PANTHEON by David Shawn


Book Two of the Flow Series
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Greek mythology, vampires and strange spiritual energies forge an unholy mix in this second installment of a ruthless tale of blood, murder, power and betrayal.

Johnny is Primordial, an incredibly powerful being capable of manipulating Flow—various kinds of spiritual energy—to devastating effect. He’s also a foulmouthed misogynist bound and determined to rescue Nikki, the woman he allegedly loves, from the subterranean stronghold of Olympus, home to ancient, malicious primordial gods (once known to mankind as the Greek Gods). Artemis keeps Nikki as a slave, but a rebellious faction among the Olympians, led by Apollo with assistance from Merlin and others, has different plans for her. Meanwhile, something dark and ancient stirs beneath Olympus, beings of primal fire rise to terrorize New York City, and Johnny finds himself allied with a number of strange bedfellows, including the Scottish firebrand Teagan, who can control fire, and the enigmatic swordsman and chi-master Bei Di. It’s going to be one bumpy ride as ancient powers rise and New York City becomes a battleground aflame with explosions, gunfire and strange, eldritch energies. The print equivalent of an action movie, Shawn’s (Primordial, 2011) novel aspires to the status of an unapologetic, no-holds-barred blockbuster. There’s action aplenty, well-described, well-paced and deftly interspersed with story. Some of the prose tends toward the purple, but as often as not it works with the story’s cinematic feel. Unfortunately, this also leads to almost incomprehensible arrangements of letters when the narrative attempts to convey a given character’s accent: “Where ‘re those two evil cows o’ yerrs?” says Teagan, who suffers most from this. In terms of characterization, Johnny is a passable antihero, albeit a particularly unsympathetic one. The main flaw in the story is its coarseness, which all too often crosses the line from rough-and-tumble fun into misogynistic, gratuitous and crass: “Woman, if I wanted any lip from you, I’d scrape it off my zipper. Now shut the fuck up.”

An action-packed story trying hard to be edgy; hard-core supernatural action fans will eagerly grab hold.

Pub Date: Nov. 13th, 2014
Page count: 558pp
Publisher: CreateSpace
Program: Kirkus Indie
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