Quite an enjoyable read. It is interesting and suspenceful without being too violent or gory. The prose is better than average for the free e-book market. The proofreading is not perfect but good enough that it is not distracting. The scenes are well done, most characters are believable and lifelike (except the cop). This is not a pure mystery because supernatural forces are involved. I love the fact that the 'alpha male' loses in the end and that the hero and heroine are normal people with believable stamina and strength. Some familiarity with Revelation will enhance the reading experience but it is not necessary to be a bible scholar to get the most out of this story.
I have a special fondness for the story as I once lived only 20 blocks from the site. However I would think only someone from Manhattan or Moscow, etc. would characterize West Hartford as a 'small suburban town' since there are bus routes and multi-story condo complexes over parking garages. The actual descriptions of the area and its people are accurate and I am sure the author has been there for more than a quick visit.
Terrance is what I liked most about this book. In so many stories in this genre the hero is an unbelievable superman who shakes off a few bullet wounds, reads minds at a distance, knows the president on a first name basis, etc. etc. etc. Terrance is a real person, with faults, who makes mistakes, who has fears that get the better of him. All this makes the story so much more compelling because you aren't sure he can overcome all odds no matter what happens.
I also like the fact that the romance is realistic, we don't go thru 200 pages of both partners fighting and denying the attraction and then being overcome by the glandular forces of their superior bodies in spite of themselves. It would have been nice if his girlfriend Jess was as realistic a character as Terrance, she is a bit of a superwoman, but not as much as the female lead in the average crime thriller.
It is a bit confusing at first that different chapters are happening years apart. As it is, after a couple switches back and forth you know what's happening. I applaud the absence of violence, and that good triumphs in the end.
First let me agree with everyone else that this is a great, well written book. It easily beat "The Windup Girl" as the best book I've read this year. The characterization, the cultural details, the action, the emotional involvement are all off the chart. I have to go all the way back to 'The Memory Bank' by Wallace West to find a book that impressed me as much, and we're skipping over 'Lord of the Rings,' 'Rite of Passage,' 'Hyperion,' 'Stand on Zanzibar' and many other Hugo and Nebula winners.
But now the soapbox. Sci-fi does not just foretell the future, it creates the future. And yes, the Sci-fi reading public today demands bodycount above all else and this book provides plenty. To a large extent the public creates the future by what they will read and the authors must follow or forever remain obscure. However, it saddens me to see this prodigious talent used to bring us further along the path that leads thru 'Soylent Green' and 'The Windup Girl' thru 'Road Warrior' and 'Adventures in the Forbidden Zone' toward a world of violence, oppression, misery and death, all in the name of glory, when we could opt for a world of peace, love and transcendence. There is no doubt in anyone's mind, even my own, that Reza's life on an alien planet is more exciting reading than Alan's in 'Yoonbarla,' but if it was YOU who had to live it, which would you choose?