Sunday, May 30, 2010

Edi's Spotlight: Silver by Steven Savile

This is my second try to write and post this review. On Friday night I tried it the first time. I saved every progress. After clicking the Publish Post button my session crashed. When I returned to my post it has been corrupted. Most of the text missing. Parts of the text displaced. Therefore I could not post it on Friday as expected.

Predicament: The more I read the less I review. Within this week I found some time for Twitter. Hagelrat asked me whether I read and liked Silver (2010) [ISBN-13: 978-1935142058] by Steven Savile on Twitter. I could understand her questions very well. I won a signed ARC (Advanced Reader Copy) of Silver, the first book in the Ogmios Team Adventure series, over at UN:BOUND. The truth: I read and enjoyed the book but did not review it so far which leads back to the beginning - Predicament.
Today, after another exhausting week, after one hour cycling at the gym, after dinner AND before falling asleep, I thought it would be a nice start in the weekend to review Silver.

"Sometimes the truth is anything but honest.

Sometimes the stories everyone knows by heart are lies.

Sometimes lies are all we have left.

Two thousand years ago, thirty silver Tyrian shekels were paid to secure the most infamous betrayal of all time. Melted down by the grandsons of Judas Iscariot, Menahem and Eleazar ben Jair, in the dark heart of the Sicarii fortress, Masada, the silver was re-forged as a dagger. When the Sicarii zealots committed mass suicide in AD73 the dagger of Iscariot and the truth of his sacrifice were lost. Until now.

A religious cult calling itself the Disciples of Judas has risen in the Middle East. Its influence is pernicious, its reach long. In thirteen cities across Europe thirteen people martyr themselves in the name of Judas, promising forty days and forty nights of terror. They twist the words of ancient prophecies to drive home the fear. On the last day, they promise, faith will fall. Everything you believe in will be proved wrong. Everything you hold true will fail.

Day by day the West wakes to increasingly more harrowing acts of terror. Fear cripples the capitals of Europe, who will be the next to fall? London? Rome? Berlin?

In a race against time – and prophecy – believing the terrorists intend to assassinate the Pope as part of their plan to bring down the Catholic Church, Sir Charles Wyndham’s team of combat specialists, codename Ogmios, tracks a labyrinthine course through truth, shades of truth and outright lies that takes them from the backstreets of London to the shadow of Checkpoint Charlie in Berlin all the way into the heart of the Holy See itself.

Forty days and forty nights of fear. And today is day one."

You should know that I never read a Dan Brown book and I never saw one of the movies. And why did I enter the giveaway? That's because Hagelrat wrote in her review:
"If you liked The Da Vinci Code this will blow your socks off, if you thought the Da Vinci Code was rubbish then this is the perfect antidote and yeah, it's probably blasphemy if you are of a remotely Catholic persuasion. Silver, to borrow from Koni, wakes you up at four am and drags you out of bed naked and screaming." (Koni = Konstantin Khavin, former KGB agent)
Even you are not familiar with the bible I assume you have heard about Judas's betrayal of Jesus.Thirty silver pieces and a kiss on cheek set in motion events which concluded in the crucification of Jesus.
Jesus became the beloved Messiah, the Redeemer of mankind and Judas Iscariot became the most known betrayer in Christian world. And now switch their roles. Judas is the real Messiah and the enunciator of Christianity kept it secret.
Silver is based on this scenario.

As you could read in the blurb Silver is the story of the fight between religious terrorists and the so called Ogmios Team (a non official institution), founded and led by Sir Charles Wyndham. That lead us directly to one of the strong points of the novel: Characterization

The enemies, the victims, the team members (Orla Nyrén, Noah Larkin, Ronan Frost, Jude Lethe and Konstantin Khavin) and their contacts, they all come to life due to Steven Savile's spot-on characterizations. He delivers detailed background stories, personalities, skills, inner thoughts and more. The characters are more 3D than Avatar.
And Steven does the same with his detailed description of the scenery. Which means the reader can visualize the different locations with a minimum of effort. The world is similar to our nowadays world. Most part of the story takes place in Europe and switches several times between past and present. With every look into the past Steven Savile enlightens more background information.

The story itself is full of twists and turns and surprises. Steven Savile is a story teller par excellence. His prose is strong, intense and every time perfectly adapted to the described situation. You feel the pain of the victims to the very marrow of your bones. The races against time accelerate your heartbeat. The humor - yes there are traces of humor in the book - makes you laugh and there also scenes full of sadness which bring tears to your eyes. The description of the terrorist actions is appalling real.

Silver is the first book in a series. It comes to a certain end but leaves several open questions behind. At the end of the story you will be as shaken to the core as the main characters.

Finally you have to face the question: Is religion - any religion - good for mankind?

As I wrote before I don't know any book by Dan Brown. There is no reason to talk about Dan Brown after reading the excellent Silver by Steven Savile. I hope and wish that Steven Savile will sell as many copies as Dan Brown.

Go, Buy, Read and Enjoy an intelligent, peppered with action, gripping roller coaster thriller full of twists, turns and surprises, populated with heroes who are more 3D than Avatar and who deserve your esteem and sympathy.

I can't wait to read Gold, the sequel to Silver. I imploringly hope that it will not take too much time write and publish it.


Hagelrat said...

yay!! great review love glad you enjoyed it. :)

ediFanoB said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
ediFanoB said...

Needed to delete my first comment due to some errors.

I'm happy that I won the book. Without I would have missed a great read. Now I look forward to read GOLD.

KK said...

It's funny that one of the team members has my name - exactly - and it's a damn rare one!

Konstantin Khavin

ediFanoB said...

I agree with you that this is unusual.
I would be getting creepy if you are an Russian citizen.

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