Thursday, November 7, 2013

Review: Singularity

Singularity (The Jevin Banks Experience - Book 2) by Steven James

Publication Date: 11/05/2013
Publisher: Baker Publishing Group
Imprint: Revell
Genre: Christian Thriller/Suspense
Pages: 464
ISBN-10: 0800734262
ISBN-13: 978-0800734268

(Received for an honest review from Revell)

Purchase: Amazon, Barnes & Noble, ChristianBook, IndieBound

Steven James on the WEB: Website, Blog, Twitter, Facebook, Goodreads

Books in the series:

Placebo (2012), Singularity (2013)

Coverart: Click the image for a larger, clearer view of the covers in this series.



Excerpt from Singularity, courtesy of the author's website (download at the bottom of the page)

Synopsis:

When his friend is murdered, illusionist Jevin Banks is determined to find out what really happened. Drawn into a web of conspiracy and top-secret research on human consciousness, Jevin won't stop digging until the truth is revealed. Soon he uncovers a dark secret--one that could change the very fabric of human life on the planet.

Bristling with mystery, suspense, and intrigue, Singularity is the second riveting book in The Jevin Banks Experience. Readers will devour this scientific thriller, flipping pages late into the night until the final shocking page.


Thoughts:

Steven James is well known for his thrilling, suspenseful writing. His Patrick Bowyer suspense series has gained him a large mystery/thriller fan base which leads up to his latest novel. Singularity is the second book in the Jevin Banks Experience series. Fans of psychological thrillers, will love this latest addition which delves into the world of magicians and illusionists, as well as, modern science and technology. Jevin once again finds himself in the middle of some shocking scientific research that could have far reaching consequences. Readers will be hanging on for dear life with this fast paced thriller!

I read a lot of mysteries, but I tend to stay with cozies because I'm not that fond of reading the gore and scary scenarios that generally go with thrillers and main stream mysteries, but I definitely make an exception for Steven James. This is an author who writes suspense with all the details, but still keeps his books clean. Not an easy feat. I like the fact that he can still impart all of the hair raising experiences you get from reading this kind of fiction without all the bad words and risky behavior. 

Singularity is the second book in the Jevin Banks Experience series and I think I liked this one even better than the first book, Placebo. In the first book, after losing his wife and son he was searching for answers, which led him to a neurological research project based on mind to mind communication. Singularity finds him looking into the death of a friend who was mixed up with top secret research on human consciousnesses. As you can tell this a complex series, based on scientific research, as well as faith and what consciousness actually means. James will challenge the minds of readers with his technical jargon and in depth descriptions, but that's what makes this series so good. It's a puzzle that makes you think and stretches the mind. It's so well written that when it all falls into place readers will sit back and heave a long sigh. It's just that good!

I like Jevin a lot as a character. He is very human. He has experienced heartache, lost his wife and child and now a friend. He has doubts about why his family suffered, about God and his own existence. I think that's what makes him such a good hero. Since this is a Christian based thriller published by a Christian publishing house, some might think James would gloss over the fact that these things happen to the character and chalk them up to it being God's plan. I liked the fact that James shows the character as a real person, who looks for answers to why bad things happen and where to lay the blame. I liked the fact that we learn more about Jevin in this second book and about his struggles with his faith. That aspect of the book was very well written.

One of my favorite parts of Singularity is the insight into Jevin's former career as an illusionist. Having seen the movies, The Illusionist with Edward Norton and The Prestige with Christian Bale, I was excited to learn more about the art of illusion and how it would factor into this series. James gives the reader just the right amount of information. It adds a surprising element to the book that I think makes it more intriguing. I liked the fact that illusion is tied to the mind, along with the other scientific aspects of the book. A very nice touch and it fits well with the character.

The scientific aspects of the book, may be a little mind boggling for some readers. What's scary is the possibility that this kind of research is probably really going on. I was a little scared when cloning became and issue, something like this is even more frightening. The fact that is could happen really ramps up the tension for the reader as James describes what scientists are doing and creating in this book. There are parts that will make you cringe, make you disgusted and even make you fearful. That's one of the things that makes it such a good read.

Overall this is an excellent novel. I would recommend it for thriller lovers, science fans and mystery readers. It has some content that I think makes it more appropriate for adult readers, or more mature teens. I think the subject matter is really interesting. I liked the fact that James showed readers the situation from more than one perspective, even that of the villains. It has elements of illusion, science and faith. It's a great combination and well worth your time to read.

Available November 2013 at your favorite bookseller from Revell, a division of Baker Publishing Group.

I'm giving this one 5 out of 5 apples from my book bag!



About the Author:

Critically acclaimed author Steven James has written more than thirty books, including Placebo and the bestselling Bowers Files thriller series. He is a contributing editor to Writer's Digest. Steven lives in Tennessee with his wife and three daughters.

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