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The Firstborn: They See What Others Cannot. But None Can See the Evil They Will Face from Within

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  • Posted June 26, 2009

    more from this reviewer

    Solid Debut Thriller

    "The Firstborn-three ancient religious orders gifted with the ability to see past, present, and future-have been divided since the death of Christ. But today, in an era of terrorism and globalization, it has become clear there is an atrocity coming that they must unite to prevent-because it is one of them who will perpetrate it."

    This is Conlan Brown's debut novel. It is an exciting, action-oriented story with a strong message. Yet when I read a novel, I am evaluating elements from a technical viewpoint. These elements are not always pertinent with some readers. Thus, I want to point out, if you avoid FIRSTBORN strictly because of my criticism, you will be missing out on a good story with a good theme.

    The story is imaginative and intelligent, but the writing is unimaginative. Nevertheless, Conlan Brown fans, before you come at me with pitchforks, let me explain. From a technical perspective, the writing itself is not creative. Bland description and characterization are prominent throughout. The novel feels like it was written in a hurry. There are several instances in which Brown uses the same word or phrase to describe an action or emotion. A few examples: Characters "expertly" do something with high frequency. When they are angry, they "clench fists." When they are scared, they "shake" or "quiver." When there is confrontation requiring communication, they state "We need to talk." When a character gets hit in the mid-section, he falls to the ground with "air escaping his lungs." Again, I am reading from a technical perspective. Many readers will overlook this repetition.

    Some of the fight scenes are confusing, as it's not always easy to discern which character is doing what, or what exactly is happening. In one scene, I am led to believe a gun is knocked away from a character, only to be fired several times by that same character a few seconds later, without having been retrieved. There are other examples, but it is not the goal of this review to be negative.

    The story is predictable, but I do not necessarily consider this a negative with FIRSTBORN, because the storyline itself lends to predictability due to the nature of the plot. It is largely a rapid description of events, chronicling the struggle of religious groups with supernatural abilities to thwart terrorism in America.

    It is interesting to experience the hypocrisy among the characters, as they strive to create peace in the world, each believing their way is the right way, yet commit horrific acts of violence to promote that peace. I admired observing how characters dealt with conflicting desires and overcoming obstacles such as selfishness and pride. Even as disparate as some individuals (or groups) are, there are times when people need to act together, despite those differences, to accomplish a common purpose. FIRSTBORN is a wonderful story exemplifying this message.

    Brown provides tension on every page, creating a blistering pace. Action lovers will enjoy this novel.

    If you like novel-related videos, I suggest you visit Brown's website, www.conlanbrown.com. He is also a talented video editor.

    [Rating: 1-5 Stars]
    Plot: 3
    Character: 3
    Dialog: 3
    Setting: 3
    Theme: 4

    www.fictionaddict.com

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