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Cain Mass Market Paperback – September 1, 1998
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From Library Journal
Don't be surprised if you haven't read Huggins's three best-selling action thrillers, e.g., Leviathan: They were written for the Christian market. With Bruce Willis paying a cool $1 million for the rights to this story of the indestructible Cain, infected with a genetically altered strain of killer virus, Huggins is making his mainstream debut in a big way.
Copyright 1997 Reed Business Information, Inc. --This text refers to the Paperback edition.
Bruce Willis has acquired the rights to Cain, a supernatural thriller from Christian crossover writer Huggins, author of the rather turgid Leviathan (1995) and the chilling Wolf Story (1993). Why would Willis be interested? Well, Cain is the first and the eternal killer, and here he is awakened from the chamber in which the Nazarene sealed him away 2,000 years ago. His spirit links with an almost indestructible body, built as part of a hush-hush military project headed by Maggie Milton, who is young, brilliant, and beautiful. Her monster escapes and goes about fulfilling prophecy, killing soldiers right and left, devastating cities. Enter Colonel James Solomon, a retired commando who nearly died killing the terrorists who slaughtered his family. With incredible rigor, he has slowly brought himself back into good enough shape for a Bruce Willis part. Solomon, Maggie, and an old priest battle the bloodthirsty, blood-drinking Cain, and Huggins turns in a suspenseful performance, no question. He also has a freer hand in the mainstream market: his soldiers talk a lot tougher, and the bloody scenes are bloody, indeed. Somewhat reminiscent of Barry Sadler's eternal soldier, Casca, protagonist of a pulp series with huge sales in the early 1980s. John Mort --This text refers to the Paperback edition.
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Top Customer Reviews
On the positive side, Huggins writes excellent action scenes. Plus, Solomon is an engaging character who has suffered a tremendous loss that nearly drives him beyond the point of no return. Somehow, he does manage to evade his internal demons and in the process is resurrected. This subplot truly adds to the overall story. But what I enjoyed most was the way the Catholic Church was portrayed as a silent, yet strong, ally for Solomon. We learn about the Jesuit Order, and get a rare opportunity to see Church elders more than lambs, but as wolves.
This is a good read despite its weaknesses (which may not bother many readers), and I have no reservations recommending CAIN to action-thriller fans.
Some of the book is written well. The action is non-stop. And the storyline is very easy to follow. The book has a good basis. The bad thing is that the author has not seemed to do his research. Not on the medical advancements he tries to use for the enhancement of the body. Nor in the geographic locations he inaccurately describes. But it is a fun read non-the less. Pick it up if you have a 2-hour flight. It will pass the time quickly.
Dr. Martha Milton, though she prefers to be called Maggie, is the beautiful scientist that created Cain. Early in the story we learn that she used the blood from her own six year old daughter, Amy, to rewrite Cain's DNA. This makes Maggie's struggle to stop Cain a purely heart-touching display of motherly love, for Cain needs every drop of Amy's blood in order to stop his body from mutating beyond control. The irony is thick, but that only adds to the suspense and action of the story, as well as the emotion. And along side with Maggie is Colonel James L. Soleman, a soldier who lost his wife and daughter to terrorists. Soleman is not the luckiest of people, for he nearly died while trying to avenge his family's death and in the process, he crossed so many lines of the military law that he ended up leaving the military. LIke Maggie, Soleman is haunted by his past, of what happened, what he lost, and of what may lie ahead. These shared characteristics bring Soleman and Maggie close together as they try to stop Cain and save Amy. As Soleman works with Maggie and a group of others, including a priest and a superior mother, he soon relearns the feeling of loving a child and woman. Everyone's faith in the Lord is put to the test, for Cain believes himself to be the supreame God who can defy the real God.
This book so totally awesome! I'm totally surte that it would be a hit movie if it was made into one. Tom Cruise would make a fabulous Soleman and Jeri Ryan would be a perfect Maggie. I would say that the perfect actor for Cain would be Arnold Schwarzenegger. For other Characters, I think Kate Mulgrew would be a great Mother Mary Francis, Katelin Petersen would be a good Amy, and Patrick Stewart is so fitting for the role of Father Marcelle. This cast, is only my personal version of course.
Anyway, for all you action fans out there who love tales of acton, danger, emotion, and destiny, this is a book you will love. This book will blow you away!
The problem, however, is the abundance of said clichés. With the exception of an interesting Jesuit priest, the story and characters are all run-of-the-mill stereotypes. All the action scenes are standard set pieces. The Biblical allusions are heavy-handed (the demonic Cain's previous incarnation was defeated by King David, Cain fights a character named Solomon, i.e. David's son). Character resolution is tied too neatly (Solomon loses his wife and daughter, then rescues a single mom and her daughter). Huggins overuses the same adjectives over and over again, like "volcanic" and "titanic." And apparently there are some inaccuracies in his use of biology and military facts, but see other reviews for more details. Still, entertaining, but check out "Leviathan" for a better monster and "Hunter" for a better book overall.