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Tuesday, August 18, 2009

Review : Bleak History by John Shirley

Title : Bleak History
Author : John Shirley
Publisher : Pocket Books
Genre : Urban Fantasy
ISBN : 978-1416584124
Series : No
Rating : 3.5

From Amazon :


Subject: Gabriel Bleak. Status: Civilian. Paranormal skills: Powerful. Able to manipulate AS energies and communicate with UBEs (e.g. "ghosts" and other entities). Psychological profile: Extremely independent, potentially dangerous. Caution is urged....

As far as Gabriel Bleak is concerned, talking to the dead is just another way of making a living. It gives him the competitive edge to survive as a bounty hunter, or "skip tracer," in the psychic minefield known as New York City. Unfortunately, his gift also makes him a prime target. A top-secret division of Homeland Security has been monitoring the recent emergence of human supernaturals, with Gabriel Bleak being the strongest on record. If they control Gabriel, they'll gain access to the Hidden -- the entity-based energy field that connects all life on Earth. But Gabriel's got other ideas. With a growing underground movement called the Shadow Community -- and an uneasy alliance of spirits, elementals, and other beings -- Gabriel's about to face the greatest demonic uprising since the Dark Ages. But this time, history is not going to repeat itself. This time, the future is Bleak. Gabriel Bleak.

Review :

Gabriel Bleak has quite a few supernatural abilities that have distanced him from the people around him. He is able to create energy bullets do defend himself when in a bind, and can even see and talk to ghosts that have not passed to the After. He lives in New York City, and there are others like him, although they have their own specialies. These others are apart of a community of supernaturals, called the ShadowComm, and he's going to need their help to destroy the demonic forces set to take over the world.

Agent Lorraine Sarikosca is part of a top secret part of the government called the Cental Containment Authority, also known as the CCA. They're goal is to find supernaturals in the world, to contain them, and study to. They believe that the powers that these supernaturals wield is dangerous, and may be a harm to the United States. Her first job, to capture Gabriel Bleak. Can she do it?

At first it was difficult for me to get into this story, but I soon became curious as to what would happen to Gabriel Bleak. I kept getting sidetracked, whenever they would skip from his point of view to those of the government suits. I know that I needed to know their side of the story to grasp the whole concept, but I was just not a fan of their side of the story. All I wanted to know was how Gabriel Bleak came into his powers, and how Agent Lorraine Sarikosca was to fit into his life. I'm a sucker for a romance, and I smelled one brewing from the very start.

In a whole, I enjoyed this book, although it took me a little longer to read than most books do. I gave this book a rating of a 3.5, because I did very much enjoy the paranormal aspect, but couldn't seem to get over how the government was trying to control them. It seemed rather harsh, and cruel, to treat another race of peoplet that way, but I guess that is what we call prejudice. This is the first time I've read a book by John Shirley, and he has made a good impression on me with this novel. He is very good at describing the paranormal abilities of his characters, and it drew me in. This novel was action packed, and I'm hoping there will be a sequel, as I would love to know more about Gabriel Bleak and the Shadow Community.

I'd like to personally thank Sarah Reidy of Pocket Books for allowing me to read and review a copy of this book. It was a pleasure to have been one of those few to be apart of the blog tour for this title, and I look forward to working with both Reidy, and Pocket Books in the future.

This book was apart of the August Reading Challenge.