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Review: Ashes and Arsenic by S.M. Reine

23505850Too much self-centered attitude, you see, brings, you see, isolation. Result: loneliness, fear, anger. The extreme self-centered attitude is the source of suffering. – Dalai Lama

Greed is not a financial issue. It’s a heart issue. – Andy Stanley

Cesar Hawke isn’t really much of a witch in the eyes of his coworkers at the Office of Preternatural Affairs. I mean, come on – the guy has massive sneezing attacks when he comes in contact with magic – nothing like a witch being allergic to magic. And he is a potions witch, not a pumped up spell slinger. Well, he ‘is’ pumped up with strength spells every morning, but that is neither here nor there – after all, being the new aspis for his boss, Director Fritz Friederling (and you really should read the previous book where he was awarded that dubious honour) he needs every leg up he can get.

It has been a really bad couple of months for Cesar, Fritz, and the OPA. And things are about to get a lot worse – especially for Cesar. Because his black-sheep brother, Domingo, is up to his old tricks again. And this time? Well, let’s just say death and destruction is once again raining down on Los Angeles – and Domingo is right in the middle of it. Cesar and his grandfather, Pop, tried to save Domingo in the old days. But this time? Well, this time there may be no saving him – or any of those who surround Domingo. Including his family.

Once again S.M. Reine has written a book of beauty and power that is both creative and interesting on many levels. Not only the paranormal writing level, but in her interest in and understanding of the lengths that family will go to in order to protect their members. Even when the member in question doesn’t really deserve their support.

There are convolutions on top of convolutions in this newest book of the Preternatural Affairs series (This is book 6, you can enjoy this one without reading the others, but the whole series is so enjoyable there is no reason not to read them all!)

saraAbout The Author:

Hi everyone! My name is Sara, and I’m the New York Times Bestselling Author of urban fantasy known as SM Reine. I collect swords, cat hair, and typewriters (which I do use for writing!). You can usually find me writing on my treadmill desk at 2am whilst listening to dubstep. Yes, dubstep.

If you would like to know the instant I have a new book available, you should enlist in my Army of Evil! I’ll only email you when I have a new release, which is generally no more than once a month. I can’t write any faster than that. 🙂 http://smarturl.it/armyofevil

List of my series:

WAR OF THE ALPHAS (coming soon)
Omega
Beta
Alpha

SEASONS OF THE MOON (completed)
Six Moon Summer
All Hallows’ Moon
Long Night Moon
Gray Moon Rising

THE CAIN CHRONICLES (completed)
New Moon Summer
Blood Moon Harvest
Moon of the Terrible
Red Rose Moon
Darkmoon
Of Wings and Wolves
Alpha Moon

THE DESCENT SERIES (completed)
Death’s Hand
The Darkest Gate
Dark Union
Damnation Marked
Dire Blood
Defying Fate
Paradise Damned
Deadly Hearts (prequel short story)

THE ASCENSION SERIES (completed)
Sacrificed in Shadow
Oaths of Blood
Ruled by Steel
Caged in Bone
Lost in Prophecy
Torn by Fury
Sins of Eden

PRETERNATURAL AFFAIRS (in progress)
Witch Hunt
Silver Bullet
Hotter than Helltown
Shadow Burns
Deadly Wrong
Ashes and Arsenic
Once Darkness Falls (coming 2015)

TAROT WITCHES (in progress)
Caged Wolf
Forbidden Witches
Winter Court (coming 2015)

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Review: Pack of Strays By Dana Cameron – Second From The Fangborn Series

seven
You have GOT to read the Fangborn Series! But start with the first, Seven Kinds of Hell. You will be thrilled you did!

When I received Pack of Strays”  from Netgalley.com I didn’t realize that this was actually the second book in the “Fangborn” series. I had heard very good things about “Fangborn” on-line at goodreads.com, and I was excited to try it. However, finding this was the second, well, what could I do? I ran over to Amazon and grabbed the first, Seven Kinds of Hell.

What can I say, but WOW! The first paragraph of my Seven Kinds of Hell review shows how excited I about the book:

One thing you must know about this book before walking into the story is this – you hold in your hand not some simple, See Jane Run, Run Jane Run novel. If you are looking for minimal world building, simplistic answers, and only two or three characters with clear-cut goals, this book isn’t for you. It is so far out of the “let’s just do mindless entertainment” wheelhouse you can’t even see it from the top of the Pharos Lighthouse.

