turning the virtual page. The details added greatly to the over all effect of something frightening going on, like the mushrooms and fungus popping up & the plant life dying, some thing watching, etc. I only read to chapter five, but I will be back to read the rest because I have to find out whats going on. Loved the pitch, that drew me in as well.

Marla Bowie LePley
AFTER

turnerpage wrote 848 days ago

Like a cross between Day of the Triffids and the best of Stephen King. That parched dystopian landscape that you describe so vividly reminds me of much of Australia. Faust's Butterfly should be required reading for every Authonomite - particularly those of us here showcasing genre fiction. Your book is up there at the top because of your talent, skill and mastery of your craft. And as John Breedon states below this one has both commercial and critical appeal. Can't wait to see the HP review of this one! When can we buy it? Six stars.
Lambert Nagle - Revolution Earth

Sheilab wrote 849 days ago

ooh excellent stuff. At the end of chapter 3 now. Will keep reading when I can. For now, 6 stars and next on my shelf when there's a space. Lovely writing, Bill. A wonderful sense of suspense building as I read this and I adore your chapter titles. This deserves to get to the ed's desk. I hope it does.
Sheila

Sheilab wrote 849 days ago

Hi Bill
Loved the opening chapter. Intriguing and very well written. One tiny comment about your pitch. Would work better for me if you identified Nora as the biology teacher in the opening paragraph. So: 'In summer 1990, Nora, a biology teacher...'
Sounds a tiny point, I know, but it immediately clarifies who the protagonist is.
Would love to read more before I comment overall. I realise you're on track for Ed's desk and will do my best to back you before end of the month - have something of a backlist at the moment!
Sheila

Matica1986 wrote 851 days ago

I just began with this first chapter and I'm stunned at all the talent I see on this site. You write with a very smooth flow and it's very enjoyable. I look forward to reading more!

Salwa Samra wrote 852 days ago

Hello Bill, I've read up to Chapter 8.
When I decide to read a book, any genre's, my first thought or impression on entering the door of this book, is what compelled the write to write this book. How was it conceived? When did it give birth to the commencement? What is the writer wanting to share through the life of the book?
I hope I'm not getting off track here. The first few chapters were a wee slow for me, however, once I trekked through them, I became quite connected to Faust's Butterfly and its characters. There is no doubt in my mind that you have a wonderful plot here. Your arrangement of the story causes the reader to become intensely
curious and wanting to munch on more, which in my opinion is a necessity. I'll only be stating the obvious in saying you write exceptionally well. I do wish you all the best. Salwa.

Stark Silvercoin wrote 855 days ago

The story of Faust's Butterfly is a clever twist on the classic Faustian bargain story, only it’s told from the perspective of those on the other side, fighting against the super-powered villain.

From that unique idea, author William Holt has created a story that reads like a modern Lovercraft tale, and this is coming from one of that author’s biggest fans. In fact, I think if HP Lovecraft were alive today, he would be penning stories very much like Faust's Butterfly, which blur the line between horror and literary fiction, which is, of course, no easy feat. Both Holt and Lovecraft have mastered this skill.

Back-story and mystery are blended perfectly with characterization and action. In many ways, Holt is a better tale-teller than someone like Stephen King, whose horror tends to be more in-your-face. Holt’s horror is more subtle, building slowly. Once readers are hooked, they will keep going, even though they know the fearful aspects of the tale are growing.

It’s a bit like boiling a frog. If you do it all at once, the frog will jump away. But if you rise the temperature slowly enough, it will allow itself to boil. Faust’s Butterfly is like that. Readers stay there, not really noticing as things get more menacing and more frightful. It’s bound to surprise a lot of people and give them a literary experience they are not likely to expect or forget.

The author uses all five senses beautifully to bring readers directly into the story, as well as subtle clues and metaphors that alert readers will pick up on. The novel is one that can be read more than once, with new insights on each passing. It should have no trouble garnering critical acclaim and commercial success once published.

John Breeden II
Old Number Seven

RockfordBuckeye wrote 855 days ago

Oooo I'm loving your book and wishing I didn't have to work so much so I can read it faster! Very interesting concept - can't wait to see how it all turns out!

