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Prophecy reviewed by Christopher Hoare
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prophecy.jpg

Review of "Prophecy"

by Paul Mark Tag.

Published by iUniverse.

Two Stars.

The premise of Prophecy is really interesting – does a genetic sequence exist that endows the possessor with clairvoyant ability? What effect would the understanding and development of the genetic disposition do to society? Who will gain control of Weaverman’s discoveries – the US government, the "Blade of the Sinai", the Russians who also investigated the genetics – or the highly placed politicians who seek to profit from the commercial possibilities?

Prophecy should come across to many readers as an engrossing and exciting novel. It has all the right elements – conspiracies in high places, dangerous foreign agents, a secret at stake, jet-hopping, and imperilled protagonists – but the very abundance of characters and twists ends up slowing down the action rather than promoting its pace.

I was often deeply immersed in the world painted in Prophecy, but at times drawn away by the endless detail and explanation. This could have been a very good novel, worth four stars, but the author has a lot to learn about tightening a text. This novel serves as a good illustration of the adage ‘less is more’. What purpose did the GPS coordinates serve? Do we need to have the mechanics of recovering an aircraft from a spin laid out, for just one example? Could we progress with just one level of flashback instead of flashbacks within flashbacks? Do all the incidents need an abstract appended to the scenes?

Prophecy has a lot of potential, but protagonist Victor Silverstein is just a bit too academic and bumbling to rival James Bond, and his sidekick Linda Kipling must have worked for a strange division of the Forest Service to have had all that weapons and unarmed combat training. I just couldn’t suspend my disbelief for some of the events portrayed. Paul Mark Tag has obviously nurtured the story and kept it close to his chest – viz all the readers he has named in the acknowledgments who must have kept their own council, and the publisher iUniverse who must lack editors strong enough to insist on a more finished draft. It’s worth the read, but please, Paul, study a few tightly plotted and written thrillers from other authors before sending out your next novel to the printer.

Chris Hoare - Muse Book Reviewer

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