I love, well, adore actually, books with depth of world building, complex questions and characters, and far-from-mindless entertainment. Well, not always – sometimes we just want to have fun, right? But with “Seven Kinds of Hell,” the excitement kept me engrossed from the first page to the last. And Pack of Strays? Oh, yes. Zoe Miller’s life isn’t getting any easier. If anything, her life is becoming more and more complicated as she not only learns more about who she is, and why, but also how important she apparently is within this weird, wild world she now inhabits.  A deadly world.

Ms. Cameron once again amazes with her depth of historical and archaeological knowledge. While Zoe stayed mostly on the East Coast in the last book, this time she globe trots to some of the most beautiful, and fascinating, cities in the world. Copenhagen to Istanbul, her search for the artifacts which call to her lead her to mysterious places and people, while transformations to her very being change her in such a way that even the other Fangborn do not understand what is happening – but they do know they don’t like it. But why?

If one had but a single glance to give the world, one should gaze on Istanbul. – Alphonse de Lamartine

The ending was both shocking and startling, and the worse part of it is that now I have to wait for the next book! Zoe started out the series as just another budding archaeologist, doing the grunt-work, labeling and storing and basically living in the basement of the Boston Museum. What a terrifying change, as she discovers not only that werewolves and vampires and oracles (oh, my!) are real, but they are nothing like Hollywood would have you believe – and she just might be the only hope of saving them all.

With friends becoming enemies, and enemies becoming possible friends, Zoe is stretched beyond anything she has ever believed possible. Will she learn who, and what, her mother was? And is her unknown father possibly still alive? The suspense, action, and depth of the characters will keep you reading into the wee hours!

In the End, we will remember not the words of our enemies, but the silence of our friends. – Martin Luther King, Jr.

Five stars? Nah – read them both, one after another and if you love the same kind of books I do, I absolutely expect you to give it a Perfect Ten!

Highly recommended. This book was provided to me by Netgalley in return for a realistic review, and I very much appreciate it!

Review: Seven Kinds of Hell – Dana Cameron – Archeological Thriller

This is a gift, it comes with a price
Who is the lamb, and who is the knife? – Florence & The Machine, Rabbit Heart

“This belonged to my sister-in-law,” Prometheus explained. “Pandora.”

A lump formed in my throat. “As in Pandora’s box?”

Prometheus shook his head. “I don’t know how this box business got started. It was never a box. It was a pithos, a storage jar. I suppose Pandora’s pithos doesn’t have the same ring to it.” ― Rick Riordan, The Last Olympian

 You see what we do to each other over the slightest differences in religion or politics? We beat each other up over baseball games. We’ll kill over the wrong-colored bandana. What would we do faced with the Fangborn? – Adam Nichols, Seven Kinds of Hell

seven
Click to purchase the book – that is, if you are ready for it – – – this is one kick-ass ride!

One thing you must know about this book before walking into the story is this – you hold in your hand not some simple, See Jane Run, Run Jane Run novel. If you are looking for minimal world building, simplistic answers, and only two or three characters with clear-cut goals, this book isn’t for you. It is so far out of the “let’s just do mindless entertainment” wheelhouse you can’t even see it from the top of the Pharos Lighthouse. Instead, this is a book of complexities. Of unknown alliances, political convolutions, archeological mysteries, and xenophobic hatreds worthy of any Shakespearian play. Families destroy one another, blood is spilled, and there is avarice, sociopathy, vigilantism, viciousness, and political infighting enough to fulfill any Roman Senate chamber. No, if your idea of a good book is simplicity, walk away now.

Ah, but if you are like me – if you long for convolutions, for amazing world-building, a plethora of characters with both known and unknown agendas, a modern storyline with tentacles reaching back to the beginnings of time, a deep understanding of the history, archeology and stories of the cradles of civilization, rejoice, my friend! For Dana Cameron’s words will reach out to you, grab your mind and inject it with adrenaline, force you to pay attention, to learn, and to madly mark up whole paragraphs in order that you might research the lands and stories she portrays. It. Was. AWESOME!!!

Of course, the idea that there are creatures in this world, those who call themselves the Fangborn, calls to my love of all things fantasy. And Ms. Cameron’s concepts of fantastical creatures are not simplistic either. “Vampires” harken back to the snake goddesses of Knossos and Minoa rather than being the more Germanic wall crawlers popular in modern literature. There is no disturbing of the laws of physics as werewolves retain their mass when changed, and, gratefully, their clothes! Rather than burning in the sun, these vampires crave the sunshine, as do their snake cousins, and use their fangs to heal, and their powers of mind control to protect. Very different than what one normally would expect – but then, Ms. Cameron also makes grand use of various animal entities from history, from the Egyptian Anubis to the Greek Medusa.

