Wednesday, November 13, 2019

Book Review: 'The Demon Seekers: Book One' by John Shors

The Demon Seekers by John Shors

The Hunter becomes the Hunted

Colorado author John Shors has the gift. It is as simple as that. In BENEATH A MARBLE SKY he created a stunning love story woven through the interstices of the 16th century Hindustani building of the Taj Mahal, one of the Seven Wonders of the world, a place on earth where Paradise touches mortals in a magnificent mausoleum for the beloved wife of the Emperor. Not only a symphonic novel of surpassing craftsmanship and beauty, that novel is also a book that informs the reader about the differences between Muslim and Hindu religions, about the Persian Empire, about customs of caste, of worldviews, of architecture, and of the myriad flavors of a land too few of us understand. He continued this quality of writing in BESIDE A BURNING SEA, DRAGON HOUSE, THE WISHING TREES, CROSS CURRENTS, TEMPLE OF A THOUSAND FACES, and UNBOUND.

John has secured his place among popular American novelists of the decade with this imaginative new novel THE DEMON SEEKERS (promised to be a series) as he steps into the science fiction, post-apocalyptic genre and immediately demonstrates that he has the gift for this challenging realm! While his other books painted history, this novel jumps into the future – a future we hope will never happen, but could… One of the reasons this novel works so well is John’s always high quality of prose – words that make everything visual, as in the opening sentences: ‘Tasia had dreamed of aliens, or as everyone has always called them, demons. They’d descended toward her from all directions – winged, evil, and cunning. Forged from heat and hate, the demons had torn into her loved ones, and no matter how hard she tried, Tasia could neither move to save them nor block their screams from piercing her mind, her soul. As she writhed in the darkness, their cries echoed within her, lingering even as tears rolled down her cheeks, awakening her.’

With THE DEMON SEEKERS John invites us to the year 2171 and his series opens impressively. The synopsis captures the path of the book: ‘It’s been a century since hostile aliens turned Earth into a prison for the worst of their own kind, nearly wiping out humanity in the process. Seventeen-year-old Tasia is a Seeker—a human survivor who hunts down the cruel creatures that conquered and destroyed her world. From hidden bases within the ruins of scorched cities, she and others like her have become accustomed to a life of violence and terror. When Tasia’s brother becomes ill and her family is ripped apart, she must leave all she knows in a desperate attempt to save him. Haunted by her failure to protect her loved ones, and burdened by powers she doesn’t yet understand, Tasia finds herself on a daring journey she never intended to take … with someone she never intended to care about. As the War for Earth rages, Tasia’s path leads her across a wounded, imperiled planet. Aided by unexpected companions, she heads toward her greatest fears—unaware that she’s no longer the hunter, but the hunted, and that her fate has become her foe.’

It is refreshing to be present when an author takes a step in a new direction, and John Shors once again proves he is a master of his craft. This is an exceptional novel, one that pleads to become cinematic, and is a strong beginning of a new series. Highly recommended. 

Editor's note: This review has been published with the permission of Grady Harp. Like what you read? Subscribe to the SFRB's free daily email notice so you can be up-to-date on our latest articles. Scroll up this page to the sign-up field on your right.