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So Terry Hayes is a compelling writer. This novel is intriguingly salted with micro mysteries... almost short who-dunits themselves. And yet they fuel the overarching story of espionage, medical suspense,cultural rigidity, and sectarian zealotry. Yeah, there's some cringe-worthy violence within this narrative. This is not a story for the weak, but yet it is also tenderly moving.
Christopher Ragland brings this cast alive with a sensitivity I would not have imagined from reading it as opposed to listening to his interpretation of this cast and particularly his revelation of The Pilgrim's growth.
But, above all, this is a crackling paced thriller fueled by the disequilibria foaming from today's crashing cultures. Uh-huh, this is a scary tale, but the fears here aren't irrational. Which is even creepier as we read news about glowing paradigms poised to crash into each other's towers of Babble. Hayes captures these absolutes, jams them into a covered cook-pot and cranks the temperature to BOOM!
Question: Is the universal default position of humankind set to hate? Hmmmm.... The jury's still out.
15 of 15 people found this review helpful
Before I downloaded the book, I saw where another reviewer warned that it takes about 9 hours to get into it. That was VERY helpful info. I easily could have put it aside those first hours. I kept at it because of the warning and I'm very glad I did.
Hayes takes his time setting up the characters and the scenario. The first part of the book sounds and feels like non-fiction. It's interesting - because of the history and insight it provides - but it can be a little dry. It really lays a foundation so you can understand what makes people who they are. And then it turns into a rip-roaring page-turner.
I normally don't go for thrillers, but this one is exceptional. There's an expert pacing to everything that keeps you engaged even when there's no action. Hayes has a way of foreshadowing that also keeps the ball rolling. The characters are well formed, flawed and interesting. There's enough history thrown in that sometimes the events feel entirely plausible. Perhaps that's what makes it so engaging - and terrifying.
It all adds up to one thing: this is definitely a credit-worthy summer read.
169 of 179 people found this review helpful