A small body of determined spirits fired by an unquenchable faith in their mission can alter the course of history. – Mahatma Gandhi

History is about to change, worlds are set to collide, and humans are, of course, acting like humans – and not exactly in a good way. No, you will not learn who all the characters are and what their alliances are in this volume of the story. Who exactly are the Fangborn who first approach Zoe? Who, or what, is Download and from where do his powers spring? Is Adam really to be trusted, or merely a mercenary, willing to change sides on a whim? More importantly, exactly who and what was Zoe’s father – and apparently more importantly, her mother? The book ends with the answers in Zoe’s hands, in a thin, coffee stained folder. Is it the truth? Is it a lie? Only time will tell. Well, and the next volume, should help of course! Pack of Strays comes out on April 15, 2014 (only a few days away, Hooray!) and my finger was hot on the preorder button. Shh, don’t tell anyone, but no matter what book is next on my spreadsheet, that one gets moved to the top!

I received this book from Justin Golenbock at 47North and Netgalley in return for a realistic review. All comments are my own and reflect my own interests. I want to thank Justin for this marvelous opportunity and look forward to reading the next book in the series!

Review: The Chase by Janet Evanovich and Lee Goldberg

chase
Chase ’em
Catch ’em
Bring ’em down.

“Money and corruption are ruining the land, crooked politicians betray the working man, pocketing the profits and treating us like sheep, and we’re tired of hearing promises that we know they’ll never keep.” – Ray Davies

“The beast for me is greed. Whether you read Dante, Swift, or any of these guys, it always boils down to the same thing: the corruption of the soul.” – Ben Nicholson

Nick and Kate are a mismatched pair. A world famous thief and con artist, paired with a solid, principled FBI Agent. Wow. I immediately went to Neal Caffrey onWhite Collar“, a television show where a world famous thief and con artist played by Matt Bomer (who can’t love those blue eyes?) is paired with a solid, principled FBI agent after the thief is caught by said agent. The FBI Agent in White Collar, Peter Burke, played by Tim DeKay is male, a married man with a gorgeous wife, Elizabeth (Tiffani Thiessen) and a yellow lab – the perfect FBI family. But with Kate, of course, you have the possibility of a “romance” unlike with Nick and Neal. Having captured Nick, Kate’s job now is to partner up with Nick and solve highly complex white collar crimes.

In this case, the job is to steal back the famous Bronze Rooster originally stolen from the century-old Zodiac fountain in the Imperial Gardens of the Old Summer Palace in Beijing – and later stolen from the Smithsonian. Oh, the government knows it was stolen – they replaced it with a nearly exact replica to hide the theft and hide any embarrassment and political strife caused by the theft.

Problem is, now the Chinese government wants it back. And the man who had it stolen, and hidden away in his underground bunker filled with items from the most infamous art thefts in history? None other than Carter Grove, ex-chief of staff to the previous President of the United States. A man who is now head of the infamous “BlackRhino” paramilitary organization.

“While he was chief of staff he threw lucrative defense contracts their (BlackRhino) way and encouraged the president to wage wars.” Jake O’Hare – The Chase

Traveling from Scotland to Shanghai and back to the US, Nick and Kate battle “BlackRhino” (sound familiar?) to retrieve the Bronze Rooster. When a clueless Smithsonian employee hands over the fake rooster to the Chinese government via Chinese multibillionaire Stanley Fu, whose A380 superjumbo jet is better tricked out than Air Force One, Nick and Kate find themselves hiding in the trunk of a 1969 bright red Dodge Charger Daytona (moan) and safecracking, killing, fighting and running through the streets of Shanghai in order to retrieve the fake and replace it with the original – and then get away.

“The value of art to me is who owns it, how hard it is to steal, and how looking at it makes me feel.” Nick Fox – The Chase

Wow. That sounds SO much like Nick Caffrey… Anyway! This was a quick read, and not having read the Stephanie Plum series in quite some time, I was reminded how Evanovich likes to use comedy to brighten up her stories, and this one did not disappoint in that aspect. It was also a hoot to recognize “Carter Grove” and his erstwhile companion who did eight years in the White House with a devastatingly poor record and a pattern of corruption which vies with that of any Mafia family, as well as the exploits of the men and women associated with “BlackRhino.”

