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Book Review: Hidden Elements by Michael Bolan

Book Review: Hidden Elements by Michael Bolan

It's Book Review Wednesday, and I'm pleased as punch to bring you the Book 2 in the Devil's Bible Series. The first book, Sons of Brabant, was one of the very first books I gave a 5-star rating to, and the second book in the series is a worthy successor indeed!

Hidden Elements

It is 1646 and the Thirty Years’ War is raging. While Europe teeters on the brink of annihilation, the mysterious cabal known only as The Rapture enters the final apocalyptic stage of their plan to bring about the Second Coming of Christ. HE cover web Only the Sons of Brabant, and their bawdy Irish allies, have the skill and daring to stop them. But first, the companions part ways, each seeking a piece of the puzzle that has set Europe aflame. For they must gather and destroy the Seals of the Devil's Bible before the Rapture can unleash their cataclysmic force. Whoever holds the Seals controls the future of the planet... Can Willem, Isabella and Leo put an end to their brother’s madness, or will Reinald achieve his perverted goal, destroying mankind in the process?

My Review: 4.5 Stars

One of the things I loved about the first book was the fact that it was mostly military fiction, with the emphasis on the military tactics used in the skirmishes/battles of the Sons of Brabant. In this book, there is just one or two small battles, so the story was missing the military element that made the first book so enjoyable. There is a bit more romantic drama than the first book. There is nothing wrong with it, but I just felt that some of it detracted from the awesome action of the story. It could have focused on the sibling relationship without introducing a love interest for the female protagonist. For many readers, it will be something they enjoy A LOT, but those scenes lost my interest. As for the rest, the story was AWESOME. It went from military fiction to more of a classic fantasy adventure--a search for the Four Seals that was incredibly creative. The story was very well-written and absolutely enjoyable. The added characters of the Irish Fianna warriors made it so much better, as it gave us more people to focus on than the three siblings. On the flip side, it did detract from what I thought was the core element of the book: the relationship between the two brothers and their sister. Action scenes: awesome. Historic elements: awesome. Intellectual/philosophical discussions: awesome. Character development: good. Description of settings and locations: awesome. All in all, an EXCELLENT book!

Here's a Taste:

The noise woke the entire household. Part wail, part bellow, it was a bestial sound, a sound of searing agony. It echoed for several long minutes through the long corridors of the luxurious manor house, more palace than hunting lodge, until servant and master alike were left cowering, convinced that the End of Days was truly upon them. Such was the fear engendered by the screams that not a soul moved to investigate their source. The hellish noise disappeared as suddenly as it had started and Reinald, Duke of Brabant, opened his eyes to find that he hadn’t been transported to some nether hell; his chamber was exactly as it had been when he had retired the previous evening. Staggering to his feet, he lifted the water basin from the nightstand and upended it over his head. The cool water helped bring him back to his senses and he stood up, shaking his long chestnut hair back out of his eyes. He did not stop to dress, but rushed out into the corridor in his underclothes, pausing only to grab his pistol and beltknife. The ornately-panelled hallway was silent, thick carpets soft under his feet as he ran towards Janssens’ room. Thinking that such a noise could only be divinely, or infernally, inspired, the God-touched priest was likely involved. His frantic pounding on the door was met with silence, so with a strength born of desperation, he kicked open the door and rushed into the cleric’s chambers. The room was a mess, as if a wild beast had been loosed. Furniture was scratched and broken, lamps lay toppled, their oil seeping into the expensive carpets. The bedsheets were strewn across the floor. On the bed, Corneille Janssens lay flat on his back, unmoving, his mouth frozen in a deathly rictus. His eyes stared fixatedly towards the ceiling, or rather they would have done, had they still been in his head. Instead, his eye sockets were two pools of blood, rivulets of which trickled down the cleric’s cheeks onto the bed. Reinald stopped still, stunned by the violence of the scene. As he moved closer to the prone visionary, he fell to his knees and retched the meagre contents of his stomach. For clutched firmly in each of the cleric’s bloodied hands was an unseeing eyeball.

About the Author:

It took Michael Bolan over two decades of running in the corporate ratrace to realise that all he actually did was tell stories. There was no Damascene revelation for Bolan which caused him to pen his first work of fiction, "The Sons of Brabant". An avid reader, he simply felt that he could do as good a job as many of the authors he read and decided to put his money where his mouth was. Living and working in many countries left him with smatterings of a dozen languages and their stories, and his love for history focused his ideas on the Thirty Years War, the most destructive conflict that the continent has ever seen. Now living in Prague (for the second time), Michael brings alive the twisted alleys of the 17th century and recreates the brooding darkness of a fractured Europe, where no-one was entirely sure who was fighting whom. Michael writes while liberally soused in gin, a testament to Franz de le Boë, who was mixing oil of juniper with neat spirit while the thirty Years War raged around him. Find the book on Amazon: Read Michael's thoughts on his website: Connect with him on Facebook: Tweet at him: @michaelbolan225