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The Seven Sins: The Tyrant Ascending (Michael Tiranno The Tyrant) Hardcover – June 10, 2008

3.6 out of 5 stars 22 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews

From Publishers Weekly

This breathless, violent first in a new thriller series from Land (The Last Prophecy) introduces Michael The Tyrant Tiranno, who's modeled on real-life Italian entrepreneur Fabrizio Boccardi. Raised by one of the last Sicilian Mafia dons after the murder of the immediate members of his family, Michael grows up to become a real estate mogul, who builds the Seven Sins, a Las Vegas casino catering to its customers' wildest fantasies. When suicide bombers explode their cars at the Seven Sins and three other Las Vegas casinos, people blame Islamic terrorists, but Michael suspects he's been personally targeted. With the help of Naomi Burns, his lawyer and confidante, Michael pursues the diabolical mastermind who threatens future attacks. During his investigation, Michael discovers the secret of his father's treasured antique gold medallion. Nonstop action and a dizzying array of exotic locales make this great fun to read, despite lack of subtlety, cartoonish characters, preposterous plot twists and coincidences. (June)
Copyright © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

From Booklist

The Godfather meets the TV series Las Vegas in this collision of money and power. The owner of a newly built casino and hotel, The Seven Sins, Michael Tiranno uncovers a plot to destroy Sin City. The mastermind behind an attack on his property and others on the Strip has a personal vendetta against him. As a child in Italy, he watched as his family was murdered; later, he was taken in by a relative, whom he later realized was the head of a major Mob family. Tiranno thought that by changing his name and severing all ties with his past, he had successfully created a new identity for himself, but who else but someone with a grudge would know about his background and go to such great lengths to see him fail. Land’s books ooze adrenaline, but the over-the-top action is nicely supported by flesh-and-blood characters. He hits on all cylinders here. Expect fans of high-octane thrillers to be clamoring for more Tiranno the Tyrant. --Jeff Ayers

Product Details

  • Series: Michael Tiranno The Tyrant (Book 1)
  • Hardcover: 368 pages
  • Publisher: Forge Books; First Edition edition (June 10, 2008)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0765315343
  • ISBN-13: 978-0765315342
  • Product Dimensions: 6.8 x 1.2 x 9.1 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.4 pounds
  • Average Customer Review: 3.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (22 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #3,629,828 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

More About the Author

Since his first book was published in 1983, Jon Land has written twenty-eight novels, seventeen of which have appeared on national bestseller lists. He began writing technothrillers before Tom Clancy put them in vogue, and his strong prose, easy characterization, and commitment to technical accuracy have made him a pillar of the genre.

Land spent his college years at Brown University, where he convinced the faculty to let him attempt writing a thriller as his senior honors thesis. Four years later, his first novel, The Doomsday Spiral, appeared in print. In the last years of the Cold War, he found a place writing chilling portrayals of threats to the United States, and of the men and women who operated undercover and outside the law to maintain U.S. security. His most successful of those novels were the nine starring Blaine McCracken, a rogue CIA agent and former Green Beret with the skills of James Bond but none of the Englishman's tact.

In 1998 Land published the first novel in his Ben and Danielle series, comprised of fast-paced thrillers whose heroes, a Detroit cop and an Israeli detective, work together to protect the Holy Land, falling in love in the process. He has written seven of these so far. The most recent, The Last Prophecy, was released in 2004.

Recently, RT Book Reviews gave Jon a special prize for pioneering genre fiction, and his short story "Killing Time" was shortlisted for the 2010 Dagger Award for best short fiction and included in 2010's The Best American Mystery Stories. Land is currently writing Blood Strong, his fourth novel to feature Texas Ranger Caitlin Strong--a female hero in a genre which, Land has said, has too few of them. The second book in the series, Strong Justice (2010), was named a Top Thriller of the Year by Library Journal and runner-up for Best Novel of the Year by the New England Book Festival. The third, Strong at the Break, will be released this year, and the fourth, Blood Strong, will follow in 2012. His first nonfiction book, Betrayal, written with Robert Fitzpatrick, tells the behind-the-scenes story of a deputy FBI chief attempting to bring down Boston crime lord Whitey Bulger, and will also be released in 2011.

Land currently lives in Providence, not far from his alma mater.

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: Hardcover
More is not necessarily better, and this book is proof of that.

Land has mixed together a hodge podge that includes Julius Caesar, the Mafia, Great White Sharks, ancient pirates, the historical King Midas and a mythic Islamic terrorist sect, and yet the end result is a strangely linear, predictable action story which really lacks any suspense, an amazing feat considering an apocalypse is threatening Las Vegas from almost the first page to the last.

