An occult thriller.
From the title, I visualized a quasi-medieval fantasy of four brothers, like knights, riding forth to engage the enemy. The Order, instead, is an organization of many men and women of various talents and expertise whose teams, aided by the gods, fight to contain The Thing that brought evil to the world.
Some readers don’t like prologues, but I was immediately caught up and found the book hard to put down. The prologue tells how evil appeared and gave rise to the Starry Wisdom, worshipers of this evil. Priests founded the Order of the Four Sons to fight the Starry Wisdom.
The adventure begins in a shroud of mystery that grips the reader, like a Dan Brown religious thriller. Someone cries out for help.
In the softness of time we see the evil’s effects, down to the present. Children disappear and so do teams of the Order of the Four Sons. As the crisis grows, we get a lot of names thrown at us, but most of these resolve into unique characters with memorable personalities—a retired marine, a burnt out ex detective, an old man, two technology geeks, and a trainee of unknown but surprising talents. Garnette, Murphy, Doug, Cecil, Bill, and Kate comprise the last team to be formed, incomplete and ill prepared. And we love them, for the writers manage them like a master. Without delving into character backgrounds, we quickly sense that they are solidly human. And we delight in their witty exchanges, a gallows humor that helps them maintain a mental balance throughout the demonic warfare.
They battle Lady Bathory, more monster than lady, and her cohorts, who seek a magic wand that will stabilize a gate between worlds so she can expand her territory. The team of the Order must find the wand first. The quest becomes a spiritual treasure hunt as one clue leads to another.
Much of the writing is impeccable, but questions arise, not all of which are answered to the reader’s satisfaction. Sure, I can figure out some. But I suspect that some answers won’t be forthcoming in Book Two. For example, a federal organization called MJ-12 gets involved, and I’m wondering, Who are these guys? Why are they attacking the team? Also, more names than necessary are mentioned. The characters have more than one name; some have several. Ordinarily this caused the reader no problem, but I suffered some confusion, particularly over who the Blood Lady is and belatedly realized she is imprisoned in a bubble.
The story ends in a cliff hanger. Questions dangle. We can expect answers to most in Book Two of the series. But not all—and that’s what bothers me. In essence the Oracle tells us to stay tuned for the further adventures of our team. The read is entertaining, so grab your next copy.
(review of free book)