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Kindle Edition eBooks Details
  • 05/2019
  • B07MGKCXC3
  • 225 pages
  • $4.99
An Artifact of Death (A Reverend Cici Gurule Mystery Book 3)
A botched execution. A reverend on the run. Can she solve the mystery before she's caught in the crosshairs? Reverend Cici Gurule went to the sacred Chaco Canyon in search of a sign. She's been offered a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity in a megachurch, but taking the position would mean abandoning her Southwestern home and the man she's grown to love as much more than a friend. She's so caught up in her thoughts that she doesn't realize when she stumbles upon a group of heavily armed operatives on the verge of an execution. Soon, Cici's dodging bullets and scaling mesas with the mysterious man she saved from certain death. With a little help from her twin sister's ghost and restless ancestral spirits, they venture deeper into the maze-like rocky terrain. But her new companion's deadly aim makes her wonder if she can afford to trust his side of the story. To make it out of the canyon alive, Cici must unearth the true story behind the man and a sacred Navajo artifact before the next bloodshed on sacred ground is hers.

Quarter Finalist

Plot/Idea: 9 out of 10
Originality: 10 out of 10
Prose: 9 out of 10
Character/Execution: 10 out of 10
Overall: 9.50 out of 10

Assessment:

Plot: “Wrong spot, wrong time” is a well-worn plot device, but what makes it work for this story is the suspenseful setup of the conflict between self (Cici’s religious Do-No-Harm vs. self-preservation) paired with the harsh New Mexico wilderness and the men who will stop at nothing to kill her. Adding to the suspense is Anton’s role and the question of whether he truly is a good guy. This is an action packed thriller pitting a wholly endearing reverend against nefarious international agents. 

Prose/Style: Written in a clear, distinct style, Padgett uses the prose to elicit tension and emotion and creates a tense, fast-paced story. Switching from Cici’s survival to Sam’s concerns for her safety creates a nice counterbalance to the overall prose.

Originality: Set against an international spy ring hoping to create unrest in the U.S. by stealing sacred artifacts from the American Southwest, Padgett introduces a fresh take on the spy genre. Adding Cici’s religious nature (Reverend Cici) sets this book apart from most other books in the genre.

Character Development: Being the third book in the series, the characters feel very fleshed out. They know their limitations, their desires, their hopes and loves. This is evident in how Cici reacts to having to kill a man and how she tries to come to terms with her feelings for Sam (and Sam for Cici). Cici’s ability to commune with her dead sister (as well as the spirits of the Ancient Chacoan) is somewhat of a stretch, but it is handled in a way that doesn’t seem overtly gimmicky.

Date Submitted: August 20, 2019

Formats
Kindle Edition eBooks Details
  • 05/2019
  • B07MGKCXC3
  • 225 pages
  • $4.99

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