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Abyss of Chaos Paperback – August 12, 2011
"Warlight" by Michael Ondaatje
A dramatic coming-of-age story set in the decade after World War II, "Warlight" is the mesmerizing new novel from the best-selling author of "The English Patient." Pre-order today
About the Author
Formerly a professional cellist, David Beem was a founding member of the Corigliano (1996-98) and Eykamp (2002-07) Quartets, Principal Cellist of the Evansville Philharmonic Orchestra (2002-07) and member of the Euclid Quartet (2007-09). His performances spanned three continents and his Corigliano Quartet Carnegie and Weill Hall debuts garnered critical acclaim from the New York Times and Strad Magazine. His relationship with the Pulitzer Prize-winning composer, John Corigliano, culminated in the South Korean premiere of the composer’s String Quartet No. 1. David has served on the faculties of Murray State University, University of Evansville, and Indiana University at South Bend. David has recorded the string quartets of Bela Bartok, (2, 4 & 6) Frederick Fox’s Dawnen Gray, and Bernard Heiden’s Clarinet Quintet with James Campbell. Currently, David is hard at work promoting his first novel, Abyss of Chaos, even while producing its sequel, The Philosopher’s Game. Visit David’s blog, or follow him on Twitter.
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The characters are great and the adventure is phenomenal! When the Ark comes into play one does tend to think about Indiana Jones, just because he had an adventure with it himself, but this story is an entirely different league from Indy Jones. Enough talk of Jones, Max is a hero in this story. I say 'a hero' because everyone has a big role in Abyss, but obviously Max is the one I can relate to the most. I love his quirky sense of humor and that's one thing that makes me feel I could sit down and have a conversation with him. Aliyah hates it though, but sometimes a quirky guy just can't help himself. When it's important he puts the humor away and gets things done and that's what counts.
The solitary complaint I have is there are quite a few different side characters that are obviously important to the story, but a few times I found myself having a slightly difficult time of keeping track of them all, not to mention attempting to pronounce some of those Iragi names. Don't get me wrong they were necessary to convey the scale and impact the Ark has on the world, but most of the time I just wanted to stay focused on the main characters.
Despite having a lot of side characters and views and bumbling through some of those names I still give Abyss of Chaos 5 Cellos out of 5. Great, great story and wonderful characters and if I had to put a rating on Abyss of Chaos it would be a PG13, there is some pretty severe violence, but not really much gore to speak of and nothing sexual. The follow up to Abyss of Chaos titled Philosopher's Game will be available in the near future and I know we'll be seeing our favorites and some brand new characters.
I had a serious case of déjà vu as I cracked the pages of David Beem's new thriller, Abyss of Chaos. I was instantly transported back in time to those days in the theater balcony and I soon realized I was off on another roller coaster, rock and roll ride. This is just plain fun and can't put it down reading. And when you add in the deft handling of historical information, layered upon modern issues and dangers the world faces right now, it adds up to a masterful job of storytelling and writing.
Daivd has managed to create characters that we root for and those we would pull the trigger on ourselves if we could. But the best part is there is more to come. This is the first book in a series of stories that the author is working on and I for one can't wait for the next one.
It would not be difficult to compare this novel to other novels that became big screen successes, such as the Indiana Jones series and The Da Vinci Code, in terms of its grand scale or the action level. As a reader, however, I was impressed by the artistry with which Beem handled the complexity of the story without the reader's eyes glazing over from so much information. I was captivated by his fluidity of phrasing. As a successful professional cellist, Beem is certainly at one with the sequencing of notes to evoke emotions in the listener--emotions that range from joy to melancholy. In Abyss of Chaos, he has managed to generate these same experiences for the reader with his words. In my opinion, the richness of his narrative is what makes this story a good read.
This novel is book one in a series. The next is titled The Philosopher's Game. Although I do not know how the characters in Abyss of Chaos will figure into the second book, I will tell you that connecting on an emotional level with Maxwell Sinclair, Aliyah Khoury, Francesco Bellini, and even Shariff Izherri, and finally, Azrail, the devotee of Ad-Dajjal, the Deceiver, in this first book happens without effort. I can only imagine that this experience will continue as we follow this tale by a great new writer--David Beem.
Reviewer: Dannye Williamsen/Breakthrough Bookstore