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Activation #1

Council of Peacocks

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There is a dark world, hidden in plain sight, filled with vengeful djinn and shadowy demons. The Council of Peacocks, a group of ruthless wizards, has plans for the human race.

For centuries they have plotted and schemed. Now, the moment of Activation draws near.

Wisdom, an immortal sorcerer, has gathered a band of hybrid youths with extraordinary powers. They are trained to stop the Council. But there’s something that Wisdom doesn’t know.

The Council is no longer working alone.

If Wisdom and his students cannot stop The Council, the world as they know it will cease to exist.

Council of Peacocks, a paranormal thriller, is the first installment of the Activation Series. Grab your copy now!

3359 pages, Kindle Edition

First published July 7, 2013

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About the author

M. Joseph Murphy

10 books54 followers
Joseph Murphy was born and raised in Ontario, Canada. He earned his geekdom at an early age. He read X-Men comics from at the age of 8 and it only went downhill from there.

As a teenager he wrote short stories and wanted to be the next Stephen King. Instead of horror, however, he kept writing fantasy stories. After surviving high school as a goth with a purple mohawk, he studied English and Creative Writing at the University of Windsor.

When not writing, Joseph works as Lead Accounting instructor at Everest College. He also lectures to other businesses on outside-the-box marketing. He lives in Windsor, ON (right across the stream from Detroit, Michigan) with his husband, two cats, and shy-but-friendly ghost.

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5 stars
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Displaying 1 - 17 of 17 reviews
Profile Image for Travis Luedke.
Author 23 books1,092 followers
August 8, 2014
Paranormal Thriller Baddassary!!

I read this book twice over, as a beta ~ critique reader. The thriller intensity sucked me in, hook, line and sinker. My inner scifi/paranormal/horror geek was thoroughly satisfied.

This is precisely the kind of book I enjoy reading. It hits all the buttons: Epic battles, epic moments of self-discovery, epic tales of heroes and villains, and of course there's loads of angst ridden teenagers with badass paranormal/psychokinesis abilities, trying to find their way through horrific scenes of violence and callous disregard for human life.

Can I get HELL YEAH?

Its X-MEN meets CLASH OF THE TITANS directed by Quentin Tarantino. *cue the cheesy surfer music*

We begin the story with this enigmatic character named Wisdom. He’s just been through a vicious brawl, but he won. Wisdom isn’t exactly human, he’s something else: a demi-god, so powerful he can move through space-time to restart the battle in an attempt to balk fate. This isn’t the first time he’s fought this battle.

But something has changed. Some other party is mucking about in the timeline, the outcome is no longer certain.

As the tale unfolds, we meet a series of gifted people Wisdom has collected over the years, the Anomalies. They are being trained for the showdown.

A secret society of sorcerers known as The Council of Peacocks is plotting their return to power. Once a thriving religious group, they are now led by one of Wisdom’s mistakes, Propates, a man transformed into an immortal. The Council intends to use humanity as a bartering chip in their deals with demonic entities from other dimensions who want a piece of Earth.

With his army of ragtag teenager Anomalies, Wisdom intends to stop the Council, at all costs. But these kids are freaks of nature who don’t even know how they came to be, let alone how to harness their wicked powers.

And how can a band of kids who have more in common with demons than angels become heroes when they barely understand what the hell Wisdom is asking them to do?

In the end, we are securely lined up for the next installment of a very promising series.

M. Joseph Murphy raises concepts of faith, religion, an insightful view of human history, and a couple of philosophical questions.

Is there really such a thing as fate? And if we could move through time, could we change it?
Profile Image for Christoph Fischer.
Author 50 books473 followers
January 11, 2014
"Council of Peacocks (Activation)" by M. Joseph Murphy is a highly entertaining and clever paranormal thriller.
It is a fun read with some unexpected depth. Set between Canada and Greece it involves amongst other great ingredients time travel, djinns and wizzards.

While out camping a group of six youngsters get attacked and run from what appears clearly not human creatures.
As they are on the run we learn more about how they link to a much bigger picture.

The Council of Peacocks, a group of ruthless wizards under the leadership of Propates are taking on the world while Wisdom, an immortal scorcerer and his team of 'gifted' youth, the Anomolies, fight back.

It is the classic battle of good versus evil, but not in as simple a way at all. The plot is highly evolved and complex, cleverly constructed and very engaging. Human kind is evolving and threatened, different groups of beings fight each other and battle for the ultimate tool to wipe the other out, time and events are muddled up by repetitive time travel to alter history, so there is a lot going on.

The book is written with great suspense and action that cleverly involves the hero and the anti-hero. The characters top me are clearly one of the biggest strengths of the book; they are not your average and boring stereotypes, they have issues, contradictions, a past and they make for some excellent entertainment. They even add some serious thoughts and a philosophical dimension to the story at times.

The paranormal or fantasy part of this thriller is very engaging with lots of great ideas and imaginative creations. You dive into this world and feel for once someone has not re-told the same story with just a different colouring.

