Thursday, 8 December 2011

Review: Son of Perdition by Wendy Alec

Title: Son of Perdition
Author: W. Alec
Genre: Fiction
Source: Publisher
Publication Date: USA:Mar 1st 2010|UK:20th Jun 2011
It is 2021. Three brothers, each in two worlds. On earth, the heirs to the influential De Vere banking and oil dynasty, rise in the World of Men. Jason, a media tycoon spearheads an international media conglomerate; Adrian, the newly appointed charismatic president of the European Union is a key player in international diplomacy; and Nick, the youngest brother, a talented archaeologist playboy. In another world, Michael and Gabriel in the Royal Household of Yehovah, battling with their brother Lucifer who, having fallen during the great war in heaven, is eaten by jealousy and revenge. Little do the de Vere’s know how their existence parallels that of their angelic counterparts.
The Third World War has just ended and the Ishtar Accord - a seven year denuclearisation treaty between Russia, the Pan Arab Union and Israel is due to be signed. Adrian de Vere is being hailed as the next JFK, having played a prominent part in the end of the war. In its aftermath, the brothers’ high profiles capture the public’s confidence and no one suspects the de Vere brothers unwittingly harbour a dark family secret which threatens the world as they see it. A meeting with a trusted family friend leads Nick to find himself drawn in to a conspiracy that reveals a terrifying family history and that the brothers are inextricably intertwined with Lucifer’s plans for revenge.

Set in a post world war three 2021, this is the tale of two sets of three brothers. One set is heir to the De Vere oil and banking dynasty, a playboy architect, a media tycoon, and the president of the European Union. The brothers suddenly find themselves thrust into a world of betrayal, lies, intrigue and murder. The second set of brothers, you may be more familiar with. Michael, Gabriel, and Lucifer, the archangels. Part Sci-fi, part fantasy, and part thriller, a curious hybrid of a variety of genres that comes together surprisingly well.

When I first opened this book I wasn't too sure what to expect. The very first event in the book involves the Illuminati council of 13, and a conspiracy revolving around the first part of the 21st century. The power behind the governments and the secretive world of banking dynasties. At this point, I admit, I thought to myself, oh no, another one of those books, cashing in on the public obsession with Illuminati in the wake of The Da Vinci Code, Angels and Demons and the like.

However, it was only a few chapters later that I had my original thoughts wiped away. The use of religious mythology to immediately introduce the three archangels and their relationships had me thinking more about the angelic choirs then I had in a lot of other books. The establishing schemes and plots of Lucifer, the laws and tenements of heaven, the frankly open discussion between the three angels is just instantly attention grabbing.

From there we then learn about the history of the De Vere family, including their Illuminati ties, and the council of the 13, before being introduced to the three mortal brothers. One by one we are brought into the world of each son, vastly different from each other. Their successes, failures, their loves and relationships, each of the three fleshed out well and believable. I found myself caring about them, and eager to learn more about the paths they walk, the people they surround themselves with and the individual lives that each of them lead. Throughout each story, we learn more about the world, the losses, the damage done by the third world war, and the good that still exists.

Possibly one of the most interesting things that develop throughout the course of the book is the use of religious history, mythology and lore to built the angelic world. The author decides to embrace all religion in building the angelic world. While it can be slightly confusing at times, introducing a variety of fantastical locations, characters and lore it manages to balance both the mortal and angelic world really well, producing, in effect, an intertwining story that kept me interested and wanting to learn more about both worlds, and curious as to how the two would effect each other next.

If I had to, I will admit I have one flaw within the book. The tagline. Whilst it is a great tagline and immediately had me wanting to read the book, it also contains a spoiler. For the reader who knows their religious history, however, it is glaringly obvious. The line in question, “Three Archangels... Three Brothers.... One Turned Renegade.” In effect, what this did to me was to make me slightly hesitant at first to connect with the mortal brothers. However, that I wasn't sure when or how the brother in question was going to turn is quite an accomplishment on Wendy’s part.

I would heartily recommend this book to anyone who has an interest in any of the lore included in the book. I found myself loving the religious iconography and wonderfully developed angelic world, yet also more and more drawn in by the conspiracies surrounding the shadow government. I think possibly the best accomplishment that Wendy Alec has achieved, is a genuinely original and interesting piece of work that kept me enthralled, be in the mortal, or angelic realm.. A great read, and I, for one, am looking forward to reading the future chronicles of brothers.

[Review by PKS]

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