End Times Thriller
And yes, I am the VERY FIRST to blog about this newly-released book, Caldera. Get the book and spread the word!
After her service in the US Special Forces in Iran goes terribly wrong, Alicia just wants to move on with her new life as a civilian. She refuses to revisit the past, even for her old war buddy, Jake. But on the very night Jake shows up at the diner where Alicia works, she is viciously attacked. When she receives no justice, again, she and Jake take justice into their own hands. America must pay.
But are their new allies really allies? Are their enemies really enemies? What are the consequences when everyone does what is right in their own eyes?
Caldera is an End-Times thriller with a wealth of intriguing characters, each wrestling with their own inner demons in a world about to explode. The characters’ dialogue pops, especially the sassy Southerner, Sherwyn. I fell in love with the banter between several key characters, namely Mark and Ben. The memorable characters are a highlight of the novel. There are as many of them to keep track of as there as in Games of Thrones, but I am now totally invested in what becomes of each of them. The political intrigue of the book, as relationships form and break, is exciting and engaging.
Full disclosure here – the author Jason Pennington is a friend and the husband of my old college roommate. So while I can’t be 100% objective, I do have the advantage of knowing what is coming next in this series. It is so hard not to give spoilers. Let’s just say that while the violence level is higher than I usually read, it is completely there for a purpose. This book is not afraid to challenge the reader to look at the darkness in society and themselves. It is intended for mature audiences, but there is nothing gratuitous. And as the series moves along, you will understand a deeper message and symbolism behind everything, a truth made more beautiful because of the darkness that came before. Rarely will you find a series that is so gritty but offers such hope.
A behind-the-scenes detail I CAN tell you with no spoilers – Jason has the most fascinating way of outlining his novels as any writer I know. He used a computer program to illustrate key scenes and set them to music. Every time I visited there was a new music video to watch. Is it possible to get attached to characters out of context, just from seeing a picture? Absolutely. The action, poses, and music evoked tone and personally that made me want to know more. Jason did this for a full year before setting pen to paper. Would you call it a form of storyboarding? Book trailers? Any of you other writers out there use this method?