- File Size: 3501 KB
- Print Length: 190 pages
- Publisher: The Sinister Horror Company (September 28, 2015)
- Publication Date: September 28, 2015
- Sold by: Amazon Digital Services LLC
- Language: English
- ASIN: B0141HK0FM
- Text-to-Speech: Enabled
- Word Wise: Enabled
- Lending: Enabled
- Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,247,738 Paid in Kindle Store (See Top 100 Paid in Kindle Store)
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GodBomb! Kindle Edition
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"Beneath a Scarlet Sky" by Mark Sullivan
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Top customer reviews
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So, a guy walks into a community center/church strapped to blow and wants God to show Himself. 70-ish hostages. Pregnant lady ready to pop. I'm reminded of a Hitchcock interview wherein he says something to the effect of, if you have three men sitting at a table and a bomb goes off, it's a surprise but you don't get much out of the audience from it. But if you show the bomb to the audience and tell them it will go off in five minutes--now you've got their attention and the suspense just builds from there.
I feel like this novel uses said philosophy of creating audience tension, and almost too well. It's a slow burn with a gradually increasing slant to its rising action--interrupted by bursts of intense violence and even higher tension. What keeps it going between those bursts is virtuoso level plate spinning between the shifting character perspectives (which is used in many clever ways, independent of just giving fresh views).
For now, these are my thoughts. An intense human-drama/horror/thriller that actually I think transcends genre classification (even though I've just done it ha) and should be approached with an open mind. There is a lot going on in the realms of philosophy and what I'd call hypothetical theology in this story that should be experienced as the novel presents it--as big questions we don't get answers to... that people die and kill for.
pml (patrick loveland)
Power's writing is very natural, very honest, and nothing feels forced. The emotions are real and the story is written so tightly that it demands you read on. Any detours are quickly redirected. That's where a lot of new authors slip up. Not Power. When he veers off,it is only for a moment, and then he wraps it right back around the core tale. I love that. He also let's the story play out as it should. Again, honesty.
Very impressive debut from a writer who should only get better.
This is not a book that many writers are capable of writing. On one level, the subject matter is an emotionally difficult one. The story of a young man, lost and so desperate for answers that he turns, violently on a small church congregation is one that is going to resonate a great deal with our current culture. It is an arena that many authors would likely turn away from, but Power manages to conduct himself with the highest level of maturity, respect and complexity. These are not cookie cut characters, frothing at the mouth and fulfilling our most basic stereotypes. These are three dimensional characters, all of whom have a part to play in this.
On another level, we also have the technical difficulty of telling this story in the way Power does it. To be able to tell a story, jumping around from one character's perspective to another is a virtual minefield for the author, nothing but potential for failure. It becomes so easy to confuse and frustrate the reader and, being completely honest, it was a thought that did come to mind as I began reading. Thankfully, Power manages to accomplish the feat and lays out the narrative like a master sculptor. The pacing of the story is brilliant, and while there are moments where the narrative becomes a little confusing, he quickly brings things back together and grounds the reader again in the story. And to be honest, those few moments of disorientation I experienced seemed completely appropriate to the story, mirroring the confusion and fear that these characters would be going through. I think it also was an incredibly effective means of highlighting all of these differing people's perspectives on what is happening to them.
One thing that I think is essential to good storytelling is to have characters that feel like they are there for a reason, and not just to provide the "hero" of the book an opportunity to do something great. There is a line from Stephen King about character building that I have always held true and, I'm paraphrasing here but, essentially, the idea is that throughout literature and film, we have our basic character types that go back as far as our collective memory can reach. However, as central as these are in popular entertainment, the reality is that actual people in their day to day lives don't think of themselves as an archetype. Every single person walking the planet sees themselves as the star of a movie about them. Nobody thinks of themselves as the hooker with a heart of gold or as the best friend or the sassy senior citizen who just says whatever is on their mind. People are all unique and important and that really needs to be reflected in books as well. It's easy to make a villain that just does bad things because he's bad. It's completely different to actually explore that character, and make the readers able to understand him just as well as they understand the protagonist, to create not heroes and villains but a group of characters who all collaborate to create a fantastic story.
If you want a perfect example of what I'm talking about, buy yourself a copy of this book and see for yourself.
What would you do if someone showed up at church with a bomb strapped to him and demanding to talk to God?
Wow, this book will get you thinking. Will get you to question the purpose we are here.
Was that God's plan all along?????
Brilliantly written Kit! Loved it.