“Because it’s not enough for BlackRhino that you know how to kill. It’s important that you like to do it.” – Jake O’Hare – The Chase

The theme of corruption, greed, and viciousness was well described and sickeningly accurate, which made me like the book possibly more than I would have otherwise. Its derivative nature was disappointing, but the funny parts and the sheer improbability of the story, along with the sharp pokes at previous US governmental officials, bumped it up another star for me.

I received a copy of this book from Netgalley in return for a realistic review. All opinions stated within are my own.

The Ascension Series S M Reine – Sacrificed in Shadow

sacrificed in shadow
Don’t be dumb like me and start here. 😦
Start with The Descent Series – Link below!

I finally figured out what was bothering be about Sacrificed in Shadow. As the first book of The Ascension Series, I thought I was getting in on the first of the series. See, I should have looked before I leaped – as The Descent Series is the actual first of the series. Now, I have to go back and read that series before I come back to this one.

It makes sense now that I was lost throughout the book, though I suppose, stepping back, it was actually quite readable without starting at the very first. It was just that niggling feeling that I was somehow lost in the translation, like I should have known more about the characters, should have had a better feel for the interactions between Elise and the kopis, and Elise and the priest, Father Night. And, of course, the world building seemed off to me, not clarified enough. But, I was so into actually enjoying the book itself, and the unusual world it showed, I didn’t let it bother me too much. I loved Elise and how different she is as a character, how well developed she is. And the world itself and it’s mythology? I thought I would just learn more about it as time goes along. And, I have no doubt that, as with many series, if I just read Ascension, I would be fine and happy with the whole thing. It is very interesting, without a doubt.

descent series
Start here – and the FIRST THREE BOOKS ARE FREE RIGHT NOW!

However, I am stopping and going to the first book of the Descent Series, Death’s Hand and starting over from there. If I am enjoying the story this much without the back-story, how much will I enjoy it with the back-story intact? This is some seriously good storytelling, and it will be well worth going back and starting over. In fact, I am totally excited by the thought! Besides, right now you can get the first three books of the Descent Series, Death’s Hand, The Darkest Gate, and Dark Union FREE at Amazon as a set: http://tinyurl.com/kkske4a so there is no reason not to start there, right?

As I said, Sacrificed in Shadow was quite good on it’s own. Secrets, betrayal, hatred and love, all embroiled in a dark and sensual story of angels, demons, witches, and wolves. Ultimately, I was quite satisfied with my reading, but will be much more satisfied when I have the first series under by belt, so to say. Being that person who always goes back to read the first books in a series before reading the next to come out, I feel like a kid in a candy store, figuring out the series. Or, should I say a bibliophile at the end of the world, living out her life inside the New York Public Library, no worries, no interruptions, and all the books I could ever hope to read?

The Heaven’s Rise: Due out October 15

heavensrise
The Heaven’s Rise is out October 15.
If you love horror, suspense, Louisiana, you will LOVE this book.

It isn’t the big things that frighten me the most. Oh, they are frightening: the storms, the fires and floods and hurricanes like Katrina. Their devastation is horrific, tremendous, outside the realm of reality in their own way.

But those things can be shared, in all their pain and anger. What frightens me are the small things, the unseen things. The man who touches his three-year-old daughter, behind walls and in secret. The woman down the street, whose empty eyes have long given up hope for rescue from her abusive husband. The eyes of a starved and beaten animal, long past any understanding of why their loving nature has been so abused.

The Heaven’s Rise pushes those buttons, edges those boundaries, between madness and despair. Where evil is a scent or a sound, a chill running up the back of the neck. The sense of a shadow, just out of the reach of mind and eye. A memory, dropped deep within the well of the psyche, rising, groaning, into the subconscious at three in the morning.

In The Heaven’s Rise, all the evils, small and large, play a prominent role. The uncaring heartlessness of the political machine of New Orleans, the greed that played a role in the losses caused by Katrina and the tragedies that occurred before, during and after the storm. Greedy oil companies and exploding gas pipelines. The cruelty and hatred, the corruption of a body politic out of control.

But those are the large, the expected things. What shivers over my skin while reading this book are the small terrors, the 3AM night-sweats, the shadows in the corners of the room, moving and flowing, rising up. Superstition and hatred and death, and the spooky world of the Louisiana bayou jacked-up on the aftereffects of terror.

