I found this a very entertaining read... an alternate origin story set in present time with present-day technology, with a vibrant, though not overbearing flashback to get you going. This book, subtitled, "A Technothriller", pulled me in the moment I read the tag at the top of the cover. "Hell is about to break loose... for real". And, of course, the cover art helped, too. Creepy and impossible to ignore.
This book has so many wondrous little twists and turns, it's extremely difficult to put down. Fast paced, and with a set-up at the beginning that doesn't mire the story foundation in too many details, it's a fascinating read. This is one of those stories that makes you wonder... maybe. It's also one of those stories you know the Alien Astronaut Conspiracy Theorists would LOVE! Just enough science to make it plausible... just enough fiction to make it fun.
The characters are multi-layered, with their own agendas, sometimes intersecting for mutual benefit, sometimes not. There were a couple of characters, in fact, that I thought I could count on to be stable and reliable... and then, suddenly, they weren't. It was like hot chocolate with a little kick of brandy; really delicious and a bit misleading after half a cup.
I'm not blown away by the subplot "minions". I think the main antagonist with his "special" gifts would have been enough. But I also understand why the author needed to infuse them into the story. They expanded each individual character arc while simultaneously adding a physicality the story needed, given that the tension had to be controlled in a single location. It might have been overdone in a few places... just a tad... but in the end, it worked.
There's an insidiousness to this story that offers to question religious dogma, while also shining a big spotlight on the motives of humanity and the drives that underlie everything we do. Does altruism really exist... could it... ever... on any level? Be careful what you wish for, you may get it; and the price may be more than you're willing to pay. The biggest problem is, the invoice comes thirty days later, with no returns.
Part science fiction, part religious tumult, part love story, this book is a unique ride. It is more "technohorror", I think than "technothriller". A large measure of Creepy with a generous side of Bloody Gore is indeed the driving force in this one. Not enough blood to make me turn my head... just enough to make me keep watching.
Now my challenge... to read the other five books in the series. There I go... sucked in to another series. Thankfully, this one doesn't necessarily need to be read in order!
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