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The Footsteps of Cain

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He made a mistake. His punishment? Kill the world.

A nameless immortal wanders a desert of his own making, on a planet mostly devoid of life. He is imprisoned to the will of a malevolent spirit...limping toward atonement through a chain of uncountable bloody deeds, and across many millennia. The only thing that keeps him going is the promise of freedom...not for himself, but for a love that he has destroyed.

His ages-long road has led him to the distant future, to the planet's very last settlement of humanity. There, with one final, tired massacre, he aims to end the world.

He will find the last remnant of civilization unwilling to enter the void so easily.

This is an alternate cover version of the book:

ISBN 10: 0-9973689-0-X
ISBN 13: 978-0-9973689-0-1

394 pages, Paperback

Published June 24, 2016

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About the author

Derek Kohlhagen

1 book7 followers
Derek Kohlhagen is a writer of speculative fiction, often flavored with a science-fiction spice. He believes that the powerful words, "what if", can become the roots of some of the most interesting, provocative, soul-stirring stories that can be told. He views life through the lens of experimental thought, where fascinating new characters and conflicts can spring into being across an eye-blink.

Derek's short story, Chalk Lines, was selected in 2011 for Downstate Story, a collection of work intended to showcase the talents of previously unpublished authors in central Illinois. He just recently released his first novel, The Footsteps of Cain, the story of a man who must pay the price for a horrible crime across thousands of years.

Derek lives with his wife and daughter in central Illinois, and is lucky enough to be a stay-at-home dad (which presents him with adventures that he hopes to one day chronicle in their own epic compendium). He graduated Illinois State University in 2000 with a B.S. in Computer Science, and worked in the IT industry for almost a decade before being given the opportunity to move on to professional domestic fatherhood full time. All-day schooling for his daughter has only recently given him the chance to pursue his writing career. He enjoys playing volleyball in his spare time, as well as having good times with good friends.

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5 stars
10 (38%)
4 stars
9 (34%)
3 stars
4 (15%)
2 stars
3 (11%)
1 star
0 (0%)
Displaying 1 - 10 of 10 reviews
15 reviews
September 12, 2017
Loved it!

Phenomenal job. Sucked me in and didn't let go, superb ending. Felt like an epic, can't wait to see what else the author has
28 reviews14 followers
August 19, 2017
For a first novel,bravo! Derek Kohlhagen weaves us an expertly written story. While it does start slowly, by the end you may feel as if there aren't enough pages that could be filled with his writing. There are more things I would like to be clearer and less confusing, but for the sake of spoilers I may just attempt to re-read and figure them out myself! Overall, wonderful book!
Profile Image for Tony Parsons.
4,156 reviews79 followers
May 1, 2017
Samuel “Sam” Wade was the Spire mining facility Maintenance Chief.
A colossal structure that housed the Dome, the miners living quarters, 8 guard towers/cannons, surrounded by a 30’ thick 60’ wall.
Anything beyond the wall was considered the Wastes.
The computer room was 3 levels down. This was Kelly Prince, Henry Goodwin’s (tech), & Seth Feron’s paradise.

The drilling mechanisms were gargantuan.
Tristan Englewood was in charge of the Church of the Reclamation.
Men, women, & children had been vanishing at an alarming rate.
Sam arrived at the computer room. George Gomez could not be found.
Sam (adopted son) went to see President Gorman Wade (father, Spire founder).
Councilwoman Diana Horgrove had passed away. Infection, virus, it was unknown right now.
The New Haven community leader had contacted the Spire.
No one really knew that it existed.
The shop had been renovated & now contained the arc-welders, high intensity laser (HIL) cutters, grinders, & personnel lockers.
Henry Goodwin, Ethan Tramble, Nicole Mathers (PG), Aiden Reed, Seth Feron, Kelly Prince (f, tech) & Ronny Baselton (electrician), were on Sam’s team.
There had been an explosion. Maybe Cameron Rialto wasn’t the culprit.
President Wade was meeting with: Councilmen Richard Gray, Councilmen Will Spencer, Councilwomen Catrina Kay, & Councilwomen Elizabeth Warden.
Ronny had disappeared.

