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15 of 18 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars A killer of a detective book
I am a huge fan of the CSI franchise and was very excited to learn of Anthony Zuiker's new novel Dark Prophecy. It is very tough to come up with a fresh look at the serial murder detective genre.

And Anthony Zuiker does exactly that.

Zuiker delivers in more ways than one. His approach is fresh and exciting. It was hard to stop reading chapter after...
Published on October 14, 2010 by Scott L. Wolpow

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7 of 7 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars More Like A "Regular" Mystery
Didn't come close to the first book, unfortunately. I was completely "creeped out" with the first book, full of suspense. The "bad guys" in this book were just regular, disgruntled, idiots. Was expecting much more. Probably would have like it more if I hadn't read the first book, but had high expectations for this after the first book. Too bad. A good mystery, but not...
Published on November 8, 2010 by pammur


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7 of 7 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars More Like A "Regular" Mystery, November 8, 2010
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pammur (San Jose, CA) - See all my reviews
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Didn't come close to the first book, unfortunately. I was completely "creeped out" with the first book, full of suspense. The "bad guys" in this book were just regular, disgruntled, idiots. Was expecting much more. Probably would have like it more if I hadn't read the first book, but had high expectations for this after the first book. Too bad. A good mystery, but not exceptional. I didn't even bother going online into level26.com this time. What happened to the person who abandoned the black suit and I thought there was going to be a follow-up story about a red suit(?)
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15 of 18 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars A killer of a detective book, October 14, 2010
I am a huge fan of the CSI franchise and was very excited to learn of Anthony Zuiker's new novel Dark Prophecy. It is very tough to come up with a fresh look at the serial murder detective genre.

And Anthony Zuiker does exactly that.

Zuiker delivers in more ways than one. His approach is fresh and exciting. It was hard to stop reading chapter after chapter. Steve Dark , his protagonist is very human and realistic, Rather than being a `guess who the killer is', we are drawn into how a detective would sort out the key to the killings.

The author also has expanded the genre into the virtual world. Zuiker spent over $250,000 creating an hour long cyber-bridge movie. This is a specially created film broken into smaller parts. Every few chapter you get a code that allows you to unlock the cyber-bridge at level26.com. These segments allow the writer a means of better illustrating his vision of the characters and the mood. Steve Dark now has a face. It is the modern means to illustrate novels. I expect to see more novelist utilizing the same method.

The only downside is now I must go and read the first book Dark Origin and I now have another writer to follow. I need to know more about the evil Sqweegel and the hints to Dark's dark family secret. [Sorry you have to read the book]

I am also looking forward to the CSI crossover of Dark's `Moriarty' Sqweegel on the October 14th episode.
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7 of 9 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Great sequel!, October 24, 2010
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Dark Prophecy, the second Level 26 book, by Anthony E. Zuiker is just as good as the first. In some cases, I feel it is better. The bridges and the music will blow you away. They are hauntingly beautiful. I can tell you that many of them brought tears to my eyes. What can you say about Steve Dark? He's simply the best at what he does. His personal revelations in this book are a key factor to what he does and how he handles it. Dark's "rebirth" will leave you breathless, on one hand, and emotionally spent on the other. Justine Bateman, as Hilda, is fantastic. I loved her in the bridges and would love to see her reappear in book 3. The killers are scary and, of course, insane. Yet, you can feel empathy for what they have endured. Buy the book, read it and watch the bridges. Listen to "Henry's Theme". You will truly enjoy the experience.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Dark Prophecy, What to expect, November 8, 2010
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Dark Prophecy: A Level 26 Thriller Featuring Steve Dark

Just finished the book and it was definitely a good read. Glad I bought it and I'm looking forward to the next installment in the series... That said

It's true that this book has a bit of a different "feel" than the first, but that doesn't make it poor read. For those who've read the novel of the series, Dark Origins, may have been expecting an almost super human killer. This book however, focused more on the character Steve Dark and made TCK, Tarot Card Killer, more anonymous and "human". As there are different kinds of people, why not killers. I for one would like to see yet another kind of killer in the next book.

