Wednesday, December 11, 2019

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

The Demon Seekers by John Shors

‘The demon had kept her alive for a reason…’

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. He lives in Boulder, Colorado.

John has secured his place among popular American novelists of the decade with his imaginative new series THE DEMON SEEKERS 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, a challenge for any novel, but especially so in science fiction stories, which by nature challenge credibility. In this volume we first encounter Tasia - ‘Tasia awoke, the first morning of her imprisonment, and allowed herself a rare luxury. She cried. Floundering in self-pity, despairing at her situation, she kept her eyes closed – as if remaining in blackness would somehow save her from nearby horror. Within this darkness she shook and trembled, longing for her father, mother, and brother. Longing for Jerico. Despite the many difficulties of her life, she’d never known true loneliness. Even in her most profound moments of anguish, she’d always been able to turn to someone, to hold a hand and feel warmth and love. This support ahs allowed her to endure. But deep within the demons’ base, she was so far away from her loved ones that they didn’t seem to exist…’

In Book Two once again he invites us to the year 2171 and his series proceeds impressively. The synopsis captures the path of the book: ‘Earth, 2171.The War for Earth has raged for a century. Swept up in its currents, seventeen-year-old Tasia has fulfilled her quest to save her brother. But Tasia’s fate remains her foe. Imprisoned by the demons she’s vowed to seek out and destroy, Tasia finds herself at the edge of the world—alone and afraid. Tormented by her captors, she struggles to survive. In a desperate effort to escape, she forges a daring alliance with a fellow prisoner. Back in the ruins of what was once America, Jerico and Aki embark on a dangerous rescue mission. To reach Tasia, they must cross a vast wilderness, filled with both perils and possibilities. Pursued by demons as well as gangs of human outlaws, the companions press on. While captive, Tasia uncovers the demons’ plot to destroy Earth and summon their ship from deep space. Soon humanity will be no more. Burdened with this knowledge, Tasia faces old and new adversaries with rising strength. Her powers give her hope. And yet Tasia’s gifts endanger her far more than she realizes. Nothing is as it seems and the world is about to burn around her.’

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 series, one that pleads to become cinematic. 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.