|Placebo by Steven James|
Jevin Banks is an illusionist with a successful stage show, a wife, and twin sons. Until tragedy lays him bare.
Placebo opens with a first chapter that is so painful to read, I kept having to remind myself that it wasn't real. The 2nd person voice enhances the agony. This experience is so vivid, so raw, that even the character living through it needs a way to distance himself.
Despite the fact that we meet Jevin Banks at his lowest point, the story that unfolds is not depressing. And it is not a particularly gruesome story. Don't get me wrong, this is Steven James after all! His bad guys are creepy. But while I usually need to leave the lights on and only read his books when I'm in a safe place, Placebo's plot kept me turning pages well into the night and left me eager for the next experience.
I never give away the plot when I write a review, but here are a few teasers for you.
1. Placebo deals with quantum physics and entanglement theory, but you don't need a Ph.D. to follow the plot. If you ever read something you don't understand, don't worry. None of the characters in the story fully understand it either. That's the point. Just keep reading.
2. The secondary characters are awesome. We meet everyone from a conspiracy theorist with a thing for cheese to a brilliant computer security expert with a wandering eye. Trust me, you're going to love them.
3. The best fiction deals with questions that we all struggle with. Placebo asks some tough ones. How do we go on when people we love make horrible mistakes? What's the point of getting up in the morning? How powerful is prayer and does it really work?
4. The very best fiction asks tough questions and doesn't leave you depressed. Placebo is some of the very best fiction out there.
Get it. Read it. Experience it.
Available November 2012 at your favorite bookseller from Revell, a division of Baker Publishing Group.
The super fine print: I received a copy of this book in exchange for my honest review. All opinions are my own.