The style of the Cyber-Bridges was unchanged from its first released book. If you enjoyed them, you will enjoy them again. My only concern is how they were released. I understand releasing them early helps draw attention to the novel, but at the same time, it draws away from the uniqueness that is the digi-novel. If you haven't already seen them, I would recommend waiting until you've reached the corresponding part of the book to do so.

It is my belief that with the story of Steve Dark being the main focus in this book, the next will focus on the killer yet again. Who knows what twisted mind will appear next.
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4 of 5 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A sequel to keep scaring folks, October 22, 2010
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Level 26 - that is a level of evil that few see they are so horribly demented, so void of remorse they are the creme de la creme of people crime investigators search for.
In Dark Images, the first digi-novel Level 26 book, Anthony E. Zuiker visionary creator of CSI and Duane Swierczynski brought the thriller book to a new level - going to the site Level 26 and actually SEEING the terror as it unfolded.
I got so scared, I stopped going to the site as the book was scary enough.
It also introduced us to one of the greatest crime fighting minds - Steve Dark. In the first book he paid a horrible price.
And walks away.
But somehow he is made a major part of this second Level 26 book, Dark Prophecy. I didn't know how Zuiker could top the first novel, but wow he did in this book!
To give away much of the novel would in a way give away too much, but as the book deals with Dark's becoming familiar with the Tarot Deck, it is fair to say, he gets involved with villians who know every nuance of the Tarot and he has to work it out. This time not within the means of the law. He becomes almost vigilante-like and that makes the plot even more scary.
Does the one who fights evil any way he can become more evil that the ones he goes out to stop?
The ending is scarier the more you think on it - Although I applaud you who are courageous enough to go online to Level 26, having it play in your mind is a lot scarier.
And you thought Sqweegel was the ultimate villian - whoa -
Great thriller!
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3 of 4 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Try to Read This One Slowly & Savor It!, October 27, 2010
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Note: This is the 2nd book in the Level 26 series. First book is Dark Origins, which I read in Sept 2009 when it came out.
I really enjoyed Dark Prophecy. Started it on the 14th and just finished it last night. It made me want to savor it this time rather than rush though.

For me it flowed better than Dark Origins and the Cyber bridges were much more an enhancement of the book - altho the book was not dependant on them. There was a much improved balance between the book and the bridges this time. Of course my favorite bridge was the first one with The Reading & The Hanged Man - great character intros.

While I enjoyed the added look into who Steve Dark is and what makes him tick, I wasn't as satisfied in the development of TCK. It felt like so much time was spent on Steve that there had to be a rush to catch up on TCK in the last part of the book. And of course more Hilda would have been great! Like her MUCH better than his new "handler" (what's her name? see I even blocked her name!).

Now bring on Labyrinth!
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Slightly disappointing, but still riveting..., June 8, 2013
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This is certainly another "page-turner..." but not as gripping as the first book. What's missing is the 1st person point of view from multiple perspectives. There is not any character quite as interesting as Squeegel was in the first book.

Books are difficult to review without spoiling, but, in summary, give it a read, but don't expect as compelling of an experience as the first book.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars a brief review, January 21, 2012
By 
Wendell (Pennsylvania) - See all my reviews
This review is from: Dark Prophecy: A Level 26 Thriller Featuring Steve Dark (Hardcover)
Steven Dark returns in the 2nd of 3 books to chase down serial killers. The "cyber-bridge" videos (which make this series a bit unique) continue to add a nice addition to the book. In comparison to the first book, the killers lack that "Je ne sais quoi" that Sqweegel had. The book earns a good solid four stars but fails to make it to the 5 star rating for me.
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4.0 out of 5 stars Fairly Standard Creep-out, January 3, 2011
Any book that begins with a creepy mask floating in a fountain in Rome--a hint, perhaps, to the return of the serial killer Sqweegel, from Anthony Zuiker's first book in the series, Dark Origins--is bound to grab one's attention. The creator of the CSI franchise manages to stay that grisly course, for the most part, in this fast-paced story of a diabolical serial killer, and the former Special Circumstances (Special Circs) agent who is bent on finding him.

