Welcome to the latest review on my blog, westu hal and well met. I do hope that you are staying safe and well and reading as much as you can.
Welcome to my stop of the Storytellers on Tour blog tour of The Faith Machine by Tone Milazzo, this is day three of this tour and what a great tour it has been so far! Here is the link for you to check out the other awesome bloggers so far and what they thought of this book and make sure you stop by on this tour for more content. I have to offer my thanks to the brilliant team at Storytellers on Tour for this opportunity once again.
Before we get in to my review, here is the premise of the book:
Welcome to the dangerous, clandestine world of ESPionage. Welcome to The Strip, where operatives on the fringe command teams of ‘Cards’: Agents cursed with subtle, specialized, and sometimes sloppy psychic powers. Dr Ken Park, Korean-American psychologist and spy, dares to lead six of these Cards. Together, they tackle esoteric threats the Department of Homeland Security cannot.
Park takes his team to Africa to retrieve the Faith Machine. Built by the Soviets to turn prayers into suffering, the psychotronic device fell into the hands of a demented warlord. Tragically, the mission fails and the madman slaughters hundreds of innocents while the machine burns.
They return to the States in disgrace, and into an ambush by the mysterious and brutal Casemen. Cut off from command and each other, the scattered agents rush to their safe house in the west. While spy agencies from around the world want retribution for the catastrophe in Africa. Park’s team outplays enemies left and right, while uncovering the true threat. There’s another Faith Machine, one destined to bring hell on earth.
Putting it simply, this was a great read for me. I love stories about spys, espionage and clandestine operations, but in this story the agents have an edge, and things are very different. This was an interesting take on a Noir esque story, Tone juggles complex and important themes such as the dangers of technology, faith and how it can be created and mankind and it’s arrogance.
This is however a spy story done right (as far as I am concerned), it is brisk complex tale and you are invited on to a globe trotting tour as a reader as you are swept in to world that Tone has envisioned. It has a large and diverse cast of government agents, who all have their own and unique voice and take on events but they are different. They are all special, these are “Cards” people gifted with psychic powers while also suffering with varying mental disorders.
I loved how they are introduced in the book, you get a page of their file and the opinion held about them. Their powers range from Telekinesis, precognition, enhanced reflexes and various other powers, they are led by the charismatic Dr Park, a doctor of psychiatry and a proud Korean. They form one highly effective team, but can be dysfunctional with everything that affects them which can lead to some interesting and dangerous scenarios.
The book itself flows, the story presented by Tone is crisp, fast paced with short chapters making this a nice simple read. The action would split between varying perspectives, making the book very exciting and tense, particularly the scene where the team are in Africa. A technique that I enjoyed is viewing the same scene through different characters, giving the reader a fully rounded perspective on what is going on. That leads me on to my next point, you are drip fed in this book, the action unfurls quickly but the story slowly and when it does all come together it’s brilliant.
This was a refreshing read for me, every page was important for the story, you will meet some great but dysfunctional characters and prepare to enter a world where not all is as it seems. I really enjoy thriller books, they bring me back to earth and this was entertaining all the way from the beginning to the end. It was a good story and I am curious to see where Tone goes with this one in book 2.
That’s all from me on this one, if you fancy trying something that is a little bit different then check this one out. Thrillers like this one are refreshing and interesting reads.
Tone Millazo is the author of Picking up the Ghost, The Faith Machine and the ESPionage Role Playing Game.
Stories have always been Tone’s first love. When the first hunter told another about the one the one who got away, stories are what make us human. Stories lead to understanding. Fiction, religion, biographies, gossip, gaming and history, it all goes in to the slow cooker and out come stories.
To those ends Tone’s been around, professionally speaking. Marine, taxi driver, teacher, assistant to scientist and coder. This breadth of experience has given Tone a little knowledge about a lot of things, good and bad.
He lives in San Diego with his wife Melissa Milazzo (author of Time is a flat circle) and two dogs, all of whom are more capable than he is.
Connect with Tone via these links