Thursday, November 24, 2011

Agent of Artifice

Agent of Artifice by S. Evan Townsend
ISBN: 978-1937593186
302 Pages
Available in Paperback and on Kindle

In this sequel to Hammer of Thor, the story of the adepts continues as told by Michael Vaughan. On the surface, Michael Vaughan looks like an ordinary guy - he has lots of money and loves chasing women. Appearances can be deceiving though. In reality, Michael is a rouge adept sent on a mission to assassinate Fidel and Raul Castro in Havana. Using spells, he is able to infiltrate the enemy bases but things don't go according to plan and he is caught. His talisman is stolen from him, leaving him in a weakened state, fighting for his freedom and to reclaim his life.

My Thoughts:

Agent of Artifice has an abundance of colorful Cuban imagery and historical insight. It paints a picture of life on the streets of Havana in the mid 1950s. As with Hammer of Thor, the historical images are greatly detailed, but there is a good balance of fantasy as well, so the "non-fiction" elements aren't really overbearing.

The main character is an everyday Joe, so to speak. He shows his flaws in a manner that makes him seem more human and likable. In fact, all of the characters have their own well developed personality and traits.You get a feeling for who the characters are and the interactions between them are believable.

This book is a non-stop action movie in text format. Vaughan takes you on a trek from Cuba to the US and back again, with never a dull stop along the way. There are plenty of well written battles and a ton of other action packed scenes involving poker games and character relations.

One thing that was noticeably different in this sequel was how the time line of the events was handled. In the first book in the series, everything was done in a linear fashion, while in Agent of Artifice, the story jumped around, having "flashback" moments and then coming back to the present. Often, this can be confusing, but I think it was handled well. There were very few moments where I got confused with the order of events or which characters were present in the current time and place.

Overall, I thought that this was a great story. Agent of Artifice is an exciting adventure that you will not want to put down until the end. It is a worthy sequel to Hammer of Thor, with plenty of action and intrigue to keep you on the edge of your seat. I can't wait to see what is next for this series.

I was contacted by the writer and given a free copy of Agent of Artifice in exchange for a fair and honest review.

Parent's Guide:
Agent of Artifice, like it's predecessor, is an excellent read for the older youths, like high school and college students. It is a good clean book - full of action but devoid of graphic violence and foul language. The writing is complex and younger kids would find themselves lost in the detail and historical descriptions and probably be bored easily.

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