Friday, August 10, 2007
As earthquakes, fire, disease, and floods pummel the earth, its citizens watch in horror. But in the darkness there is hope – an anonymous but powerful hero the public calls “Guardian” emerges from the wreckage. He is one of the chosen few who walk the earth with extraordinary powers, determined to uncover the secret behind the world-shattering disasters. But signs of an ancient prophecy coming true push the world even further to the brink.
Fearless is the second installment in the three-part Dominion trilogy. The author describes Fearless as chapter two of three, and I agree. All the characters and plotlines from Relentless continue here, but don’t end. The story builds to a crescendo and left me wanting more.
Fearless focuses on the story of Grant Borrows and his team of Loci. Each of these individuals have unique powers or abilities. Grant can move things just by thinking the action, Lexi can sense people’s emotions and change them, Hector can heal people from injuries but not illnesses with a touch, Fletcher processes information three times faster than the average human, and there are many more. The connecting symbol of these “superheroes” is that they each have been shifted and have a ring.
While this book is filled with heroic moments, it also contains glimpses into the superheroes fears and backgrounds. They aren’t cardboard cut-outs who perform stunts and then leave for the next grand adventure. Instead, you see the effects of everything they are doing. And the point of view could best be described as omniscient; it’s the rare chapter that stays in one character’s perspective for the whole chapter. Instead, you often get a view of the situation from a couple people without clear breaks. Yet, unlike many books, it didn’t distract me, but worked well to keep me connected with multiple characters and keep the action moving.
The pacing in this book is quick. I read it in less than a day, while doing things other than read. The chapters are quick reads, teasing you into just one more. Because this is an action/fantasy/thriller, the plot races with quick points to collect your breath before hurtling into the next danger.
I’m not a huge comic book hero fan. I fully expect my husband to love this book, but I wasn’t sure what I would think. I haven’t seen Fantastic Four, dreaded going to Transformers, and find parts of the Spiderman movies too … fantastic for me (though I’ve ultimately enjoyed all three). So I really didn’t know what I would think of Fearless. Could I enjoy it even if it moved outside reality with its superhero themes? Would I make it past page 40 enjoying the ride? Would I care about the characters and what happened to them?
The answers to these questions was a resounding yes. Even though I have not read Relentless, the first act, and felt at a slight disadvantage at times in the book, I thoroughly enjoyed the book. The prophecy subplot had tones of the Da Vinci Code – only much better written. All the elements of a great thriller are in place: characters you root for, crisis of epic proportions that require larger than life answers, and questions that keep the pages turning late into the night.
Because Fearless builds on Relentless, without taking the time to explain how, my one regret is not reading Relentless first. I’m headed to the bookstore to get that book this week.