What would happen to Tristan?
Who was Ejelano?
Will Sam & his cohorts solve the missing PPL mystery?
Warning: This book contains graphic adult content, violence, or expletive language which is only suitable for mature readers. It may be offensive to some readers.

I did not receive any type of compensation for reading & reviewing this book. While I receive free books from publishers & authors, I am under no obligation to write a positive review, only an honest one. All thoughts & opinions are entirely my own.

A very awesome book cover, great font & writing style. Wow, a very well written Apocalyptic book. It was very easy for me to read/follow from start/finish & never a dull moment. There were no grammar/typo errors, nor any repetitive or out of line sequence sentences. Lots of exciting scenarios, with several twists/turns & a great set of unique characters to keep track of. This could also make another great Apocalyptic movie, an animated cartoon, or better yet a mini TV series. To be continued? There is no doubt in my mind this is a very easy rating of 5 stars.

Thank you for the free Author; PDF book
Tony Parsons MSW (Washburn)
Author 6 books12 followers
April 22, 2017
I received a free kindle copy from the author in return for a review.

I would give this four and a half stars if I could (I save five stars for my favourite books, and good and all as this is, it isn't one of those). It's not flawless by any means, but what it is... it's human and reading it hurt, but that's a sign of true art in my opinion. That feeling... there is nothing so cathartic, so healing. When I finished it, there was a hole in my heart, a hole in my soul. Few books make me feel that way and I treasure every single one.

I was a bit worried at the start. The Immortal's chapters were top-notch from the beginning, but I really didn't get the other story line until half-way through. I mean, I still liked it and on its own I would have rated the book. The second half proved the author's quality and my doubts vanished. Literally, from that fifty percent point, the book was brilliant.

The structure of the book (three parts at different times, the second part was like an extended flashback to the Immortal's past) worked very well. The novel felt complete because of this.

I was somewhat surprised to realise that there was a love story at the heart of the novel (but delighted. Who doesn't like a bit of romance?)

There was, from what I noticed, one spelling and grammar mistake, a typo, which is very good for a self-published author (I would know, being one and constantly noticing my own mistakes. It's rather infuriating.)

To sum up, the book was very good, if not perfect. I'll definitely be keeping an eye out for the author in the future. It's apocalyptic sci-fi (though, as a fantasy author, I thought there was a strong fantasy tinge to it. I've always felt the two genres were fraternal twins anyway.). Most of all, it's a feat of imagination and whatever genre it's in, it is a good book.
December 13, 2016
Worth the read

Worth the read. First half I was unsure about the characters. The second half made up for the first half
Profile Image for Aly.
1,846 reviews56 followers
April 28, 2017
At first I wasn't sure what I would think of this book, but I liked it very much. It was hard to put down and it captivated me. I really liked the ending and was glad to have it go the way it did. Overall, this book was rather good. * I received this book from the author---this is my honest review*
Profile Image for Charles Daniel.
477 reviews6 followers
November 22, 2017
Heavily Influenced by Christian Mythology . . .

This novel has complex characters, plot, and concepts a plenty.

The concept of "souls" are not specifically discussed at any point, but the entire novel relies on their eternal existence and the concept of "sin," (though consistently refer to as "crime") and ablution of sin from the soul after death. The novel never specifically mentions The Bible or the Book of Revelations, but alludes to its concepts throughout.

The author has committed his own sin against intellectual integrity in writing this novel. He has conflated "knowing" with "believing." The two concepts are quite different as the first is objectively verifiable and the second is not.
Profile Image for Amy Shannon.
Author 111 books120 followers
May 1, 2018
Wildly entertaining

I enjoyed this book, and recommend it to anyone who loves adventure on a wild and holy ride. With light and darkness inside the story, it takes the reader on an adventure, to say the least. The characters were intriguing and likable, (and some, you love to hate), but that's the beauty of this work. With surprising twists and turns, Kohlhagen brings the reader into the story until the very end. I look forward to more of this author's work.
5 reviews
August 15, 2020
Unexpected surprise

So I wasn’t sure what to expect having chosen this book at random, and was very pleasantly impressed. Great writing style, engaging characters, a story that gripped me and made me think. Hope there are many more novels coming from this author.
Displaying 1 - 10 of 10 reviews

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