Wednesday, January 8, 2020

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

The Demon Seekers by John Shors

‘Rushing ahead, into the future, without ever looking up’

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 - 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, UNBOUND, and his climactic trilogy, THE DEMON SEEKERS. He lives in Boulder, CO. 

John has secured his place among popular American novelists of this century with his trilogy THE DEMON SEEKERS as he stepped into the science fiction, post-apocalyptic genre and immediately demonstrated that he has the gift for this challenging realm! While his other books painted history, these novels jump into the future – a future we hope will never happen, but could… One of the reasons these novels work 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 final installment of the trilogy the central character Tasia, is in Osaka Japan - ‘The submarine arrived at the port city of Osaka just before midnight. The moon, low on the horizon, joined the starlight and distant fires to faintly illuminate an eerie, surreal landscape. Most striking was the sight of vast container ships that lay on their sides partially sunken and marooned. One vessel had settled straight down to the bottom, and its exposed top deck held hundreds of once-new cars, which stretched out in tidy lines. Beyond the ships, massive cranes rose skyward, frozen in time like the broken, skeletal fingers of a steel giant. Across the bay, a towering Ferris wheel tilted toward the water, as if eager to spin one final time. The city’s buildings, set farther inland, served as mausoleums – each marking the resting place of the men and women who had labored within…Tasia studied the sights before her…’

Book Three remains in the year 2171 and the synopsis captures the path of the book: ‘Earth, 2171: In a matter of days, the War for Earth will end. As her enemies plot to destroy her planet, seventeen-year-old Tasia must confront her darkest fears while trying to gather the last great human army. Though her powers have grown, so too has the determination of the demons who hunt her. Assailed by human detractors and her own doubts, Tasia struggles to stay one step ahead of her foes. In a desperate attempt to force a decisive battle, she resolves to make a final stand in the ruins of a once-beautiful city. While Tasia is inspired by her surging feelings for Jerico, she remains unaware of the looming danger of betrayal. Hope carries her forward, but hate threatens everyone she loves. The demons gather. Their ship approaches from across the universe. And Tasia must finally decide whether to run from her destiny or to embrace it, whether to risk nothing or everything. The fate of humanity rests in her hands.’

Completing reading the final volume of this trilogy is both exhilaratingly satisfying – but also is tinged with some regret that the saga is finished. 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. THE DEMON SEEKERS is an exceptional trilogy, 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.