Sometimes, the nightmares that the rich can cause are worse than any dark creature, risen from the swamps. Especially given the powers of those shadows, those denizens of the darkest nights, and the fog shadowed edges of reality. It is the psychopath in his plain little house, living his plain little life, sharpening his blades in his plain little kitchen, before he walks out the door. The sociopath, passing through the crowd, innocuous and calm, quietly planning the collapse of the markets, or the deaths of thousands upon his whim.  Pol Pot. Ted Bundy. The quiet, unobtrusive fellow next door. The one you would never suspect.

The same. The same. They are all the same. The blankness in their eyes, the lack of a soul. Or a soul so blackened, so twisted, that the very act of having a soul is a torment, an automaton of evil, with lifeless, unblinking eyes. The primitive eyes of alligators, of lizards. Of blasted humans, drinking in the misery of others like a fine wine.

There is mystery and death and long hidden, deeply primitive secrets to this story, set both before and after the depredations of Katrina. Secrets and lies, and blasted human souls draw you into the book and keep you there, holding your breath while you skim the pages, drawn into the depths of greed, hatred, and pathology which would make Stephen King and M Night Shyamalan green with envy. For the horrors here are horrors of minds lost to the shadows, puppets with cut strings, dancing across the stage, deranged events in the midst of chaos. Monsters live in our minds. Our psyches. Only, sometimes? They get out.

And yet, at times, a small flame burns in the distance. The faint, small light of hope.

Review: The Prodigal – Michael Hurley

“Hateful to me as the gates of Hades is that man who hides one thing in his heart and speaks another.”
Homer, The Iliad

“I felt once more how simple and frugal a thing is happiness: a glass of wine, a roast chestnut, a wretched little brazier, the sound of the sea. Nothing else.”
Nikos Kazantzakis, Zorba the Greek

the prodigal cover
Click the cover to purchase this book.

 Aidan Sharpe is a weapon. A tightly honed weapon of savage grace, designed to cut and hew his way through a courtroom, leaving a trail of blood and broken lives in his wake. And a man who, as Michael Hurley describes him, a man who refused above all else to learn from his own mistakes . . .” And a man who, apparently, neither learns from his own mistakes, nor understands the depths to which he has fallen when his world comes crashing down. A man so intent on his own destruction, so lost in admiration of his own reflection in the mirror that that he thinks, even then, to grasp glory from ignominy.

And hence begin the travels of a man, once powerful, into a world entirely new. A world that, unbeknownst to him, will change his life, and his soul, forever.

Aidan washes up upon the dwindling sands of Ocracoke Island, North Carolina, a man once renowned for this ability to miss no objection, to leave no emotion unexploited; now empty and barren, a shattered career leaving him no anchor to hold against the wind, and yet no sail to cross the wine dark sea of his own inner landscape.

Forced now, to become someone he never thought to be, he settles into the home of the local Catholic Priest, and begins his life as a simple boat yard hand, surrounded by the beauty of the island and the people there. A land of unadorned and sometimes brutal honesty, where life or death lie upon the break of a wave or the gust of a wind.

Hurley’s characters are heart wrenching and uplifting by turns. A lost woman, washed up amongst the waves, with no name to call her own. A priest more interested in kindness than creed. A Bahamian sailor, with secrets of his own. And a redheaded, female Irish tugboat captain, whose openness and honesty are in diametric opposition to Aidan who, in his own words, is quite capable of betrayal, deceit, manipulation, cruelty, self-pity and cowardice. And yet, those around him still think him a good and true man . . .

Into his life comes a sailing ship, lost upon the seas, empty and forlorn, which changes not only his life, but the lives of those around him. A boat, perhaps, out of time, and out of legend. A boat which, once again, changes his life and his destiny. Or does it?

There are great swaths of this book that I found touching, heart breaking and deeply moving. There is kindness and black cruelty, deception and honesty, lies and the purest of truths. In all honesty, I was brought up rather short about three-quarters of the way through the book when it became bogged down, in my opinion, in a type of blatant religiosity which pulled down the narrative. The story line is drug down, into a fog of didactic symbolism that lessened much of the joy inherent in Hurley’s words. The story to that point was poetic in nature, carrying me along in a haze of beautiful words. The story did pick back up, though some of the joy of the story was stolen from me, much to my disappointment. But it was, in all, not a deadly issue for the overall clarity and poetry of the book.

