Author – Jonathan Mark
Genre – Action Adventure, Historical
482 Amazon Pages
Rating 4 stars out of 5 Posted 8/3/2017
No. 53 - 2017
My impressions: fast paced, sometimes incredulous, sometimes intriguing, violent, convoluted.
Richard Helford – ex soldier, M-16 analyst
Rowena – Richard’s boss
Mohammed Abdul Alim – Mujahedeen terrorist.
Lenny Helford – Richard’s grandfather.
David Helford – Richard’s father.
Callidora – Village girl who discovers the parchment scrolls.
The Last Messenger takes place in Crete, Turkey and Great Britain, primarily in 1941 and 2005, a sixty-four year span. The plot centers on St. John of Patmos who (among several others) is reputed to be the author of the Book of Revelation, the final chapter in the New Testament. This story focuses on the discovery of scrolls attributed to St. John of Patmos that are reputed to prove Islam is the true word of God and came before Christianity. These scrolls are thought to change the balance of power in the world by elevating Islam above all other religions. Not being anti-religious or fervently religious I had difficulty caring about the outcome on that basis.
The story was interesting as action adventure as the Resistance Fighters of Crete fought a losing battle against the might of the German Army occupying their country. The Germans were unduly harsh to the villager’s due to the losses incurred as their troops parachuted during the initial invasion.
The story is well told and flips back and forth between the primary locations and time frames. Richard Helford searches for his father who reportedly died in the collapse of the twin towers on 9/11/2001. Richard soon begins to doubt his father is dead. At the same time, he learns his great grandfather, Lenny Helford played a roll with the resistance fighters on Crete and also was involved with the scrolls being found and later hidden.
The cast of characters is large and the story is long and involved. At times it is exciting and captivating and at others the plot is hard to swallow.
Overall it is a good story with conflict, double crosses and triple crosses.
Now for the faults I feel seriously affect the story.
There are several times when continuity is affected by statement made in one scene then contradicted several lines or scenes later.
When a woman is stabbed in the stomach and then in the heart, she continued to hold her stomach and stumble around instead of falling to the ground and dying like a good little victim of a vicious knife attack.
Several of the action scenes felt contrived; the actions didn’t match the outcome.
A Glock 18 is a semiautomatic pistol, not a machine pistol. The Glock does not have a safety switch.
I’ve never heard of a Mossad Special Forces team using AK47 rifles. Apparently, the author thinks that is the only military weapon made because everyone had them.
The editing is poor, not terrible, but there are far too many missing, misspelled, extra and wrong words used.
Character development is good although a few acted out of character at times. There are many sub-characters.
Details are good though sometimes muddled and unclear.
Research on the religious aspects I assume is good due to its complexity, I did not check that aspect. Research on weapons is seriously lacking.
The plot is intriguing but at times felt far-fetched.
If the negative issues I’ve highlighted bother you give the rating a 3 star. If they won’t affect your reading pleasure rate it a 4.0 +.
This review was provided in exchange for a free book.
Vigilant Reader Book Reviews.