August 17, 2006

Today I am a man podcaster.

August 13, 2006


Believe it or not, there's a (slightly mixed but mostly positive) review of IA in the mighty Economist this week. They dissed (and if you ask me, kind of missed the point of) the second half, but I am still exceedingly pleased:

Danielle Leaf, Mr Evans's protagonist, is not a professional spy, but an everywoman. An anti-globalisation activist, she is suddenly thrown into a violent and dangerous world where she must draw on every reserve of skill and courage to stay alive.

Mr Evans is a vivid guide to the shrill, self-righteous universe of the anti-globalisation movement. He is strong on street-fighting tactics, how to deploy the violent anarchist avant-garde against the police, and on the intricacies of computer hacking. Yet curiously, a promising plot about a cynical mining corporation falters about halfway through the book, giving it a sense of peaking too early. The second part, in which Danielle and her hacker friend Keiran are tortured and held prisoner on a boat controlled by computers, is a fairly standard escape adventure. Nonetheless, “Invisible Armies” is an intriguing, pacy read and Mr Evans shows great potential.

Mr Fesperman, Ms Lynds and Mr Evans are good on the ambiguity of their characters' lives. Every choice has a moral cost in a world of shades of grey. [...] While politicians stumble, it is left to novelists to make sense of the world. These books show how.

(Here's the full article if you wanna sit through their day-pass ad.)

August 09, 2006

more IA reviewage

Not that HarperCollins told me about any of these - don't they have a clipping service? - fortunately, I have a friend who works for the CanWest empire.

Calgary Herald: If you're the sort to get easily paranoid, you may want to approach Jon Evans' latest book with caution. [...] Evans has created a new genre, the travelogue as fast-paced action thriller. Invisible Armies is certainly fun, with its quirky characters and lively plot, but it is also a smart and thoughtful look at the politics of activism, the pervasive power of big business and the global street war that is being waged between the two.

Vancouver Province: Montreal-based Jon Evans weaves the unlikely components of globalization and corporate exploitation of the Third World into an unpredictable, frightening thriller. [...] There's a kind of appealing chaos theory to Evans' books, which tend to unfold in ways surprising to veteran thriller readers who think they can figure out where things are going. GRADE: A

Kitchener-Waterloo Record: Waterloo-born and university-educated Evans tells a heck of a tale. Globalization protesters, political intrigue and adversarial computer hackers; what's not to like? Invisible Armies is an adrenalin rush from start to finish and Evans has Andrew Pyper's ability to make great characters.

Sherbrooke Record: An action-based thriller for conspiracy buffs. Montreal writer Jon Evans has served up a fast-paced tale that moves from India to Paris to Las Vegas, as Danielle Leaf finds herself in the middle of a war between a multinational mining company, third-world farmers, and a legion of anti-globalization protestors. In a world in which black is seldom black and white is never white, it seems everyone is prepared to use violence to obtain their goals.

August 07, 2006


I've gone and added a links page to my site, full of the smiling faces of various colourful friends of mine. Haven't updated the site menus yet, so for now you can only get there from here.

August 04, 2006

no such thing as bad publicity

Am back from a whirlwind month (Muskoka, London, Paris, Cape Cod) and expecting another in September (London, Sweden, the Trans-Siberian) but August will be quiet. Which is good, 'cause I got a whole lotta Book Four work to do.

While I was away, Quill & Quire (sort of Canada's answer to Publisher's Weekly) ran a very nice review of Invisible Armies. Meanwhile, in Australia, my publisher Hachette (motto: 'We Also Make Cruise Missiles') has issued a Publisher's Promise for Invisible Armies, which, is, basically, a money-back guarantee; if you buy it and don't like it, they'll refund the purchase price. This special label will only ever appear on a select few titles that we are confident readers will enjoy, they say. I am pleased.

And my hometown newspaper ran a (front-page!) feature on me. A fair-use sample:

To Evans, truth isn't necessarily stranger than fiction. But it certainly does make for great fiction material.

The 33-year-old Waterloo native lives by the author's mantra: "Write what you know."

He wanted to set a book in the Balkans, so he went there, gathering material that fuelled his second novel, Blood Price.

Over the past couple of years he has dodged incoming mortars in Iraq and travelled through tumultuous central Africa on public transit. He has filled his mind with story ideas in Paris, London, Egypt, China and around South America.

"Every time I travel I see something that is defining, yet so deeply weird that I couldn't have imagined it on my own," he says between sips of coffee.

On this morning, Evans is relaxing in the comparatively unexciting confines of Java House on Toronto's Queen Street West.

It's a favourite haunt from his days as a computer programmer at a nearby firm.

He's decompressing, having handed in a manuscript for his next novel (tentatively titled Absolute Darkness) to his publisher just hours earlier.

It's a very nice and flattering article. But I gotta say, reading about yourself in the third person doesn't appear to get any less weird with repetition.