Saturday, June 17, 2017

Review of "Power of Gods" by Nancy Madore

"Power of Gods" opens soon after the final events of the first book in the series, "The Hidden Ones." After predicting an imminent Armageddon, Asmodeus eludes the Raphaelians (Will, Gordon, and Clive) and disappears. However a mysterious formula on his computer and a one-way ticket to Alaska indicate that Asmodeus had been planning to go there.

Nadia Adeire and her Raphaelian colleagues think there might be a connection between Alaska's military research installations and Asmodeus' prediction. Certainly something is happening in Alaska. Amanda Fioretti, a seductive woman who works for Tactical Defense Mechanisms Research (TDMR) in Fort Greely, claims she's being stalked by an unseen presence.

Meanwhile, Gordon has secretly obtained the ring that captured (and contains) Ornias, a djinn who worked alongside Asmodeus to help construct the ancient Temple of Solomon. As before the story is told from several perspectives: Nadia and her associates want to locate and stop whatever may be about to cause Armageddon; Ornias tells tales about the ancient world, his somewhat disreputable past, and his relationship with Asmodeus; and Amanda is hounded by the djinn Lilith.

Before long Nadia, Will, Gordon, and Clive travel to Alaska to do some on-site investigation. They come to suspect that djinn control a number of people involved with potentially dangerous military research and hope that Ornias' information will help them locate these individuals. Meanwhile Amanda is possessed by Lilith and is forced to behave strangely and do unspeakable things. The description of Amanda's being possessed - especially the manner in which her 'soul' experiences it - was credible and eerie.

Nadia and her crew eventually discover what kind of research is being done in Alaska and the potential hazards of this work, a scenario that's not unrealistic in today's world. There's some lively personal interaction among the characters: Nadia and Will continue their love affair and verbal sparring; Amanda obsessively chases after her sexy co-worker Tommy Gerard; and severe friction develops among the Raphaelians when Gordon refuses to follow rules. The story kept me reading as I tried to figure out who was being controlled by djinn, what terrible event might be planned, and whether Nadia and the Raphaelians would be able to stop it.

On the negative side, the motivation for some of the Raphaelian's illicit and potentially disastrous actions - to help Nadia learn more about Asmodeus - seems implausible and Ornias' story isn't as compelling as that of Asmodeus and Lilith. Moreover, the behavior of the characters strikes some false notes: the dialog among Nadia and her friends, especially when they joke with each other, seems unnatural; and the characters are constantly gazing/staring at one another, their eyes and facial expressions being overused to denote emotions and reactions.

All in all it's a good story and I'm looking forward to following the saga in the third book of the series.

I received a free copy of this book in exchange for an honest review.

Rating: 3 stars

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