I’m always a touch wary when reading a book, the title of which includes the words “part one”, having been left hanging on many occasions by infuriating and sometimes ridiculous cliffhangers. However, this is not one of those books, I’m pleased to say; I don’t think I’m spoiling it in any way by saying that “Conviction” is satisfyingly self-contained, whilst leaving a tantalising hint at the bigger picture of the series generally – as Marcene says: “A storm is coming”, and you do indeed sense this throughout the book and at the conclusion of this instalment; something more grand and something menacing is definitely brewing in the background, if not yet ready to reveal itself.
If not particularly outstanding for any reason, “Conviction” is certainly an entertaining actioner, formulaic, in the usual three acts, with all the elements you would expect from that: a tough bad guy, sinister high-level corruption, a vulnerable protectee (or three or four) and an elusive link to a threatening past. Add to this the spectre of a deadly super-villain with epic (and surely terrible) plans, and you have a pretty entertaining book, in the vein of Childs or Koontz, which is definitely worth a read. “Conviction” is action-packed in all the right places, yet timed and paced well; so well, in fact, as to incorporate its plot, sub-plots, and backstories, all within an enjoyable 170 pages. Add to this an ensemble of genuinely layered and thought-provoking characters, whom Gill knows well, and you get a lot packed in to this relatively short book without overkill. The action scenes are rousing and satisfying set-pieces, and the moments in between are genuinely poignant; despite the machine-like persona of the principle, Cane, you do find yourself empathizing with him for that very reason.
Gill is a good author, with a professional approach to fiction writing, whom I wish well. His addition of the optional free download of a couple of short stories, to enhance the backstories of two of its main characters, is a nice idea, which I liked a lot; executed well, it doesn’t come off as a gimmick, but as a great little bonus, which adds to the book. Hats off to him for crafting (and crafting well) a promising and engaging series, and a strong start with this instalment. If you like action thrillers with a slightly futuristic, Crichton-esque twist, I strongly recommend Dwayne Gill.
Part thriller, part sci-fi, this futuristic novel, Written By Blood, Part One: Conviction, by Dwayne Gill, will hold your attention from beginning to end. Gill knows how to weave a compelling, suspenseful tale, and make you wonder if some of the somewhat sci-fi components of the story could ever come to be.
Set in 2023 through 2028, it is a very different world from the one we know today. Guns as we know them are all but gone, replaced by E-guns that will fire only by the person whose fingerprints match the gun’s registered owner. Cars are almost all driverless. Everything is electronic. DNA can be manipulated.
The main character, Cane, and many other baby boys, were taken from their mothers at birth. They were then raised to be devoid of emotion, sympathy, or empathy, and trained to be human killing machines who would follow orders without question. Did someone tamper with their DNA? Were some kind of devices implanted in these men when they were young boys? Or were they simply brainwashed?
When the unexpected experience of saving a kidnapped girl leads Cane to feel emotions he never experienced, he begins to question his superiors. As the most highly skilled assassin on the planet, Cane refuses to execute an American businessman who is cradling his child in his arms. He knows the man deserves a fair trial for his crimes, and walks away. Thus begins Cane's conviction that something evil is going on in our government; and that something is terribly wrong.
The evil goes right to the top of parts of the government, and Cane decides to set things right – to see the corrupt officials removed from power. Others of his trainee cohort have also begun to question things, and Cane recruits them to help root out those working with the Russians to create a “New America”.
If you love a good thriller with a lot of action, violence, and a sci-fi slant, you will love Written By Blood, Part One: Conviction. There are two prequels to this book: Cane’s Detour and Daniel’s Darkness. I have not read them, but I’d bet they are just as compelling.
What Makes This Book Reviewer Grumpy?
The usual mistakes: consistently referring to people as “that” rather than “who”, as in “the man that….” Using “bring” and “brought” rather than “take” and “taken” (things are brought here, but are taken there). Some punctuation errors with commas and apostrophes, and misplacement of the word “only” within sentences.
If your particular taste is nonstop, breathtaking, action thrillers with tuned-up science in a near-futuristic setting; and if you also enjoy conspiracy theory dilemmas; take a look right here. This novel will blow you out of the water, because it is jampacked full with all of that. I hardly took a breath during my reading. Just whenever I thought something had been straightened out, I was wrong...more action, more breathtaking suspense; and that reader's hook! Totally awesome! (Tragic, yet awesome) And the series rolls on!
I reviewed a digital copy generously provided by the author at no cost, obligation, or remuneration. I opted to review this title.