Saturday, April 16, 2016

The Eighth Day, by Joseph John

Shawn Jaffe isn't who he thinks he is.  But who is he?  Joseph John finally answers that question in The Eighth Day, but not before the bodies start piling up and Jaffe goes on the run.  From New York to Texas and back, Jaffe wants to find answers, but the men in black suits keep showing up.  The more Jaffe discovers about himself, the more he realizes he has the physical and mental abilities of a super human. John writes with a fast-paced, action-packed style that made me think of the Jason Bourne books, but had enough weirdness to remind me of Philip Dick (But not as weird as his books.  Only as weird as some of the popular movies based on his books.  Dick readers will understand.)

John's story telling is efficient, packing more action and development into 250 pages than most 400 page novels.  It's a style that leaves the reader a little breathless.  Some of the jumps in action are jarring, but John fills in the backstories and blank spaces adequately.  As enjoyable as The Eighth Day is, it did have a bit of a derivative feel, as if scenes were pulled from a blockbuster movie.  I don't mean this as a huge criticism, just a note that The Eighth Day reflects and fits into a particular genre.

As complete as John's ending is, I could see Jaffe taking off into a series of novels.  He is an unusual person with no background and super powers, the perfect set up for a vigilante or superhero.  I, for one, hope John continues to hone his writing skills and treats us to a sequel.

Thanks to Mr. John for the complimentary review copy!

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