Saturday, April 23, 2016

T is for The Terminals:Spark by Michael F. Stewart

There is an afterlife. Christian Hell. Buddhist Naraka. Greek Tartarus. Mayan Xibalba, Haida Hetgwauge, Muslim Jahannam. All religions are right. And should the US government need information from one of their dead, the Terminals can send believers in to get it.
When the case file arrives from the Oval Office, the handler, Christine Kurzow, convinces someone of the appropriate beliefs to die early – surprisingly, even the terminally ill are reluctant to let go. Go figure. If there isn’t a military veteran in the database Christine must find a civilian replacement.
Next, Attila Liltay does his magic and creates a bond with the agent that will allow the dour psychic to talk to him while he’s dead.
Deeth sedates the terminal with propofol, An andenosine injection stops the heart and starts the clock.
This is for real. Under General F. Aaron the Terminals have stopped nuclear attacks, found lost submarines, and foiled bioterrorist plans all from Purgatory, their operations on the top floor of the NYC Veterans Hospital.
In Terminals: Spark, Lt. Col. Christine Kurzow, fresh from a failed suicide attempt after she cost 11 of her soldiers their lives, is recruited into the covert unit of Terminals as a handler. It's an easy sell. If she's really determined to die, it’s a chance to give her death meaning.
But her first case—convincing a monk to chase Hillar the Killer into the afterlife to find the location of a missing bus and the children it carried—has her wondering how to make a dead psychopath talk.
Christine must follow the clues sent back by the shotgun-toting monk, who tracks Hillar through the seven deeps of hell, so she can find eleven kids before it’s too late.
Maybe this time killing a man will give Christine a reason to live. 

My Review:

The Terminals pulled me in from the very beginning.  The combination of supernatural, action, suspense and mystery was skillfully woven together.  I enjoyed the authors take on how each persons religion determined their afterlife experience. The action kept the pages turning. The mystery and suspense kept me guessing up til the end. But they were put in in such a way as not to give the reader whiplash. 

My only complaint is I would liked to have gotten to know some of the characters better. The ending seemed to imply that there could be more books written in The Terminals world, but unless they are prequels I don't know if I'll get to find out more about some of them.   It didn't really draw away from the story itself. If anything it just made me want to read more. So while it was a disappointment not to get so know some of them better, it didn't kill the book itself. 

I will say the book has it's fair share of gore, lots of death, of course,  and to a lesser extent sex. So I'm not recommending it to anyone who's not 18+. But if you're looking for an interesting supernatural thriller I definitely recommend picking it up. 

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