This is a massive book in terms of scope and length – around 1500 pages, it’s a saga all right, an interconnected series of short tales through the lives of various characters in the years preceding the end of the world.
Beginning as scribbled notes in Russia in 1996, it became a manuscript in 2000, had its main writing in 2006, but was really only completed in 2020 – you’ll find more detail here.
Style? It’s an action-thriller-erotic romance-horror, the story of a man embarking on a grand adventure but people with their own agendas see him coming, they all wear masks and it’s rare to find people of integrity behind those masks.
There are ordinary folk among them though, flawed people, huddled together as a fugitive ragtag, swept up in events changing the political landscape of Europe and eventually the world, as a maniacal new world takes shape, a nasty, dystopic Great Reset, they’re forever on the run from those above, hidden by sympathetic citizens, betrayed, losing those close, then forced to flee again.
Any joy along the way? Of course there is, it’s what makes the story worth reading, if it is worth reading – they’re flawed humans, remember, and it’s that humanity and the ties that bind, the faith, which eventually bring down the oppressors – but at such a cost!
Who would it suit, this book? Well, those who like life sagas – possibly the ladies but there’s enough gore and naughtiness for the boys too. It’s uneven as an ongoing saga must be – I do believe some of it turned out well, the linking parts a bit ordinary, the main characters 3D.
The Jensen character? Carried along by events, cavalier, headstrong, there’s a fair bit of the author in there and every character is someone he’s known in life, every dialogue was a real one at some point, it was important to keep him just as he was, not a hero, no suddenly developed special powers, except those accrued through experience. The ragtag themselves? They largely survive.
Some administrative notes
Masquerade is designed to be read vertically on an iPad or similar, each chapter navigating to the next. No iPad? Feel free to transfer text to a medium in which you can read it.
To avoid copyright issues, the pictures/sketches in this online version are NOT for commercial use, they only exist to give readers a rough idea.