Forty years ago the Spirit of Vengeance—a Purpose—took William Morgan as its host, demanding he avenge the innocent by killing the guilty. Since then Will has retreated behind Gar, a façade he uses to avoid dealing with what he’s become. Cold, impassive, and devoid of emotion, Gar goes about his life alone—until his tidy, orderly world is upended when he meets Ryan, a broken young man cast out by his family. Spurred to action for reasons he can’t understand, Gar saves Ryan from death and finds himself confronted by his humanity.
Spending time with Ryan helps Will claw out from under Gar’s shadow. He recognizes Ryan is the key to his reclaiming his humanity and facing his past. As Will struggles to control the Purpose, Ryan challenges him to rethink everything he knew about himself and the spirit that possesses him. In the process, he pushes Will to do something he hasn’t done in decades: care.
1st Edition published by Dreamspinner Press, June 2013.
This story is so wonderful. Will/Gar is such an interesting character. And then how his Purpose handled things and how his whole perception changed after meeting Ryan. There was so much back and forth with the different personalities and it created an interesting struggle that was almost a good versus evil type of situation. At the same time it wasn’t. It was the difference between justice and vengeance and how they can be the same, yet not all at once. I loved how Will used Gar to get through the rough patches but ultimately wouldn’t let that personality take over with Ryan. There were some times when I wanted to yell at Ryan for making poor choices and putting himself in harms way. But he knew his Purpose and how it would work so everyone got what they wanted. That ending though! I was nervous until that very last line. I don’t want to give away too much because there’s a bit that can be left up to interpretation so I won’t say anything else on it. But holy moly I was floored when I was done with the story. I desperately need a sequel though I’m not sure how that would work with the ending. If Andrew can pull off a sequel I will love the heck out of it and read it the moment it releases.
Four and a half
Molly: What music, if any do you listen to when you write?
Andrew: I do, but it changes with my mood, the day, the last song I heard, the subject I’m writing and whether my daughter is awake and might come into my office. Generally I prefer either classical or alternative rock. Odd combo, but like I said, depends on my mood. . . .
Molly: Are you a full time writer, or part time writer?
Andrew: Part time.
Molly: Do you hope to one day be a full time writer?
Andrew: I don’t know that I’ll ever become a full time writer. I don’t want writing to become a job, so to write full time, I’d need to be able to quit my day job and not need to make money writing. Depending on the income means I might be forced to come up with a story or three, write when I don’t want to, or write to a deadline or word count.
Molly: Do you have a word count per day you try to hit?
Andrew: No. I don’t have predictable time blocks every day so a word count would be a set up for failure.
Molly: When you finish writing a book, how long before you begin writing the next one?
Andrew: Generally I’m in the middle of a few books at one so when I finish one, I work on another.
He turned where he saw the others disappear and understood why they had stopped: dead-end alley. Ryan stood with his back to the brick wall, wide-eyed and pale. Gar noted the uncontrollable shake in Ryan’s body as the four jackals slowly inched closer. White knuckles surrounded the small bag he’d carried off the train.
The one closest to Ryan inched closer. “You know what time it is.”
“Police!” Gar didn’t wait for them to react to his command. He tightened his leg muscles and moved the moment everyone turned toward the front of the alley. Using the split second before they could focus on him, he leaped over them, twisting in the process.
The space between them and Ryan wasn’t much, but he managed to avoid contact with the kid, landing a foot to the left. He reached into his coat and removed a collapsible metal baton with his right hand and a pair of brass knuckles with the left.
One step right, and he completely covered Ryan’s shaking form. Not risking a glance back, he kept his eyes on the startled thieves in front of him.
“Stay behind me, Ryan.”
A muffled grunt, barely audible, told Gar the kid heard him. He dropped the police officer illusion, staring calmly at his prey. Assessing his adversaries, he ignored the hint of a thought that said they were not the guilty. Too late for that—they would have been had he not stopped them.
“I know what time it is,” he hissed, tossing the slang for street robberies back in their face. “Time for vengeance to collect its fee.”
In the recent past, Gar had taken to finding a way to take out the guilty without doing it himself. This time he couldn’t risk it; Ryan was too close. One of them had a gun. He could smell it now.
He definitely didn’t have time to make it look like an accident.
Spinning on his left foot, he kicked the kid with the gun so hard his skullcap flew off when his head hit the wall. Allowing his movement to carry him around, he brought the metal baton down on the arm of a robber with a knife. Metal on flesh and bone was no contest. Gar saw Ryan flinch when the kid let out a scream of agony and fell to the ground.
At least he would live, Gar noted. The first kid was probably dead already. The other two were rooted in place, stunned into inaction. Two seconds ago, they were about to rob a defenseless kid. Now they were being taken apart. Before they could run away, Gar lashed out.
Using the palm of his left hand, he struck the one closest to him. Even using the inner part of his hand, he heard the brass knuckles crack the kid’s sternum when he connected. The last kid finally moved and made it three steps before Gar swept his feet out from under him with the baton.
The face looking up in terror was that of a kid, a juvenile. They were all kids. Reaching toward the teen’s head, he heard movement behind him.
“Gar.” Ryan’s timid, urgent tone caused him to turn. “Don’t kill him.”
“I won’t.” His voice was a cold hiss. Instead, he touched the sweaty forehead, inserting confused thoughts. He quickly repeated the process with the others. The first kid still lived, but probably not for long. The other two, he left sobbing out their pain.
“Come on.” He grabbed Ryan’s left arm. “We need to go.”
Ryan resisted the pull, but Gar was prepared for this. “Either you come with me or I leave you to explain this.”
Andrew Q. Gordon wrote his first story back when yellow legal pads, ball point pens were common and a Smith Corona correctable typewriter was considered high tech. Adapting to the times, he now writes with a shiny new MacBook that he sets on the same desk as his manual typewriter and vintage adding machine.
Long a fan of super heroes, wizards and sports, Andrew’s works include high fantasy, paranormal spirits, magic as well as contemporary fiction. He is still trying to find the perfect story that will include all his favorites under one cover.
He currently lives in the Washington, D.C. area with his husband, their young daughter and dog. In addition to dodging some very self-important D.C. ‘insiders’, Andrew uses his commute to catch up on his reading. When not working or writing, he enjoys soccer, high fantasy, baseball and occasionally sleeping.
Where To Buy:
DSP Publications: https://www.dsppublications.com/books/purpose-by-andrew-q-gordon-154-b
Barnes & Noble: http://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/purpose-andrew-q-gordon/1115772555?ean=2940151156783
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