Wednesday, April 2, 2014

Jennifer Ainsley by Sidney Stone‏ Book Review

“Do not suppose that I have come to bring peace to the earth. I did not come to bring peace, but a sword” - Matthew 10:34

Jonathon Tait, whose demon-enhanced 170 year old life has helped make him the richest man in the world, secretly renounces his alliance with demons in order to save his twins and redeem himself in the eyes of the two women he loved and lost. Jonathon has visions that his beautiful college-aged adopted daughter, Jennifer Ainsley, may be the key to humanity's survival and works with an underground movement to fight back against both the demons and the human leadership that is guiding our civilization towards total annihilation.
Can Jennifer fulfill her destiny even as the planet hurtles towards its destruction? Is she mankind's only hope and can Jennifer save everyone that she loves or, after enduring the loss of her own family as a child, is she destined for even greater sorrow?

Chapter One
Heather couldn’t believe she was going to die in front of her peacefully sleeping twins, who were oblivious to the unspeakable acts occurring in their nursery. These infants, this life, were all she had wanted, and in those lonely nights before sleep overtook her, she admitted to herself that she had been groomed for this since birth. She had been groomed to be a beautiful, nurturing wife to a wealthy and powerful man and she had been groomed to care for his children and teach them to take their rightful place in the world while she also maintained this lovely home—with a slew of maids, servants, and other staff of course.

 She threw the best dinner parties and had a special banquet hall included in the new Napa Valley estate just for that purpose. She knew all the right people to invite, and they raised all the right money for all the right charities.
Yet here she was in midair, swaying back and forth, seeing herself reflected in the rectangular Craftsman-style floor mirror she personally had picked out for the nursery.

 The demon Palvakia held Heather by her strawberry-blonde hair, a mane her husband Jonathon Tait called “gorgeously luxurious,” while her lithe and toned, almost split-in-two body, spilled her blood and guts onto the new Berber carpet (a lovely light blue she also had personally picked out for the nursery).

How important Heather had thought every design detail of this room was. She had placed so much importance on the mundane materials that now meant nothing. She was escaping into the blackness now, the dark abyss whose passage she hoped ended with a consummating light. Was there light beyond death and beyond this horror?  It was insane, Heather thought, that her husband, the man she loved and admired, was watching this scene unfold with an expressionless face as Mordock, a repulsive and despised demon, stood next to him.

 Mordock was in human form right now, unlike the demon who had torn her in half, but Heather still felt the evil lurking underneath. She had tried to banish Mordock from their lives and had pleaded with her husband to stand up to him. Yet Jonathon had done nothing to remove him from their lives or to stop Mordock from carrying out her murder. If there was a light at the end, how could the Keeper of Light cause this to happen or not prevent it in the first place?

And what of the twins? Alexander and Sophia were so beautiful and full of life, with old-soul eyes, even as infants. My lovely babies, Heather thought with her last bit of consciousness. Who will keep you from harm? Can your father somehow be your guardian angel? Will he succeed with you where he failed with me? The darkness with the light behind it is approaching. Will I see you in heaven? How long will I have to wait? Hopefully a long, long time…

Heather took her last breaths just as Palvakia began to devour her. To her horror, though, death did not come instantaneously. A morbid trick of the demons is to keep their victims on the cusp of dying so they can witness themselves being eaten. Heather couldn’t even scream as the pain ripped through the ever-decreasing parts of her body.
When Palvakia was finished, not one ounce of the physical being that once had been Heather Tait was left in the room. Even the carpet was clean…and the twins continued to sleep peacefully.

The novel is well-plotted around developed characters that have expertly interwoven back stories. The introduction to each character lays a foundation for the events that ultimately lead to the start of war with the demon horde. Jonathan Tait is the strongest character with origins dating back to the Civil War.

I felt Jennifer Ainsley, Jonathan's adopted daughter and titular character of the book, was less developed. She seemed mostly confused by all the happenings as the various men in her life attempted to explain her destiny to her. As a feminist warrior archetype, she will hopefully grow into her roll.

Along with the historical setting of the Civil War, I enjoyed how recent history like the war in Iraq was incorporated and made central to the plot. I have to say.... I really enjoyed this novel from first time Author Sidney Stone.. Very interesting mix is fantasy and horror set in modern times. Has humor, religion, history, current events, etc, all crammed into a fast paced story about the end of days.

 You'll be reading about a pinot noir in one paragraph followed by a decapitated head flying thou the air in the next. Characters come to life with first person chapters that let you get into the characters minds along with third person chapters giving you a broader perspective on the events unfolding.

This isn't some last page until the climax happens book either. The battle between humans and demons starts about midway and never lets up making the book hard to put down yet still sets up a cliffhanger for the saga to continue. Left me satisfied and ready for more!! I can't wait for the next book in the series!

1 comment:

  1. Thank you so much for the review and blog post! You are right about Jonathon Tait being the most developed in this book, it is essentially his tale. The second book is when Jennifer comes into her own and seizes her destiny. I'm glad you enjoyed it and I hope your readers do too!