Reviews for Chaosicon

Another first novel provides a strong dose of supernatural terror. Chaosicon by Christopher Leppek and Emanuel Isler paints a reign of chaos starting in Coffeyville, Kan.

Something causes a plane to crash in Coffeyville. Ordinary people go on rampages, and even the weather starts behaving in totally bizarre ways.

The military is desperate for ways to combat this. One desperate measure brings a pair of exorcists to Coffeyville.

The old rabbi and the young priest always have had success battling the demons of their religions, but what they find in Coffeyville is an unknown evil. Abigail is a New Age fortune teller whose mind-reading ability has compelled her to come to Coffeyville to try to help. She’s the one who has some insight into the mind that is causing this.

At the heart of chaos is the ages-old Cerf. He has surrounded himself with a modern phalanx of skinhead warriors, but the real war is inside what passes for Cerf’s soul.

Denver authors Leppek and Isler have written a suspenseful battle of Stephen King proportions.

Review by Fred Cleaver, Denver Post, July 22, 2001

Denver authors Christopher Leppek and Emanuel Isler begin their apocalyptic first novel with a catastrophic plane crash on the outskirts of Coffeyville, Kan. All aboard the United 747 en route from Indianapolis to Phoenix, and at least one man on the ground, die instantly.

This and other bizarre happenings center on an enigmatic character named Cerf, who is neither man nor demon, but is apparently chaos incarnate. As the narrative unfolds, in short chapters, the authors delineate several horrors of the past, including the Holocaust, slaughters by Vlad Tepes and the French Revolution. Cerf is always there. Now by random chance he has decided to begin the destruction of the world with Coffeyville.

Soon, the Kansas town is covered by a “pall,” an overcast sky that is never truly dark, nor truly light. Most of the citizens suffer from dementia and psychosis, what military experts refer to as “going chaotic.” When all else fails, the government calls in a rabbi and a priest, both of whom are renowned for their work in exorcism. Joining them, of her own volition, is a young female mystic with clairvoyant powers.

Cerf calls to him a gang of amoral Skinhead assassins. And the stage is set for a symbolic confrontation as order and chaos take the places of good and evil.

Stephen King is likely a major influence on the authors. Readers can’t help but see the similarity between Cerf and King’s archetypal villain Randall Flagg. And the destruction of Coffeyville is reminiscent of what happens to King’s mythical Castle Rock in Needful Things. Other parts of the novel will seem derivative to the veteran horror reader.

Nevertheless, despite a few flaws (i.e. United doesn’t fly 747s from Indianapolis to Phoenix) Chaosicon is compelling reading. The characters are empathetic and tension builds to an acceptable climax.

Review by Mark Graham, Rocky Mountain News, Aug. 24, 2001

Chaosicon was a hard book to like. Quite honestly, it confused me. But then look at the title, Chaosicon. You think that might have something to do with it? Eventually I was glad that I read it. Chaosicon is a fascinating, neat experiment. The authors deftly play their readers as if a classical violin in a polka band.

The town of Coffeyville, Kansas makes a huge leap into the bizarre. A commercial airliner crashes for no good reason and the rest of their world follows. Snow falls in July. There is a puzzle here to be solved. Will a priest as well as an Orthodox rabbi and a modern telepath be the ones to find the answer?

Review from The Midwest Book Review

It was an ordinary summer day in Coffeyville, Kansas, until the plane fell out of the sky and the whole world went mad. United Flight 333, on a routine flight to Phoenix was over Missouri when they noticed that their pressure altimeter was malfunctioning. More puzzled than concerned, the pilot notified Phoenix that they would need help landing.

Ten minutes later, they crashed into a Kansas sunflower field, killing everyone on the plane and a farmer on the ground and put into motion a series of events that would put our very world at risk.

