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Book Review

Book Cover

Four Horsemen of the Apocalypse Saga
Book 1
The Adversary (Hardback)


Author: James R. Bowman
Melrose Books
RRP: £18.99, US $25.45,
ISBN: 978 1 907040 08 5
Available 19 October 2009

The multiverse faces its most perilous times when the Adversary, the former right hand creature of Lucifer, decides that it is time to stop taking orders and start giving them. To this end he releases Fenris, the Dread Wolf, and sends forth his minions to strike down the guardians of the Earth, his plan, the total destruction of reality. Against this evil the immeasurably old race of the Absolutes, Death, War, Famine and Pestilence, turn towards the last two surviving Guardians hoping for a miracle, but both Guardians are deeply flawed. Tomas is a former government operative and a killer, Gwen a nobody from Santa Fe. Whilst one is sent into the bowels of hell the other searches for the first tree and upon the success of their missions the whole of creation hangs...

The Adversary by James R. Bowman is the first book in the new Four Horsemen of the Apocalypse Saga and a massive tome weighing in at 1028 pages.

It is difficult in these times for any author to get his work out there, let alone a new author, with such a massive first novel. Of course, large novels are not unusual for established authors as anyone who has read a Stephen King door stop or a book by Pete F. Hamilton, but it is a real gamble for an unknown author.

The bottom line is whether Bowman can create a work which will hold you through its long length and for the most part I would have to say that this is done quite successfully. The book is not without its faults, but then so few are.

Given the novel's premise, that creatures from mythology really exist and the quest element of the story, it would be easy to pigeon hole the story as fantasy. But this would be doing the author a disservice as the book successfully combines a thriller with science fiction, fantasy and an awful lot of philosophy, which will either intrigue the reader or put them right off, depending on your own personal choice. Bowman is careful to root his story in a contemporary reality before unleashing the full might of myth and planet spanning narrative.

Overall it’s a good first novel. In writing style and construction its the sort of thing that you would expect to see from a much more seasoned writer, my only concern is that with a limited print run the whole saga may not be completed. For fans of fiction which has something to say, The Adversary is well worth a punt.


Charles Packer

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