The Darkness of Strangers by C. William Giles
In a near future where the lines between good and evil are as thin as ever, C. William Giles creates a world complete with enthralling and interweaving stories. As the novel opens, we are introduced to main characters Elisabeth Ravenscroft, Abigail Haldane, and Balthazar Reich. When a flaming creature suddenly falls from the sky, the events of Giles’ novel begin to take their shape: Balthazar orders his cronies to remove the creature’s wings, Detective Ravenscroft begins her investigation of the mysterious “man,” and Abigail is called to the hospital to heal him. When the purple-eyed creature escapes, it becomes a game of tracking him down for some, and keeping him safe for others. As word begins to spread about this fallen man, readers are let in on the relationships between each of the characters. When the status of the elite falls as we know it, evil in the form of Balthazar finds himself in control. With a hand in the roles of many of the citizens, he creates a line of employees that essentially work to continue his vision. Ravenscroft is revealed to be the daughter of Balthazar, while Abigail works in his castle with patients of his choosing. With his control, we find that Balthazar’s goal is to remove the threat of this creature. On a night when Abigail is in danger, however, the creature comes to her rescue, revealing himself to be an angel who has been watching over Abigail. With a new distinction drawn for Abigail and Azriel, the angel between the overall good and the epitome of evil, the two decide that they must remove the threat of Balthazar. In events that involve the remainder of those under the control of Balthazar, Giles’ story follows the struggle to destroy Balthazar Reich.
Interwoven with various characters, thorough histories, and action throughout, C. William Giles efficiently creates a story that draws in readers and immerses them into the minds and thoughts of the characters. With backgrounds to the characters that are revealed throughout the story, the development of each character begins to enrich the story and the meanings behind the actions. The information that is provided as to the background of the current, near-future world also provides the history needed to understand the story as it is presented. The voices of the characters are all distinct from each other, and each one has their own independent storyline, in addition to the one linked to each of the other characters. The only trait that is lacking or sub-par in the novel is that of the grammar of the author, which is sometimes less than perfect; otherwise, the novel is creative and entertaining, and is sure to draw the readers into the world of good versus evil in such a modern time, especially as it is a breath of fresh air from the typical and numerous post-apocalyptic novels of today.
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