The characters are pretty much cartoonlike, with no real depth. The main character suffers a horrible tragedy as a boy which the author rehashes every few pages or so in an attempt to give psychological underpinning to his actions, and yet by the middle of the book I found myself thinking enough already, we get it.

And while the author does try to create some shocking "revelations" as to the true identities of several of the characters, every one of these was so obvious that "ho-hum" seems to be the operative word in regard to them.

So why did I give this book 3 stars? I could say it was to reward it for its grasp, even if that did exceed it's reach (by a lot!), but the truth is that sometimes all you want is a pretty much mindless diversion that allows you to escape reality for a little while, like a "B" movie. The Seven Sins is just such a harmless excursion.
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Format: Mass Market Paperback
The history of Jon Land's The Seven Sins may be more interesting in the book itself. According to the acknowledgements, the novel is inspired by Fabrizio Boccardi, one of those self-promoting tycoons along the lines of Donald Trump. My guess, however, is that Boccardi, to boost his own image, recruited an author to create a fictional version of himself, with a movie version to follow. Of course, that is only speculation on my part: the truth may remain a mystery.

The book itself is standard Jon Land fare, with a little bit of a twist. The story's protagonist, Michael Tiranno (the character based on Boccardi) is more of a businessman than a typical Land action hero. Nonetheless, the other elements of a Land story are present: international conspiracies, the tough guy sidekick and the monstrously huge super-killer.

Tiranno is the owner of The Seven Sins, the ultra-lavish new casino/hotel along the Las Vegas Strip. Tiranno is also Michael Nunziato, the ward of an Italian crime lord. Under his former name, he was able to expand his guardian's empire and legitimize it at the same time before breaking off to run his own business. When a terrorist attack in Vegas threatens the financial existence of the Seven Sins, Tiranno takes the fight to the terrorists, using his financial and criminal contacts to unearth a conspiracy that threatens an even greater attack.

This is not Land at his best. Did he sell out somehow to write this story for Boccardi? I don't know. In actuality, the joke may be on Boccardi: Michael Tiranno, for all his superficial virtues, is not a very likeable character. He's arrogant and even a bit of a sociopath, willing to crush anyone who gets in his way.
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Format: Hardcover
Whether you like THE SEVEN SINS depends on what you're looking for. If you're looking for a story with a complex plot and characterization, you will no doubt be disappointed. On the other hand, if you're looking for a fast-paced story with a lot of action and twists, this one isn't so bad.

The main character of THE SEVEN SINS is a casino mogul in Las Vegas with a secret past involving the mafia. Someone is trying to destroy his business and empire, and he spends most of the novel trying to find out who's behind the nefarious plot. As the story progresses, we learn more about the mogul's life history in a multitude of flashbacks.

THE SEVEN SINS is written like a James Patterson book, in that it resembles a fleshed out screenplay, where each scene gets its own chapter. It's pretty easy to read, and Land keeps most of the book pretty entertaining. Most of the characters border on cartoonish, but they are fun cartoons for the most part, especially the mafia don character who dominates the early scenes of the book.

One thing I really disliked about this book was the sheer number of flashback scenes, which prevent the present-day story from achieving any real momentum. Parts of this book read more like a biography than a story. Land also constantly jumps from character to character, and from time period to time period, which made it difficult for me to get absorbed in the story.

Overall, THE SEVEN SINS is passable entertainment, nothing more. Still, the storytelling is somehwat better than most of James Patterson's recent output, so fans of that author may want to give this one a try.
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Format: Hardcover
Like most books on the casino business, The Seven Sins falls far short of reality. Michael Tirrano, the CEO of King Midas Resorts, has somehow hidden his connections to a Sicilian Cosa Nostra family (which would never be possible in real life) and built one of the most elaborate casinos in Las Vegas, which he acquired by blowing up a competitor's ready-to-open casino. If the gaming commission weren't blind, deaf and dumb, and the FBI so totally incompetent, Tirrano would be a hero. But his shallow characterization and his totally unbelievable rise to power are dead giveaways of a lazy plotline.

No, The Seven Sins isn't even good drama. The fast-paced action is, well, too fast. His miraculous escapes from death, the jarring trips back and forth through time, and a nebulous connection to someone who has the audacity to believe he actually IS Tirrano, someone named Fabrizio Boccardi, make The Seven Sins a real joke. It's good for a few laughs, but that's about it.
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