Karen
Working Hunter

Amy Pope wrote 855 days ago

Clearly you don't need any extra backing here, but I'm reading it anyway. I like the rotting suburban setting, but also there are intriguing layers that appeal, from classic page-turner story telling and appealling characters - Nora reminds me of Sarah Connor et al - and lots of literary and biological references that you pull off with charm, not at all pretentious or showy, which is an added joy. It's good so far - the first three chapters - and look forward from reading the synopsis to the rest of the yarn.

Sharahzade wrote 856 days ago

FAUST'S BUTTERFLY
William Holt

Hello Bill.

This is a reprise of a backing I gave you over a year ago. I was fascinated by your novel then and I truly admire your work enough to reestablish my support for what you have achieved. Congratulations on reaching #5 here on Authonomy. I wish you the best that can come from this site. Like many writers here who are familiar with your work, I expect to see Faust's Butterfly published and selling off the bookshelves straightaway.

I only wish that I could have taken a class led by you.

Best wishes,

Mary Enck

BabyStar wrote 858 days ago

Have readded you to my shelf in the hopes it will help keep you up there on the desk!

Tonia Marlowe wrote 859 days ago

So nice to have you here at #5. And make it 700 comments

celticwriter wrote 859 days ago

Enjoying your work again....will place you up shortly.

jim

scoz512 wrote 860 days ago

Congrats, you deserve it!

Sheilab wrote 861 days ago

Hi Bill
Following up EM Delaney's comments on the forum. Love the pitch and - of course - the cover is exquisite. What a great concept. I read some of this when I rejoined Authonomy last month and loved the section I read. Give me a day or two and I'll take another look and come back with some comments (not that you need much, if memory serves). So sorry - really thought I'd already backed this one. On my watchlist now and will read as soon as I have a moment.
Sheila

Johnny Appleseed wrote 864 days ago

I finished "Faust's Butterfly" and found it an compelling read. The characters are interesting and dynamic, especially Amanda whose wit and rough charm are a refreshing contrast to the steady, academic Nora. Author William Holt weaves into this thriller believable paranormal threads that help push the narrative out of the mundane world and into a creepy supernatural one. Holt's strength in this story is in the psychotic Ben Gordon. Part artist and part killer, Gordon's a sorcerer who conjures objects with a sense of humor and irony. His powers seem limitless. And it is in the source of that antagonist's power, the enigmatic butterfly, that the author falls a tad short in the narrative--only in that I wanted to know more about its kind...and felt a little disappointed when left unsatisfied at the end of the story.

Nevertheless, "Faust's Butterfly" is a chilling thriller that hooks and wrenches the reader through an engrossing story. I truly hope Holt's book makes it to the editors' desks.

hockgtjoa wrote 865 days ago

At page 6, I decided that I had read enough to decide that this deserves six stars and backing. It is well written and the horror/thriller mode should help.

celticwriter wrote 867 days ago

Happily looking at your work again. Will be re shelving
:-)
Jim

Naomi Dathan wrote 867 days ago

I think I've backed you previously -- happy to do it again. :-)

Fred Le Grand wrote 867 days ago

Two things - one minute a kestrel, next a falcon later in chapter one.
You have two optic nerves - not just one.

You have a masterful insight into what creates suspense and you drag the reader into the story and hold him/her there..

The darkness of it, is compulsive and the descriptive prose is just so good.
Backed again - in the Brave new authonomy world!.

nilnildraw wrote 870 days ago

William,
I have a lot of respect for you as a writer. Sometimes I’m inspired by excellent writing and sometimes it just makes me feel inferior and unworthy of the art form, but yours is definitely inspirational. I just finished the fourth chapter and the mystery is building wonderfully. There’s a lot of little seeds you’ve planted, and I’m sure (unlike the plants in the story) they’re going to grow into glorious full bloom, which for me in an underappreciated skill, specifically being able to tell the story while hinting at more exciting things to come. It’s something I notice when it’s done in a way I don’t like, but when done right it’s one of the tricks that keep me in a book. Faust’s Butterfly is probably one of two books I’ve started on this site so far that I can imagine in a bookstore. Good luck, it’s certainly a contender.