LIFE IS, AS IT’S BEEN GIVEN by Richard Ramone

LIFE IS, AS IT’S BEEN GIVEN

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KIRKUS REVIEW

Debut author Ramone offers a novel about one businessman’s struggle with faith.

As the head of the pharmaceutical company Twenty-Second Century Medicine, Jason Porter is no stranger to success. Ever since the death of his grandfather—an enthusiast of biblical teachings—Jason vowed to “rid the world of as much disease as he could.”  But although he was motivated by his religious relative’s passing, it also made him lose his faith in God. Now, Jason’s company is on the verge of a breakthrough: a mechanism of “focused nutrition” to enhance human health. As a result, the company is poised to close a major deal with the One-World Medical Authority, which could have a positive effect on global well-being. But Jason doesn’t feel quite right about the situation. They’re in direct competition with an equally powerful firm, and if that weren’t enough, strange things keep happening: the woman who cleans his office sees a demon in the bathroom, and soon, Jason encounters various other oddities that indicate that angels and devils may be real—just as his grandfather once said. This is driven home when Jason meets a husky angel named Patronus, who assures him that “Because of His plan for your life, they are set to destroy you.” “They” are countless demons, working for their ill-tempered leader, Abaddon. Meanwhile, Jason struggles with restoring his personal faith. This story is alive with the supernatural elements as it takes a look behind the scenes at the battle raging for humanity’s souls. In it, demons frequently influence humans directly by, for example, whispering things in order to cause doubt. This narrative choice adds an extra layer to the story, as every action a person takes is potentially influenced by a supernatural creature. However, scenes of business meetings often slow the narrative, due in part to their flat dialogue: “I’ve been thinking about some modifications for the security protocol,” says the protagonist to his security director at one point. “I would like to run them by you before the meeting.” Such statements are as thrilling as a day in the office—regardless of the invisible forces at play.  

Otherworldly figures provide substance to a tale that’s too often dragged down by the mundane.

Pub Date: Sept. 26th, 2016
ISBN: 978-1-5127-5632-6
Page count: 278pp
Publisher: Westbow Press
Program: Kirkus Indie
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