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Saturday, October 8, 2011

Double Review: Beyond the Darkness and The Game of Pawns

Today is a two for one review, with the second and third books in the Predators of Darkness trilogy!

Title: Beyond the Darkness
Author: Leonard D. Hilley II
Page Count: 385 KB (Kindle format)
Publisher: Self-published
Genre: paranormal, sci-fi, thriller
Copy for review provided by the author in anticipation of an honest review

Synopsis:
The Darkness Continues . . .

Three years after Daniel and the other survivors escaped the terrorizing, blood-thirsty shifters in Pittsburgh, his friends have moved forward with their lives, but Daniel cannot. He believes the conspiracies within TransGenCorp have not ended and more shifters exist.

Then Daniel receives a phone call from Lucas that bolsters his paranoia.

Lucas is being charged with murders he insists his clone committed.

Daniel soon discovers darker atrocities are emerging, which not only place his life in immense danger, but all his friends as well.
*****

Up first is Beyond the Darkness, the middle book in this trilogy.  Possible spoilers lay ahead for the first book, which is unavoidable.  Since this is a trilogy I do (like always) recommend going ahead and starting the series from the beginning so you don't miss out.  You can also read my review of Predators of Darkness: Aftermath.

All is not well for Daniel and Julia from book 1.  They've survived the horror of being the victims of a cruel government experiment and would hopefully be on the mend, but it's not happening for Daniel, who's gripping with the impact of what happened as well as a double whammy of post traumatic stress and depression.  They have a daughter, Felicia, and are trying to figure out where to go from here.

Not sure who to trust and with everyone he loves kind of backing away from him, Daniel sets out to help Lucas, another friend from the Pittsburgh disaster, who stands accused of four counts of murder that he swears he didn't commit.

And truthfully- he didn't commit them- Lucas has an evil clone, another horrible inheritance from the ordeal in Pittsburgh three years earlier.  It's hard to convince people that you're innocent when someone that looks exactly like you down to the last freckle is on camera doing horrible things, but that's what's happened here.  Luckily his friends believe him and set out to prove his innocence, or at least help him get away from the evil mastermind that's behind all of this.

This book was much more of a political thriller than the previous installment, and it was interesting to see how the characters have grown or at least how they've changed since we last saw them. TransGenCorp is up to the same dirty tricks and is using the post-ordeal peacefulness to whip up new and terrible creations. Morton the cat (or is he?) never ceases to entertain. This story did a good job of keeping my interest and made me definitely want to read the third book, which is just what I did!

Title: The Game of Pawns
Author: Leonard D. Hilley II
Page Count: 398 KB (Kindle format)
Publisher: self-published
Genre: paranormal, thriller, mystery
Copy for review provided by the author in anticipation of an honest review


Synopsis:
Pawns are Expendable . . .

Twelve execution-style murders have occurred in Newark, New Jersey, in less than a week. Each murder has a calling card - a red pawn on each corpse. Kat Gaddis and Lucian investigate the homicides and discover the last four victims were employed by GenTech, a company that recently merged with Mech Cybernetics. After FBI director Mike Carpenter shares evidence with Kat, they soon discover political ties and corruptions that place Kat's life in direct danger. New players emerge and what seems like serial murders suddenly becomes a struggle for biotech knowledge and power. Kat is thrust into their game - The Game of Pawns. 

*****

This is the third book in the Predators of Darkness series and it brings a further evolution to the characters we've been following since the first book.  Everyone is growing as individuals and it's not all that common to have an ensemble cast like this with a rotating set of lead characters, but this book/series pulls it off and I found I really enjoyed that.


Some of the more minor characters have their moments in the sun here, and find their way to a (gasp!) happily ever after of their own.  Considering that these books can be quite intense at certain points, and that other characters are having their own happiness threatened (come back to us, Lydia!) the contrast was a nice touch.


I've been referring to this series as a trilogy but the ending of this book makes me think that that might have been a tad premature.  There's certainly plenty more where this came from and the vivid descriptions, detailed characterization, thoroughly creepy bad guys, and the sci fi angle mean that there's plenty of room for the series to grow and develop from here.


Series So Far: A
 
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