My rating: 4 of 5 stars
Received for review from Amazon Vine
The Flamekeepers (Thomas & Mercer 2015) is the story of a doomsday cult that might be headed into dangerous territory. Alecia Motley, a member, warns the FBI and they call on former SEAL Lukasz Gardocki to infiltrate the group and see what the real goals are. Lukasz agrees because he carries ongoing guilt that he couldn’t save the life of Alecia’s brother who was a former SEAL. What he finds when he gets there is a mixture of well-intentioned, hard-working people and a devious leadership group that is too secretive for Lukasz’s instincts to trust. When he finds out their real purpose, he wonders if he will escape with his life saving Alecia.
Flamekeepers is written by J. Gregory Smith, former Amazon Breakthrough Novel Award quarter finalist (ABNA is no longer a contest) and author of the Paul Chang Mysteries series. Smith is an excellent storyteller with interesting characters. What they lack in complexity, he makes up for in their true voices and honest interactions with each other. It didn’t take long before I was rooting for Lukasz and Alecia and a host of other supporting actors, hoping they would come out of this thriller in one piece.
Where Smith had trouble was in his plotting. Though well-paced with lots of action, as it approached the climax, several spots were unbelievable. The reasons Smith gave for the characters’ actions didn’t make sense which left me wondering what was really going on. Luckily there were just a few of these (though at critical moments), and Smith recovered with an excellent surprise ending.
Overall, a good read from an up-and-coming new author. I look forward to watching his career develop.
If you would like to purchase this book from Amazon, click the link below:
More thriller book reviews:
Jacqui Murray is the author of the popular Building a Midshipman, the story of her daughter’s journey from high school to United States Naval Academy. She is the author/editor of dozens of books on integrating tech into education, webmaster for six blogs, an Amazon Vine Voice book reviewer, a columnist for Examiner.com and TeachHUB, Editorial Review Board member for Journal for Computing Teachers, monthly contributor to Today’s Author and a freelance journalist on tech ed topics. You can find her book at her publisher’s website, Structured Learning.