4 of 6 people found the following review helpful
Joanna Penn's fiction debut,
This review is from: Stone of Fire (ARKANE Book 1) (Kindle Edition)
This is the first Joanna Penn novel I have read and I want another one! Despite the typo in my copy and calling Benin a Central African country, (It is very much West African) I liked it.
Following in the lines of religious adventure bestsellers like Dan Brown's Da Vinci code and Kate Mosse's labyrinth Penn weaves a tale featuring the mythology of Pentecoste the 50th day after Christ's death. Again like Darren Brown her subject matter is essentially the Catholic Church and all the other churches founded by the Apostles. I do like her giving due credit to the Ethiopian Coptic Church too often ignored for not sitting nicely in the Western Christian axis.
The premise is ... I hesitate to say thin; each of the apostle's took a fragment of the stone that guarded tomb Christ was buried in. These stones are invested with some kind of power from the faith and belief of the preaching 12.
The driving force for the novel's protagonist is the kidnap of her twin sister and niece from the clutches of someone who is essentially the classic Hollywood madman.
The love interest is provided by the distractingly handsome Jake Timber, plenty of wood there ladies. The characterisation is solid even if a little farfetched. Morgan Seirra practically a Mossad trained female Indiana Jones, a good Israeli kicking arse and finding treasure.
So far you must be confused in the first line I said the book is great then preceded to slate the unoriginal characters and the stereotypical pseudo-Christian plot. Think about it a treasure hunt where they quickly and conveniently find stones, yes stones hidden for 2000 years.
Yet I like this story, it kept me reading, occasionally contained plot twists that surprised me and had great pacey writing. This meant I devoured the book, while I read my inner critic was silenced and even now I am actually excited to be able to sink my teeth into instalment 2 next year.