Title: The Paradise Prophecy
Author: Robert Browne
Publisher: Dutton Adult
Pages: Hardcover; 400
Release Date: July 21, 2011
Genre: Psychological Thriller / Mystery
HDB Rating: 5 Keys to My Heart
Recommended to: Readers who enjoy psychological thrillers and are fans of mystery novels.
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, all in hopes of bringing about 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 pair 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.
Imagine if you will, a world that is on the brink. God has turned his back on the people he created, leaving them to fend for themselves. Every soul on Earth is at the mercy of a Heavenly War. One side is set on creating the Apocalypse, the other side on preventing it. Callahan and LaLaurie have just stumbled into one of the biggest and longest standing battles in the history of the world, and as a reader you're along for the ride. Sound intriguing? I guarantee you, it is.
Meet our fearless team. Sebastian "Batty" LaLaurie is a bibliophile, theologian, and John Milton fanatic who also happens to have a drinking problem. His past is dark, and littered with secrets. Then there's Bernadette Callahan. Section agent, massive cynic and all around bad-ass woman. She might be nearing a collapse, but she'll be damned if she's going down without a fight. These two characters drive the story forward as they take off, across the globe, gathering clues. Murders, sacred relics, and musty archives are just some of what you'll find as you join their journey! It's tough not to be immersed.
What I loved most about The Paradise Prophecy is that it isn't a light read. Yes, I'm serious. The psychological aspect of this book is beautifully done, and really makes the reader think as they are reading. I devoured page after page as I hunted for clues and tried to tie things together. Browne crafts the plot carefully, allowing the reader to keep an eye on the big picture while still paying attention to little details. I never felt like I was drowning in too much information at one time, or being given a watered down version of Milton's epic. Quite the opposite actually. To me, it felt like a balanced read. Giving me just enough to keep me reading on, but not so much that I felt like I was being spoon fed the plot.
Perfectly done Robert Browne, perfectly done.
It's not often that a book has the ability to render me speechless. However as I turned the last page of The Paradise Prophecy that's exactly what occurred. I was utterly blow away by the complex plot that Browne had crafted. He weaves a tale that pulls you in deep, and doesn't let you go until the last moment. Pages just flew by. That doesn't generally happen in a 400 page book, but before I knew it I was finished and gasping for air. I read this entirely through in one sitting.
If you're looking at the cover of Robert Browne's book and thinking of similar titles, let me set you straight right now. Despite his name being similar to another writer, and despite this being a book along the same vein, this is infinitely better! At least such is the opinion of this humble reader. The Paradise Prophecy is a gripping, thrilling, and gorgeously written novel! It's everything I love about the thriller genre.
FTC Disclosure: I received a copy of this book in exchange for a fair and honest review. I was not monetarily compensated for my opinion.