THE HERETIC (Templar Chronicles #1) by @Jnassise #Paranormal #Thriller #fridayreads

The Heretic (Templar Chronicles, #1)The Heretic by Joseph Nassise
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

The Heretic is book #1 of The Templar Chronicles, a paranormal urban fantasy series.

The Knights Templar have long been documented throughout history and many stories woven about their survival in the modern world.

In this book, a Templar stronghold in Connecticut is mysteriously attacked. There are no visible signs of; entry, skirmish or attack, but all the Knights are killed.

Cade Williams and his elite team are called in; a Templar Knight known as the “Heretic”, Cade has the power of sight which he has used on many occasions during military operations. To his trusted team he adds Sean Duncan.

More Templar strongholds are attacked. Cade can read spiritually from recent people or places, but his team find few clues until Cade visits the “beyond”, a place where spirits dwell. He asks the shade of a Knight for help.

Duncan’s eyes are opened to a whole new form of combat—this new enemy employs paranormal entities as soldiers. Cade has been fighting these beings for some time; his wife was taken from him during a violent attack by a supernatural being. Cade was left with deep permanent scars, his psychic powers woken and revenge driving him forward.

Cade’s team discover that a secret group of Knights are protectors of precious relics owned by the Vatican. The Necromancer leading these attacks is after a spear renowned for the power it gives to its master. With the target known, an exciting battle unfolds for the reader.

I’m always interested in stories involving the Knights Templar; throw in a good paranormal mix of ghosts, demons and psychometry to the thriller storyline and it works for me. The military battle scenes were of less interest to me, but I can see their use in opening the book to a wider audience. There are plenty of loose ends for the series to continue, and I shall look forward to more visits to the “beyond” and more adventures against The Adversary.

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Book Description

Boston SWAT officer Cade Williams didn’t believe in the supernatural until a chance meeting with a fallen angel left his wife dead and him hanging on to life by the thinnest of margins. When he was discharged from the hospital he discovered that not only was he scarred, body and soul, but that the encounter had left him with a few otherworldly talents of his own.

Now, several years later, Knight Commander Cade Williams runs the elite Templar combat unit known as the Echo Team, which puts him in the perfect position to search for the creature that so viciously attacked him and his family that night. His efforts yield little success, however, until a cabal of necromancers attempts to seize an ancient Templar artifact for their own nefarious purposes and gives him the first real lead he’s had in ages. Cade sets out to find the necromancers and, through them, the Adversary, only to encounter something much worse…

About the author

Joseph Nassise

Joseph Nassise is the New York Times and USA Today bestselling author of more than a twenty-five novels, including the Templar Chronicles series, the Jeremiah Hunt trilogy, and the Great Undead War series. He has also written several books in the Rogue Angel action/adventure series from Gold Eagle. He is a former president of the Horror Writers Association, the world’s largest organization of professional horror writers, and a multiple Bram Stoker Award and International Horror Guild Award nominee. 

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DANTE’S KEY by G.L Baron #Mystery #Bookreview #SundayBlogShare

Dante's KeyDante’s Key by G. L. Baron
My rating: 3 of 5 stars

Three point five stars.

Dante’s Key is a complex mystery set around the Knights Templar and the paintings of Botticelli, Leonardo, Raphael and Dante’s Divine Comedy.

The book opens with a prologue from 1217 Iceland, eighty Knights of the Templar order and their Grand Master seek permission to bury a precious casket, far away from the infidels and those who might use it for greed and power.

Present day, Manuel Cassini a professor of literature and expert on Dante has been invited to Paris for a meeting on New Year’s Day in front of the Mona Lisa.

A week earlier in Vatican City, Monsignor Claude de Beaumont appeared to commit suicide, his body was found with high tech equipment disguised as an Ipod. Interpol officer Nigel Sforza is assigned to the case. Two more dead bodies with possible links soon follow.

In Dubai, Mohamed bin Saif Al Husayn, an invalid, wears a sensory helmet which allows him to communicate via computer software. His company have developed a technology which allows the thoughts, memories and dreams of a human to be intercepted and influenced. A dying man, he is convinced that the Knight’s Templar held treasures which could heal all ills or grant immortal life. This has lead him to theories that medieval artists also knew the secrets and left clues in their artwork.

Back in Paris, Manuel Cassini feels drugged and confused as if he is suffering from amnesia, yet he is plagued with visions of incidents he cannot recognise. Cassini’s deep knowledge of the works of Dante make him a wanted man, but in this dangerous, twisted storyline there is more than one player wanting riches and power.

I was attracted to this book by the Knights Templar and I do enjoy the style of books of Scot Mariani which the tag line boasts this book emulates. I do think there is a good story-line within the writing, however for me it needs a little more work streamlining the writing. In places weak words water down the the suspense of the action, for instance the word “Suddenly” appears 92 times in the book. There are localised places where repetition of the same word is used for both sentence and paragraph starters, for instance “They”. Slimming down some of the sentences would make the action and main story-line more convincing, even at the end I wasn’t sure of the link between the artists and the Knights Templar, I got lost along the way.

The book is made up of lots of short chapters which jump back and forth in time, the technique is popular and makes good use of building of layers to the story-line, however for my own reading experience I found them to be too many and I was often left confused as to which was the main theme leading the story forward. There were also a couple of occasions where the author “head-hopped” mid chapter as to whose thoughts we were following which need sorting.

Over-all I liked the idea of the book, and for me if the book had another run through editing it could make it sharper, faster paced and easier to read.

Find a copy here from Amazon.co.uk or Amazon.com

I posted my review of this book on Amazon as part of #AugustReviews

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Devil’s Lair by David Wisehart

Devil's LairDevil’s Lair by David Wisehart

My rating: 3 of 5 stars

For me all the Latin (which I couldn’t read) and all the poetry broke up the story too much. I know it added to the feel and was helping to set scenes, but it made the story too dis-jointed. I was hoping for much more about the Knights Templar. I’ve read some interesting books about them in the past. I was sorry not to have enjoyed it more.

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