Much is made of the human ability to change and grow, and the possibilities of absolution. The setting of the story greatly encourages that idea. The sea, unchanging in its potential for change at any moment, the poetry of the words, do much to encourage the possibilities of redemption, of an answer to the question of what makes a ‘good man’ and whether an evil man can change, can become ‘good’.

Overall, except for the hiccup described, the book is beautifully done. Hurley’s descriptions of the land, the sea, and the people are charming. The story harkens back to the days of Homer, and the sailing of the great and unknown seas. I could nearly smell the sea and hear the waves. I wanted very much to walk the streets of Ocracoke and gaze out upon the Atlantic, to horizons unknown and unseen.

Recommended.

Review: Seven Unholy Days – Jerry Hatchett

“American society has grown so dependent on computer and other electrical systems that we have created our own Achilles’ heel of vulnerability, ironically much greater than those of other, less developed nations. When deprived of power, we are in many ways helpless, as the New York City blackout made clear. In that case, power was restored quickly because adjacent areas could provide help. But a large-scale burnout . . . would create a much more difficult situation.”*

Jon Kyl- Unready For This Attack – The Washington Post April 16, 2005

Programming today is a race between software engineers striving to build bigger and better idiot-proof programs, and the Universe trying to produce bigger and better idiots. So far, the Universe is winning – Rich Cook

Will the future bring your wisdom to me?
Or will darkness rule the kingdom for all eternity? Nostradamus

A TEN Star Review for intelligence and terrifying reality

Click for the Jerry Hatchett Website.
Click for the Jerry Hatchett Website.

Seven Unholy Days scared the breath out of me. Not because of the amazing writing, which it was, but due to the absolutely clear-sighted horrifying truth of the tale.

In Jerry’s last thriller, Pawnbroker, he used his extensive knowledge of computer forensics to create a scenario which lent a stark reality to his work. Now, in Seven Unholy Days, he goes further still, using his technical and computing expertise to create a novel of power and believability that will keep you awake at night.
From fanaticism to barbarism is only one step” Denis Diderot 1713-1784

In Jerry’s newest thriller, he posits a scenario that is only too realistic. The complete collapse of the American power grid at the hands of a powerful, wealthy religious fanatic. The whole country goes dark. The terrorist’s demand? A “Decree of Darkness.” America is to remain in the dark, no electrical power allowed. Not wishing to bow to the demands of a terrorist, the President allows the lead character of the book, Matt Decker, the computer specialist who designed and installed the new control systems for the American power grid, to turn the power back on. What happens is horrifying and real enough to chill my blood.

The death of an individual is a tragedy. The death of a million a statistic. Joseph Stalin
p
The setting of the book, Iuka, Mississipi, where the “Great Central Electric” power transfer station is located is right in the author’s comfort zone and his description of the area and the people draw you into the story. You can almost feel the heat of a Mississippi day and feel the humidity. As in “Pawnbroker” the characters are fully realized and well-rounded, lending them a believability that makes you like them, or hate them in a realistic manner.

What I found most scary about the book, other than what actually happened, is how it happened. How greed, fanaticism and political self-serving can allow an incident of completely horrifying consequence to occur. While some religious fanatics are committing abominable acts with no remorse what-so-ever in the name of “God” others are committing these acts, and worse, simply for money. While the acts of these supposed humans are gut-wrenching, they also hold that absolute ring of veracity that is without question one of the things that will cut the reader soul deep.

There are, of course, secondary stories that run throughout the book. In Pawnbroker, Jerry wove those secondary stories in a way that kept you interested and involved. Here, he goes deeper, weaving those stories in heartbreaking and chilling ways that make you think not only of his main theme, but of wider themes of fanaticism, greed, child abuse and human brutality which both open the mind and darken the soul. In the words of Herbert Ward, “Child abuse casts a shadow the length of a lifetime.” A rather odd quote for the ideas I have been discussing in this review, but it will make sense when you read the book. And you really, really MUST read this book. It is a thriller and fiction, sure.

However, it is more than that. It is, in its way, a treatise on the power of fanaticism, the fragility of the world financial markets, and the vulnerability of the human race to its dependency on technology, as well as the lengths humans will go to find meaning in their lives through the abuse of religious ideology. It is one of those rare thrillers that has seated itself deeply into my psyche and will come back to haunt me in the future.

_____________________
* The John Kyl quote refers specifically to the effect of a major EMP pulse over the United States, but it is appropriate to this review.
This book was provided to me by the author, however, that fact has no impact upon any review I may write, now or in the future.

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