I received the book The Lore of Prometheus by Graham Austin-King to read and review as part of the #BBNYA2020 competition and for the BBNYA tours organised by @The_writeReads tours team. All views and opinions expressed are my own and in my own words.
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JOHN CARVER has three rules: Don’t drink in the daytime, don’t gamble when the luck has gone, and don’t talk to the dead people who come to visit.
It has been almost five years since the incident in Kabul. Since the magic stirred within him and the stories began. Fleeing the army, running from the whispers, the guilt, and the fear he was losing his mind, Carver fell into addiction, dragging himself through life one day at a time.
Desperation has pulled him back to Afghanistan, back to the heat, the dust, and the truth he worked so hard to avoid. But there are others, obsessed with power and forbidden magics, who will stop at nothing to learn the truth of his gifts. Abducted and chained, Carver must break more than his own rules if he is to harness this power to survive.
I will be perfectly honest and say I wasn’t sure what to expect from this novel. I was stepping out of my usual comfort zone, which I have to say is good to do occasionally. This was certainly one of those times. I was engaged in the story and John Carver from the first page. An ex soldier with PTSD, down on his luck, he had never forgiven himself for what he saw as letting his squad down, he felt he was to blame for their deaths, I guess a part of survivors guilt. He would suddenly see the dead bodies of his friends except to him they weren’t dead, they had the injuries on them that had killed them, but they kept talking to him. One of his rules was to not talk back to them but occasionally he makes a slight slip up and talks back, at times this can be at the wrong time and can be amusing or embarrassing. Giving him some very odd looks.
Now John is in trouble, he owes a shady character £15,000 and it has to be paid back like yesterday, how can he get quick money. His only option is to go see a friend McCourt who works for Paragon, to see if he can get some work. The work offered involves going back to Kabul, not ideal, but he needs the money and it’s a babysitting job how hard can that be?
The story is told mainly from two points of view so one we have John the other character is Mackenzie, she has been working out in Kabul in a medical clinic. But when we meet her she has been captured and is strapped naked to a chair, why? Who by? What do they want?
I was hooked, completely engrossed, as the story progressed Mackenzie was being tortured, starved, but what for? She seemed to have no idea. I loved her strength and sassiness, she was a tough cookie and wasn’t going to give in to these people, no matter what they did, she just didn’t understand what they wanted from her.
John had been in the SRR when in the army slightly different to the SAS that everyone has heard of, SRR is Special Reconnaissance Regiment technically they are ghosts, they pass by leaving no trace at all. His job in Kabul is to assess and upgrade the security of a government minister Gharfour, on arrival he’s not exactly impressed with the things in place. Equally the ministers head of security Mujib isn’t keen on John. He clearly doesn’t want him there. But is there more going on with Gharfour than John was first told, especially when John finds himself out of the loop for an evening event planned, especially when some of the guests are known for drug dealing.
As John goes to his room to catch up on some sleep before starting his job, he finds a phone stashed in his bag, with a message, who is it from?, he didn’t put the phone there, the instructions are clear. But it’s an old phone no GPS so it wouldn’t be able to locate him. The contact on the phone is known as Artemis, but what does she want?
In the meantime Mackenzie is still being tortured but is talking to another prisoner through the walls, when she asks what they want he tells her miracles. She has no idea what is meant by this. But someone enters her cell and places a lit candle in front of her. Then a voice comes through asking her to tell him about the fire. Mackenzie still has no clue. Except we learn of a fire that happened when Mackenzie was nine she was the only survivor her parents and sister had all perished but somehow Mackenzie had survived, there had been a circle round where she had sat. But she had put all of this out of her mind as it was too painful. It was the reason she had moved away. Now these people seem to think she has some sort of power over fire.
Does this not sound interesting, but it gets better and better, as John meets with Artemis what does she want? Can Mackenzie survive her ordeal, when she is forced to watch and endure things she believes she cannot control. Later John finds himself in a cell like Mackenzie’s but why?
What powers do these people have that someone wants to gain knowledge of? Can Mackenzie and John work together? Can they escape the prison cells they find themselves in? Why is John still seeing and communicating with his dead regiment?
I found myself absolutely glued to this book, rooting for John and Mackenzie to survive, to find out who was behind everything. The story is fast paced, the tension ratchets up and the more you read the more you desperately want to know.
I don’t know if there is going to be more books with these characters in, it would be great if there was as this could just be the beginning of what could be a brilliant series that I for one would definitely read and I’m sure there are thousands of others who read this type of urban fantasy.
This book has it all, great characters, some fun moments, some real badass moments, action, thrills, everything a reader wants to keep them engaged throughout. I wouldn’t hesitate in recommending this book to anyone.
A definite 5⭐️ read for me as I absolutely loved it.
ABOUT THE AUTHOR
Graham Austin-King was born in the South of England and weaned on broken swords and half-forgotten spells. A shortage of these forced him to consume fantasy novels at an ever increasing rate, turning to computers and tabletop gaming between meals.
He experimented with writing at the beginning of an education that meandered through journalism, international relations, and law. To this day he is committed to never allowing those first efforts to reach public eyes.
After roaming across England and Canada he settled once again in the north of England surrounded by a seemingly endless horde of children. The Riven Wyrde Saga is his first completed trilogy and draws on a foundation of literary influences ranging from David Eddings to Dean Koontz.
Visit his blog at http://grahamak.blogspot.co.uk where you can sign up for email updates and be the first to hear about new releases.
Facebook: http://on.fb.me/1pMyWmK he loves to chat with readers.