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Thy Fearful Symmetry Kindle Edition
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|Length: 359 pages||Word Wise: Enabled||Enhanced Typesetting: Enabled|
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Wow. Thy Fearful Symmetry is one of the most imaginative and dark horror/end of the world scenario stories I've read in a long time. It takes a broad cast of three dimensional and interesting characters and mixes it with religious dogma, stirs it up, and cranks out an addictive page turner.
Wright does a fantastic job of melding the the everyman/woman with the celestial. Malachi is a man bent on revenge. His wife was irreparably harmed by an Angel and he has one mission in life: kill her. Officer Gemmel and his subordinate Jackie Summers find themselves in the middle of something bigger than they can possibly comprehend when the man only known as Ambrose is at the center of a mass murder. Calum is a priest that just wanted to serve the Lord but ends up being the protector of two fallen angels and damns himself in the process. Ambrose and Pandora are two fallen angels on the run from the forces of Heaven and Hell and their love throws the world into chaos. Each character from the divine to the mundane plays a pivotal role in a complex plot about heaven vs. hell.
The 'mythos' that Wright set up for the book is vivid and imaginative. His rules for how angels and demons, gods and men, interact are amazing. They mix religious dogmas with ideas of his own creation and are well used to put his characters, quite literally, through hell. This is a DARK book and if you're looking for a happy or definitive ending, you won't get it here. But that's ok. Sometimes the endings that leave you wondering are just as good as the ones where everything is tied up in a neat little bundle.....as long as they're handled well and this was handled very well. It's not a ride-into-the-sunset ending but it's satisfying.
No book is perfect and I did find a few things that roused my inner nit picker. While the book is well written, I found the massive use of commas to make for awkward sentences sometimes. That's not to say that there are any true grammatical 'errors' but sometimes the constant use of commas in many of the sentences makes the flow stutter a bit. Here's a shorter example: 'Calum could hear others, in the distance.' That's a shorter one but when running into several of these in a row it gives the prose a stacatto feel. Also, sometimes he uses effect/cause formation to his sentences rather than cause then effect. Example: 'Rather than head for the church proper, with its din of human voices squabbling in terror, Pandora reached down for him again.' There's nothing wrong with the sentence but stylistically, it reads a little awkward. Anyway, those are a couple minor quibbles with the book. While I loved it, sometimes the choppy feel of those sentences along with the multitude of commas took me out of the story. That's not a bash on the author. It's just a preference.
All said and done, this is really a great work of dark fiction. It's almost hard to classify. Is it horror? Yes. Is it a thriller? With it's healthy dose of action and mayhem, I'd say yes. Is it paranormal/urban fantasy? It its way. The Fearful Symmetry is an amalgamation of several genres that's filled with vivid imagery, great character moments and some seriously dark subject matter and events. Do yourself a favor and check it out. I'll be looking into more of Wright's books in the immediate future.
I really enjoyed the twists that were put on the familiar Biblical themes (though I'm sure my parents, the devout anti-fun Christians, would be horrified and offended). The ending was very well done (I only predicted a small portion of it and only within a couple dozen pages of it happening).
I haven't looked at his website yet, but I hope to see a sequel at some point in the future. There's plenty of potential for great follow-up stories.
Also, a minor quibble, but there was one spot where a character is mentioned by the wrong name. And a spot where a chapter number is incorrectly inserted into the text of the chapter. So only a few points of typographical error that I noticed. Otherwise, it was regional spelling differences that drug me out if the story momentarily. Can't avoid that though.
OK. I'm done rambling. Get to reading, please.
All I'll say about the ending is that it was not what I had anticipated--and that's a good thing. BTW, I was disappointed that the award-winning cover was not on my kindle edition.
I will definitely be seeking out more of Mr. Wright's works as I have thoroughly enjoyed everything I've read of his thus far!