Wednesday, January 21, 2015

4 Star #bookreview for Larry Brook's The Seventh Thunder

Today I'm reviewing The Seventh Thunder by Larry Brooks.

Book blurb from Amazon:

When committed agnostic Gabriel Stone’s wife dies in an unlikely airline disaster, he pours himself into the writing of a story that has haunted him since his youth—a novel his devout wife had warned him never to finish. Inspired by a visit to the island of Patmos, he is fascinated with the visions beheld there by St. John The Divine while in political exile for his beliefs. Those visions included terrifying events delivered by what John described as “seven thunders,” which he was instructed to withhold, to seal up and “write them not” (Revelation 10:4). As Stone becomes entrenched in his speculative interpretation of what those visions might have been, an embedded code within the Book of Revelation itself reveals startling connections to covert operations that are about to tear the world’s political landscape to shreds, perhaps signaling the beginning of the prophesied end of times.

As Stone’s novel nears publication, he finds himself the pawn in a war between superpowers and supernatural forces, each hoping to control the book, each driven by hidden agendas beyond Stone’s comprehension. Facing choices that are at once spiritual and life-dependent, with global stakes pivoting on his ability to accept the unbelievable and stop the unthinkable, The Seventh Thunder is a secular thriller that stops at nothing short of our very souls hanging in the balance, while ringing frighteningly relevant to today’s headlines. Winner of the 2010 Next Generation Indie Book Award for best novel in the SUSPENSE/THRILLER category.

My Review:
I jumped at the chance to read The Seventh Thunder for several reasons. Larry Brook’s is my hero for his Story Engineering and other books on writing. Plus, this topic is one I enjoy – like Dan Brown’s books - a modern look at religion and the bible.

The Seventh Thunder is certainly akin to Dan Brown’s books. The energy, twists, and insightful looks at biblical history, they’re all there. And quite obviously, Mr. Brooks knows how to craft a story to keep the reader from putting the book down.

So for all of that, the book gets top marks from me. I’m not going to rehash the blurb on the possibility I might accidentally give away spoilers. But I enjoyed getting to know the main character Gabriel Stone, felt the loss of his wife and his excitement that his book would be published for big numbers. Using a computer to pull future information from Revelations and other ancient scrolls might have been a bit farfetched as far as technique, but I loved the concept.

There are some things that pulled me from the story occasionally. There were several statements that felt like author intrusion with regard to a political bias, and even one character who would clearly not be liberal had a thought that felt totally wrong. There are a LOT of characters in this book and I can’t say their voices were unique, nor their motivations clear (some of that was purposeful, I realize), but the result is that it was hard to follow in places and know who to root for. I felt a bit like coming into a Bond flick 20 minutes late sometimes – the action and tension were great, but I felt lost. This was added to by so many of the characters motivated by belief rather than knowledge even as information was accumulated. It all worked out, these were short term confusions - and maybe just me being a dope!

There were several conversations without sufficient dialogue tags or action and given some of the above, it took work to figure out who was speaking from context. There were a couple cases where continuing conversation was not handled correctly with quotation marks, which forced me to reread, and in my kindle version, paragraph tabbing was inconsistent.

But overall it was a wild ride that I enjoyed and would certainly recommend to people who like this genre. Well done, I rate this at 4 stars.

Buy from Amazon here.

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