Steve Dark has seen enough in his years with Special Circs, a little known branch of the federal government that is given the task of finding and apprehending the worst of the worst--the level 26 killer, so ruthless and intelligent that your average police department or government agency is ill-equipped to handle any part of the case.

We learn early that Dark lost his beloved wife to Sqweegel, the killer in Dark Origins. He's got nothing to live for now, except his young daughter, whom he thinks about a lot, but largely ignores. When a new killer surfaces, dubbed the Tarot Card Killer for the calling cards he leaves, Dark can't stay away. No longer with Special Circs, he nevertheless believes he is the best man for the job, much to the distaste of his former Special Circs boss, Riggins, and his ex-partner--and ex-lover--Constance Brielle. With each new murder, Dark comes closer to exposing the Tarot Card Killer, and his motives. Zuiker offers clues in the form of Steve Dark's own Tarot card readings, via an online website, at the start of certain chapters. This lends a face and a better understanding of Dark, and the motives behind this life he has chosen. The introduction of Lisa Graysmith, a mysterious, beautiful, and seemingly well-connected woman who helps Dark navigate the crime scenes uninhibited by law enforcement, offers an interesting element to the story. Their relationship is quite superficial, but Dark seems to enjoy the carte blanche her involvement allows him, elevating his rogue status to the delight of readers and the chagrin of Riggins and Brielle. With Graysmith's help, he chases the killer, while Riggins and Brielle chase him, believing his involvement is more sinister than altruistic. Graysmith's motives are clear: her sister was the victim of a serial killer.

In the end, the killer's motives were an implausible disappointment, but can be forgiven given the overall punch this novel packs. I had nightmares for a week.

Reviewed by Julie Dolcemaschio, author of Testarossa, for Suspense Magazine
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4.0 out of 5 stars Shows a lot of improvement over Dark Origins..., November 21, 2010
Sometimes I pick up a novel not knowing whether it's going to be something I end up regretting. I read and reviewed Anthony E. Zuiker's Dark Origins awhile back, as it was something different. He created the CSI television series, and Dark Origins was a combination of book and video vignettes... a "digi-novel" if you will. I was not overly impressed, as the plot had a number of holes and the videos, while high-quality in production, were rather strange and very uneven when it came to the acting.

Zuiker's back with a sequel to Dark Origins titled Dark Prophecy. Steve Dark has left the agency that tracks down Level 26 murders, and he's trying to straighten out his head after losing his wife to the killer in Dark Origins. But someone wants him back in the game to track down what looks to be the start of another serial killing spree, and she's not willing to take no for an answer. Dark can't figure out her motive, nor can he get a fix on how she's able to command so many resources to get him what he needs to find the killer. His old agency isn't at all happy with his involvement, and might well resort to drastic measures to make sure he's not part of the equation. But Dark is the only person who has figured out that the killer seems to be modeling their crime scenes after tarot cards, and that's the only clue he has to try and get a jump on the next death.

Dark Prophecy was much better than Dark Origins, hands down. The story wasn't as way out there as Origins, and the videos were of higher quality when it came to acting and meaning. I still had problems figuring out the "why" behind the killers. The stated reasons didn't seem to be worthy of that type of killing spree, and definitely not something deserving of a Level 26 rating. Dark's new "partner" needs to have a bit more of her background filled in, as one is left wondering how she's able to pull all the strings she does. On the other hand, Dark's background is filled in very well via the videos, and there's plenty of room for additional installments of the Level 26 series.

Zuiker's background in TV is obvious in his writing, as you could see this story being played out in a one or two hour show. But if the Level 26 franchise continues the improvement seen from Origins to Prophecy, this is a series I would look forward to following.

Disclosure:
Obtained From: Library
Payment: Borrowed
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Dark Prophecy: A Level 26 Thriller Featuring Steve Dark
Dark Prophecy: A Level 26 Thriller Featuring Steve Dark by Duane Swierczynski (Hardcover - October 14, 2010)
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