There are surprises in the plot that save us from predictability, the language is superb and the humour in the novel was just right for an epic fantasy like this to 'keep it real'.

I don't often read fantasy books but this one pressed all the right buttons. .

Well done and highly recommended.
Profile Image for M. Joseph Murphy.
Author 10 books54 followers
September 3, 2015
Since I'm not going to review my own book, I decided, instead, to add the acknowledgements from Council of Peacocks.

Last year, if you’d asked me, I would have told you writing was a lonely, solitary activity. Now I know better.

First, a thank you to my beta readers: James Marentette, Rob Welch, Bronwyn Cair, Stephanie Parent, Craig McGray and Carey Heywood.

To Charles Ekeke a special thanks for being my harshest critic. You forced me to look at some of the largest weak spots in Council of Peacocks and make them stronger.

To Christie Stratos for spot on line edits and constant encouragement. She pointed out weaknesses in the story and inconsistencies between scenes. This type of error is much harder to spot and more important to the reader's enjoyment.

To my cover artist, Dane Low, thanks for your wonderful eye. You took my idea for a cover and created something better.

I also need to thank Linda Johannesson for her thorough, in-depth proofreading. You were worth every dime and then some. You found things no one else did. You also helped immensely by improving Australian slang and finding all my Canadianisms.

Lastly, a huge thanks to Travis Luedke who did line edits twice. You made me look at every word of every line on every page. You told me when my jokes weren’t funny, when my exposition was too wordy and when my dialogue needed more ‘umph’. You’ve also been my largest supporter. There is no way I’ll ever be able to repay your kindness.
Profile Image for Tiffany.
19 reviews2 followers
August 26, 2013
The Council of Peacocks has it all, epic battles, conspiracy theories, romance, and a great story line. The first page will suck you into a complex and unpredictable, page-turning plot. Upon meeting the main character, Wisdom, immediately you feel the power and pain behind that power. Wisdom is an immortal that is traveling through time to make a future that he is happy with. His former protégé, Propates, is up to something dark and destructive and Wisdom will do anything that it takes to stop him. Despite his immortality and inventive super powers, Wisdom needs help.

New characters, The Anomalies, are introduced and each have something in common, fire starter tendencies and a past that does not allow them to go home. These teens are being collected by Wisdom and taught how to control and fully utilize their powers. Tempers run high when the students do not feel like Wisdom is being honest with them but when unexpected events occur, they have no choice but to band together and fight.

Wisdom is an unusual main character because I wasn’t sure whether to like him or not. He has a dark past but seems to have a good heart deep down; but will it be enough to save the world from the super villain, Propates? His friends don’t fully trust his intentions including his heart’s desire, Echo. Wisdom learns to rely on a new friend, Josh, to gain more information that can help defeat the Council of Peacocks.

With an ending that is sure to leave you wanting more, this book is a great start to the series!
Profile Image for J.R..
117 reviews3 followers
August 8, 2013
The book begins as we meet to two very powerful characters on opposite sides of the conflict for Earth; Propates and Wisdom. Propates works within the Council of Peacocks, a group of practitioners of arcane powers, forcing the evolution of humans through a process he calls Eyeness, aiming to change the world. Wisdom, with his Djinn abilities, wants to prevent the council from succeeding in their plans and destroying the world as we know it.

We meet several Anomalies; people with EFHB’s, (Extraordinary Functions of the Human Body), who are under Wisdom’s guidance and tuition for the upcoming war against the Council. Propates is actively hunting for these Anomalies to convert them into his Edimmu; angel-like beings with black wings who dwell in the shadows.

With the conflict set, the cast introduced, the storyline quickens with several changes in location, problems for Wisdom and the Anomalies to overcome, and the underlying threat of the Council’s plans.

Each scene in the book is balanced with storyline, character development, inter-character relationships and of course plenty of action, making Council of Peacocks a well paced, interesting and deeply inspired piece of fiction.

I found this book incredibly enjoyable, and having already read through it twice, I am still finding new areas to enjoy. In absolute honesty, I cannot wait for the second book to be released.
Profile Image for Drako.
Author 13 books205 followers
July 21, 2013
This was an interesting beginning to a series. Wisdom is a special kind of witty and jaded person because he's been alive for far too long. Like any immortal, he makes his share of mistakes over his very long lifetime. But he's insanely powerful, strong enough to overpower his father, a powerful Djinn.

Over the years Wisdom has made plenty of friends and enemies, and the lines can be blurred with both. Echo is a woman he took by force and made into an immortal, but he clearly has strong feelings for. Propates is a male he'd turned into an immortal as well, but Propates becomes an enemy. He is actually leader of the Council of Peacocks.

What I find most interesting is that Wisdom is not some altruistic character fighting solely to save mankind. He's a selfish jerk, to be quite honest, and most lives are expandable to him. But he does care for some, most definitely Echo and a few others among the hybrids he takes in to teach to use their powers.

