Tuesday, June 28, 2011

Book Review: The Paradise Prophecy

Title: The Paradise Prophecy
Author: Robert Browne
Publisher: Penguin Group
Release Date: 07/21/2011
ISBN: 9780525952237

The Da Vinci Code is going to both help & hinder Browne when it comes to this book. As both books deal with religious mysteries, the two of them are going to inevitably be compared to one another. The authors having nearly identical last names will only help further this along. It'll help since people will see this book, remember the good times they had reading TDVC, & pick The Paradise Prophecy up. It'll hinder because people won't find a TDVC-esque read behind these covers. Which I view as a very good thing. (Hey, there are enough clones out there.)

In the bestselling tradition of Dan Brown, Douglas Preston, and Lincoln Child comes a spectacular thriller inspired by John Milton's Paradise Lost, in which the final chapter of the War in Heaven is about to play out on Earth, with the fate of humanity hanging in the balance.

When God cast the archangel Satan into Hell, ending the War in Heaven, peace prevailed on Earth. Until the fallen angels took revenge in the Garden of Eden. Ever since, mankind has been in a struggle between good and evil, paradise and apocalypse: the fall of Rome, the Crusades, world wars, nuclear proliferation, the Middle East crisis. The War in Heaven never really ended-it just changed venues. For millennia, God's angels have been fighting Satan's demons on Earth to try to prevent Satan's greatest ambition-the apocalypse.

Satan has never been closer to his goal than right now.

Agent Bernadette Callahan is a talented investigator at a shadowy government organization known only as Section, on the trail of a serial killer with nearly supernatural abilities. Sebastian "Batty" LaLaurie is a religious historian who knows far too much about the other side-and that hard-earned knowledge is exactly what Callahan needs. This unlikely duo pairs up for a race across the globe, decoding clues left in ancient texts from the Bible to Paradise Lost and beyond. In the process they stumble upon a vast conspiracy-one beyond the scope of mankind's darkest imagination.

This book was fantastic. I'm always looking for something, anything that will give me that heady rush that getting wrapped up in a good book always gives me. I absolutely loved that Browne didn't go the traditional route with this sort of book, which is to give us either a Dan Brown or a James Rollins clone. I also love that he gave us heroes that are so flawed, so initially corruptible. Batty & Callahan play well off of each other, him being the Mulder to Callahan's Scully. I also appreciated how the idea of angels & evil played into the book without going too over my head. This was an easily addictive read & I'm glad to have read it.

I can't help but feel that there will be a few people who will be inevitably disappointed that this book goes more to the supernatural than the whole "historical/mythological treasure hunt" angle that is predominant in the genre. I can understand that to a point, but if they allow that to completely taint their reading they'll be missing out on a really fun read.

The book wraps itself up nicely, but hopefully Browne will write a sequel or two. This is far too good to just be one book & I'm really digging his writing style. It's very addicting.


(ARC provided by Netgalley)

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