THE COMMUNION OF SAINTS: A THRILLER by Richard Stone is the first book of his Last Man thriller series. I found the story intriguing and the subterranean landscape entertaining, despite the fact that at first I had problems knowing where I was, distinguishing up from down, at times unable to tell who was saying what to whom. COMMUNION deals with the anguish of a man fighting the forces of change, his resistance on the road to belief, grace, salvation—whatever you want to call it. It deals with the agony of confusion.
The author tells the reader that the novel takes place in Grand Rapids. If so, it’s not the Grand Rapids I know. Matter of fact, apart from a rare nightmare and the odd hallucination, the story’s reality is not one with which I am familiar. But, okay, I thought, time to stretch the mind. So I picked up the book and soon could not put it down.
The story starts when Otto meets his friend, Thomas, in a bar. They bump into a weird cast of characters. Otto’s adventures begin.
Otto is overcome by, chased by, fights off wave upon wave of paranormal creatures, a huge cast of celestial beings who fight for the heart and soul of this man—angels, devils, super human men and women. They intrigue us with wings and scales and power. All the while, the reader wonders what’s going to happen to Otto. Which Otto, you might ask, for there are two—the Otto who has long been the “project” of his fire and brimstone friend, Thomas, and “Other Otto,” his erstwhile alter ego. Otto, it seems, is changing.
In his quest (or test), Otto revisits somewhat familiar territory now grown wild and distinctly other. But assuredly Otto is in an altered state of reality, a place called Underground. Being human, he is under the influence of devilish creatures. Along the way he meets former friends, new ones, and celestials—from seraphs to devils, all with supernatural powers. And he has guides—Constance (my favorite), Anna, Regina—and a father, Frank, who looks for him. Not only is the landscape Kafkaesque but the place itself is one of the main characters. Otto is constantly on the brink. In the end we find out that … but, no, I won’t spoil it for you.
THE COMMUNION OF SAINTS has a gripping storyline played out on a burnt-out stage, a set worthy of Orlando Furioso or Batman, but influenced by the traditional Judeo-Christian world view. It has a definite beginning, middle, and an end that will surprise. If you are a reader into paranormal thriller, you will love this book.
Presentation. There are numerous typos and this edition could use a proofreading scrub behind the ears. And the ebook formatting isn’t perfect. Sometimes typesetter marks are used, other times, not.
My Rating: 4 Stars
About the Author: Richard Stone is a writer of supernatural/psychological thrillers. He can be found Underground.
Out of appreciation to his readers and friends, the author will donate
20% of profits from his work to Dégagé Homeless Shelter of Grand Rapids.
THE COMMUNION OF SAINTS: A THRILLER
Publisher: ParaRealm (January 9, 2012)