Review by Simon Barrett of Blogger News Network
There are as many different writing styles as there are writers. Some meticulously develop their characters, while the plot sneaks stealthily up on you. Other writers prefer to put the plot first and let the characters develop along with the storyline.
There is no doubt in my mind that Paul Mark Tag belongs to the second group. He wastes not one word on character development, preferring to launch into the plot at a speed approaching Mach 1. Now don’t get me wrong, this is not a bad thing, it is just a writing style.
Prophecy has at its very heart a very interesting precept. The ability to foresee the future, some call it, a gift, some call it a curse. Set in the very near future (2009) Prophecy goes to work. An old safe is found on a construction site, it also happens to be the site of the great Johnstown flood of 1889. The town was destroyed, and its 2200 inhabitants met a watery grave when a sportsmans dam gave way. The only thing inside of this rusty old safe is a sealed bottle containing a letter. The letter was purportedly written by one of the Johnstown victims, Ms Augusta Schmidt. The disturbing aspect is that the letter was written prior to the flood, the day before to be exact, and it details her choice to stay and die with her family, rather than run for safety.
Since the late 1940’s the super powers, and some of the not quite super powers have expanded huge sums of money chasing the goal of ESP. He who owns the view of the future, owns the future, is the argument used.
Paul Mark Tag introduces us to a new explanation for the phenomenon, ESP is in the human genome. It is a rare naturally occurring mutation in the DNA. So rare, it may occur only once in every 200 million people. Prophecy is based on a plot line where both American and Russian scientists have discovered the gene mutation, and the ensuing battle between the interested parties to conquer the gene.
Our hero’s are Navy scientists Dr. Victor Mark Silverstein and his assistant Linda Kipling, neither of which are DNA experts, but rather meteorologists. They become the central focal point of the various groups when it seems like they hold the key to this strange ‘prophecy gene’. Rogue CIA operatives, a senator with Middle Eastern connections, and the very shady organization known as The Blade Of Sinai all become obsessed with owning the Prophecy Gene.
While the plot line sometimes lacks credibility, and the characters are ever so slightly over the top, don’t be put off. This book was designed to be a wild ride on the wings of escapism, and it certainly delivers. This is just the sort of novel to lose yourself in these dreary winter days.
Review by Charles Lesher of TCM Reviews
Worthy of a big publishing house, Prophecy is an excellent novel and Paul Mark Tag should be proud of his achievement. I look forward to his next book.
Prophecy starts with a girl, Augusta, placing a letter in her church safe. Moments later she and over 2,200 hundred others are swept away in the great Johnstown flood of 1889. From there, the story moves forward to 2009 with the discovery of a genetic mutation that somehow, it is not explained how, gives its bearer the gift of prophecy. Well of course, the government and others in power must have, or at least control, such a gift and the race is on. Sex, intrigue and some very cool spyware flesh out his story and bring his characters to life. Any more detail and the review will spoil the twists and turns of this well thought-out novel.
Overall, the plot is tight with only a few marginal moments, the biggest in my opinion, the hiding of a 38 revolver outside a major airport. Convenient for the hero as he returned from jetting across country but it might have been slightly more believable to have Silverstein call a friend to bring it to him, or swing by and pick it up on his way. But really, I nitpick. The story moves nicely and takes the reader on a wild ride through a techno thriller comparable to any of Tom Clancy’s later works. The only real negative is the ending, which I do not feel I can go into particulars without spoiling the book for everyone else. Nevertheless, I feel he should have gone ahead and knocked the legs from under religion’s prophets. It would have provided fertile ground for a sequel.
I found very few mechanical errors in the writing. The work is well edited and consistent, the characters easy to relate to, and the storyline plausible even if it is short the scientific details. I would reclassify the genre as techno thriller (90% thriller / 10% techno). I highly recommend Prophecy and predict that Mr. Tag’s next endeavor will succeed as well. We must now wait to see if my prophecy gene is working or not.
Review by Jenny Salyers for Front Street Reviews
…Paul Mark Tag’s second novel is a fast paced thrill ride of an adventure. The author makes use of his experience as a meteorologist with the Navel Research Laboratory to bring his readers an exiting story that takes a look into theoretical science and the consequences it can have on the world. I really enjoyed the realism and development of Prophecy’s plot and found myself savoring the book and trying to make it last longer. One thing I enjoyed was the fact that Silverstein and Kipling’s relationship as coworkers and friends is so developed. The author also does a wonderful job of bringing in the story elements that have been carried over from his first book Category 5 and explaining them in a way that doesn’t leave new readers confused, and also doesn’t bog down the plot. Prophecy was a wonderful introduction to a new author for me. I look forward to reading Category 5, and future books by the author. To read the entire review, please go to http://www.frontstreetreviews.com/Prophecy.html
Review by Maria Elmvang for Armchair Interviews
…Paul Tag has you neatly captivated from the very first page and efficiently manages to explain the whys and wherefores of DNA research without neither being too heavy-handed about it nor leaving the reader in the blank. By having Kipling ask the questions the reader would have wanted to, he lets Silverstein explain the theory as a natural part of the story.
Armchair Interviews says: Prophecy is an interesting and fast-paced novel that deserves recognition and will be enjoyed by all lovers of the mystery genre. To read the entire review, go to http://reviews.armchairinterviews.com/reviews/prophecy
Review by Jack Quick for bookbitch.com
…Fasten your seat belts and hang on. This one has a bit of everything and Tag manages to pull all the threads together nicely. To read the entire review, go to http://www.bookbitch.com/BOOK%20REVIEWS.htm
Review by Arline Chase, author and publisher
Paul Mark Tag has done it again! In PROPHECY the second of his series of meterological mysteries that began with CATEGORY 5, he addresses the possiblility of gene-carried psychic abilities? Could we all become psychic, thanks to genetic engeneering? Or could certain individuals be “reproduced” for purposes of governmental espionage?
Tag has a special talent for making characters ring true, and for keeping you on the edge of your seat.