The author adds some bits of different mythologies and modifies them, which I'm certainly a fan of. What makes the end worthwhile for me is that Wisdom has to learn a lesson the hard way, the same as the youths he teaches. All in all, a good story despite a few grammar issues and I can't wait for the next in the series
Profile Image for L.A. Johannesson.
Author 1 book11 followers
November 11, 2013
While this is not a genre I usually read, I was surprised by how engaging I found this story. Murphy has a tremendous imagination, a colourful vocabulary and has created an ensemble of equally colourful characters.

The pace of the story moved well and there were no real gaps in logic which can be challenging for me when reading the fantasy genre.

While it's a shade or two darker than my usual read, it's also very human and relatable. I found myself cheering for good over evil, rooting for the heroes over the villains. Though at times, I'll admit that I wasn't completely convinced who was on which side.

Definitely an entertaining and engaging read. Bring on the book two!

Profile Image for Sarah Morvay.
76 reviews2 followers
September 26, 2013
This book had me sucked in by the first page. I loved that the whole thing read like I was watching a movie. The descriptions were adequate enough for me to form a good picture of the characters and their actions in my head, but not so much that I became bored and lost the flow of the story. I found the story thrilling and the characters interesting. Looking forward to the next book in the series.
Profile Image for Dawn.
17 reviews2 followers
September 29, 2013
Interesting and very likeable characters. Fast paced exciting read. Enjoyed it far more than I expected since I'm not a true sci-fi gal. Very glad I read it and even more so that I had the chance to meet and discuss the book and his ideas with this very interesting author.
Profile Image for Mary Blakney.
Author 10 books11 followers
December 13, 2013
This is a fun, fast-paced paranormal fantasy with an action-comic feel.
Profile Image for Simon Okill.
Author 13 books294 followers
March 1, 2015
Council of Peacocks (Activation #1) by M. Joseph Murphy is an epic dark fantasy thriller full of nasty Djinns, Wizards, paranormal creatures and a wise sorcerer. I love the references to ancient Greek culture which gives this book a historical paranormal leaning that I found fascinating.
There is a dark world, hidden in plain sight, filled with vengeful djinn and shadowy demons. The Council of Peacocks, a group of ruthless wizards, controlled by the ruthless Propates, has dire plans for the human race. For centuries they have plotted and schemed like the Illuminati. Now, the moment of Activation draws near and that is not a good thing.
Wisdom is an immortal sorcerer who gathers a motley group of hybrid teenagers with extraordinary super powers. They are trained to stop the Council. And it is here the reader will get to know Wisdom as he deals with teenage angst. Awesome stuff! But there’s something that Wisdom doesn’t know. The Council is no longer working alone.
If Wisdom and his students cannot stop The Council, the world as they know it will cease to exist. Let the battle for humanity commence.
A brilliant dark fantasy thriller that reads like a Robert Rodriguez movie - Desperado meets From Dusk Till Dawn.
Very highly recommended.
Author 10 books8 followers
May 24, 2014
With M Joseph Murphy's captivating, though challenging (and perhaps even a bit tedious) book, we have a true and utter original. Really, there is nothing else I can compare this book to and I can run out of verbs trying to describe it. The "Council of Peacocks" as the title refers to, are a group of mages (or wizards) engaged in a battle of monumental proportions with a chap named 'Wisdom' and his group of pals, the Anomolies.

One of the other reviews compared the book to X-men meets Clash of the Titans by Quentin Tarantino. How could I do any better than that? This book is seriously a bona-fide original. Filled with larger than life characters, wheelings and dealings, demi gods and powerful magic warfare that, in the words of Jack Burton, "shake the pillars of Heaven", if you will pardon the Big Trouble in Little China reference. Occasionally the book makes the odd detour into angsty teen territory, but there is always a course correction to deliver another direct hit to the reader.

Bravo Mr. Murphy! A highly interesting and indelible read, well worth checking out!
43 reviews16 followers
March 6, 2015
Oh what a great book. It has demons and creatures everywhere. This book is fast paced and never dual moment page after page. This Author can become one of my favorites real fast. Love his choice of names for his charters they are different and spot on. Will the evil prevail in this book or can the good guys win? And who and what are the good guys exactly?
The description of the different places and worlds is so well laid out it is as if you were there taking it all in. You will love his attention to detail and the monsters he describes within the pages. For things that go bump in the night this is the very book you will want to read
Profile Image for Michele.
593 reviews1 follower
February 10, 2015
A whirlwind of motion, this book follows the machinations of supernatural Titans as they battle for world domination. Caught in the crossfire are a group of gifted humans.

It was difficult to really like any of the characters. Most were blindly focused on mutual annihilation to the exclusion of all else.
Profile Image for Colleen.
5 reviews1 follower
October 30, 2013
Although not the normal genre that I read, I enjoyed this book. It reads like a graphic novel and is very descriptive. It has a little bit of everything, wizards, epic battles, time/portal jumping, and even a little romance.
Profile Image for Melissa.
66 reviews10 followers
May 2, 2015
Mr. Murphy is a heck of a writer. I loved this book. A book you need to experience a page at a time. I found a new favorite author. Thank you Mr. Murphy.

Nicely done!
Displaying 1 - 17 of 17 reviews

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