Mythology and a 60s spy story combine as the Transylvanian prologue to S. Evan Townsend’s Book of Death gives way to an intriguing first chapter set in the States in 1968. Well-chosen details bring hippies and politics to life, but something’s always a little askew, this world not quite what it seems, not quite what we know. And so the reader embarks on a journey that combines the Cold War and Dracula into truly successful, genre-bending action adventure.
The author reveals secrets with excellent timing, nicely low-key thoughts and reactions making both character and storyline seem real. Lots of period detail feeds naturally into the adventure, with backstory given in just the right places, personal opinion made convincingly personal to the character, and some excellent thought-provoking quotes from the era—“One death is a tragedy, a million a statistic.”
The action’s fast and furious. The characters are powerful, the romance is convincing, vulnerabilities believable, and the whole a really good read. This novel may be part of a series, but I didn’t realize that until after I’d read it, so it definitely stands alone with no problem. I would love to read more though—if only I had more reading time.
Disclosure: I received a free ecopy from the author, and I’m just sorry it took me so long to get to reading it.
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About the reviewer
Sheila Deeth (SheilaDeeth)
Sheila Deeth's first novel, Divide by Zero, has just been released in print and ebook formats. Find it on Amazon, Barnes and Noble, Powells, etc. Her spiritual speculative novellas can be found at … more
S. Evan Townsend is a writer living in central Washington State. After spending four years in the U.S. Army in the Military Intelligence branch, he returned to civilian life and college to earn a B.S. in Forest Resources from the University of Washington. In his spare time he enjoys reading, driving (sometimes on a racetrack), meeting people, and talking with friends. He is in a 12-step program for Starbucks addiction. Evan lives with his wife and two teenage sons and has a son attending the University of Washington in biology. He enjoys science fiction, fantasy, history, politics, cars, and travel.