Chaosicon by Christopher Leppek and Emanuel Isler is a good, old-fashioned tale of the eternal fight between good and evil. In the days following the crash, strange things began to happen around Coffeyville, such as the return of timber wolves, strange robberies and seven inches of snow in July. By the time anyone noticed that animals, people and machines were acting strange, it was too late to stop the evil slowly spreading like ripples in a pond.

The US military, called in to keep order, realizes that whatever is happening here, they can’t stop it. They bring in a priest and a rabbi, both with reputations as exorcists and when they get there, they are met by Abigail, a telepath drawn to the area by a feeling she can’t explain. Together, the three of them must solve the riddle of why chaos is ruling the world and stop it before it takes over the entire world.

Chaosicon is a spine-tingling tale of supernatural horror that blends the fears, myths and legends of Jewish mysticism, Catholic demonology, telepathy and human fanaticism into a novel sure to make you watch the skies and pray that the planes all stay in the air. Leppek and Isler have created a good, old-fashioned horror novel sure to keep you up at night.

Review from The Dusty Bookshelf
by Kathy Thomason

(Amazon review – five stars)

Misery Loveth Chaos, December 1, 2001

For those who cannot get enough of Stephen King, it’s time to set your sights on Chaosicon. A journey into pure evil through mysticism and chance, delights even the more skeptical of palates. This is one book that even I had a difficult time putting down. I’ll definitely keep an eye open for future releases by these authors.

Reviewer: LAURENCE BUTER from AURORA, COLORADO United States

Planes crash, packs of wolves are roaming the countryside and there is an anger that takes hold of unsuspecting victims. A madness and chaos has begun in Coffeyville, Kansas. Neighbors begin to murder each other and the Kansas National Guard is called in to try to contain the terror that is growing. It begins to spread from Independence to Kansas City to Tulsa and Des Moines then to the rest of the country and the world. Coffeyville is ground zero so those who can stop this insanity and those who wish this evil to spread go there. Here a young boy, a priest, a rabbi, and a gifted woman crash head on with skinheads and the creature who started it all. Welcome to Kansas on the brink of destruction in theChaosicon: a Novel of Supernatural Terror by Christopher Leppek and Emanuel Isler.

Review from Paper Cuts (online) 2006

A mysterious, evil force—embodied by a stranger named Cerf—has taken hold of Coffeyville, Kans., ground zero for a spreading chaos that begins with a plane crash and blossoms out of control as murder and mayhem sweep the town and then the world. A little boy, a rabbi, a priest and a telepath are all that stand between the world and utter devastation in Christopher Leppek (The Surrogate Assassin) and Emanuel Isler’s Chaosicon. (Write Way, $24.95 360p ISBN 1-885173-78-4)

Publisher’s Weekly review 6/18/01

He gleefully lived while the plague terrorized Europe and enjoyed collecting the dead. He cheerfully lived when Vlad Tempes used creative but refined means of torturing souls. He merrily lived while encouraging the French to guillotine Louis and others, collecting Le Roi’s head as a trophy. He happily lived as he chose who died within the gas chambers of Auschwitz and the other atrocities that were a 24-7 operation.

He calls himself Cerf, but he is not human or demon. Instead he is chaos and anarchy with a mission to see the world destroy itself. He makes his last stand in Coffeyville, Kansas as he spreads bedlam in widening circles.

His only opponents are a mere rabbi, a priest, and a telepathic. Minor league humans, but Cerf does feel a twinge of fear due to Abigail the telepathic who has the means with the help of her religious cronies to stop his rising tide of destruction.

While not quite as grandiose as THE STAND, Christopher Leppek and Emanuel Isler have created a supernatural horror novel that will appeal to fans of the genre’s grandmasters.

There are fantasy elements to CHAOSICON that will appeal to that genre’s readers. The story line is fun and Cerf is quite the villain while Abigail is a strong opponent. This cross genre novel will allow Misters Leppek and Isler to stand tall among Koontz, Barker, Lackey, and Huff.

Review by Harriet Klausner on ALL READERS.COM

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