Wednesday, April 5, 2023

"Sunset Empire"

Josh Weiss is a first-time author from South Jersey. Raised in a proud Jewish home, he was instilled with an appreciation for his cultural heritage from a very young age. Today, Weiss is utterly fascinated with the convergence of Judaism and popular culture in film, television, comics, literature, and other media. After college, he became a freelance entertainment journalist, writing stories for SYFY WIRE, The Hollywood Reporter, Forbes, and Marvel Entertainment.

Weiss applied the Page 69 Test to Sunset Empire, the thrilling alternate history sequel to Beat the Devils, and reported the following:
Nice! I can actually use page 69 this time. You may recall that the 69th page of Beat the Devils was a blank divider in between sections, prompting me to settle for page 65 instead. Sunset Empire, however, has honest to goodness words on page 69! Am I rambling? Yes, a little bit.

If you turn to page 69 of my second book, you’ll find yourself smack dab in the middle of a secret meeting between Morris Baker and the leaders of the various Chinatown tongs, which put aside their senseless quarreling long ago in the face of President Joseph McCarthy’s rampant, anti-Asian xenophobia.

Given how they helped Baker out of a tight spot with HUAC at the end of Book 1, they are now calling in a favor, asking the homicide detective turned private eye to find one of their members, a man by the name of Han Zhao, who has recently disappeared without a trace. It is during this scene that Baker meets Han’s young daughter, Mingmei and receives a photograph of the missing man. The young woman has taken over her father’s underworld operations in his absence, but does not wish for this to “become a permanent arrangement.”

Motifs of family and of shouldering adult responsibilities before one comes of age (i.e. the abrupt forfeiture of youth) are, I would say, the core thematic reverberations of Sunset Empire. As you’ll see, Mingmei Zhao is just one character in Sunset Empire forced to grow up before her time.
Visit Josh Weiss's website.

The Page 69 Test: Beat the Devils.

My Book, The Movie: Sunset Empire.

--Marshal Zeringue