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Beckon

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  • Posted June 24, 2012

    A Christian Thriller - Just Not My Taste

    In search of his missing father, Jack finds himself exploring hidden caves in the Wyoming mountains. When he discovers that each cave holds a millenia old secret, and the few who discover it disappear without a trace, a race is on to end the disappearances and the secrets which hold a whole town prisoner. A new novel by Tom Pawlik which hits every plot essential for a modern thriller, including strange sounds following you in the dark. It is difficult for me to write this review without including spoilers. I have honestly never read anything remotely similar to this book, and deliberately so. I am not a huge fan of thrillers, and thoroughly detest the horror genre; elements of both permeate this book. The few thrillers I do enjoy employ highly witty verbiage to include me as part of a wider demographic. This book did not. The first few chapters had me thoroughly hooked. The middle of the book lost me by failing to create empathy with newly introduced characters. By the end, I was just happy the story was over. This is by a Christian author, but this is more of a 'moral' book than a 'Christian' book. There is no language or sex, but the violence is there as befitting the genre. There is not a huge amount of gory detail (although in reality there would be copious amounts of blood), just enough to leave me feeling disturbed. The protagonists (with the exception of one) are not religiously motivated. However, the antagonists are involved in witchcraft, cannibalism, human sacrifice, and are non-specifically occult. The Christian message felt added in after the fact like artificial vanilla, adding flavor to an otherwise plainly executed story line. My reasons for the low rating are as follows: 1)My pre-disposition to read something a little more cheerful and less disturbing (read personal bias), 2)A plot which starts out strong, fades, then tries to mend the breach by inserting a belated lesson in faith, and 3)A sneaking suspicion that the end was written with a potential series in mind, so the author did not feel compelled to tie up all the loose ends, but in fact preferred to throw in a couple extra. Without a complete resolution and/or a concrete promise of a series, I found the lack of a finished ending utterly annoying. Recommended for Thriller/Suspense/Horror fans who have nothing against squishing bugs over and over and over again.

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