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Robert Italia
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Neil Shubin, Marc Cashman
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Faces in the Fire

Faces in the Fire - T.L. Hines The author does an interesting thing with this book by numbering the chapters in the order that they happened even though the book doesn't read chronologically. The chapters are numbered 34, 15, 40, 16, etc. Frankly, I think it would have made for a better story if he would have told it chronologically. Then again, I think it's just my personality to like to read a book in order instead of out of order. If you're presented with puzzle pieces, sometimes you can't see the whole picture if the puzzle pieces aren't actually put together. That's not to say that it's a bad book. It's just to say that it didn't immediately all come together for me at the end. And as I started to put the pieces together days later, I think I found some discrepancies (like the dead man that didn't die).

Also, this book is from a Christian publisher, so you'd think the author would attribute the strange things that happened in the story to God, but he attributed it to nothing. Besides, I'm not sure anyone would think some of the supernatural powers would come from God (if that's what the author is implying by using a Christian publisher). Or maybe I'm just too logical to "get" the supernatural stuff in the book. I should probably stick to other forms of fiction.

That said, the story is interesting. It has enough bizarre things going for it to keep up my interest level. A lucky number is passed along on a napkin from one character to the next, and with it comes extremely good luck and the intense image of a catfish. One character is a man who's lost his memory but who can hear ghosts that haunt dead people's clothing. Another character's occupation is making money through spam emails and identity theft (this seems to be a common theme in novels this year). Another character is cursed with killing innocent people through a simple touch. And yet another character is a tattoo artist with "dead blood" (whatever that means).

While the author is a good writer and there are interesting elements to the story, it just didn't really sing for me. Like I said, maybe it would have been better to be chronological. It's not as if there were any secrets to hide that wouldn't have been just as interesting revealed chronologically.

Note: While I critique both purchased and free books in the same way, I'm legally obligated to tell you I received this book free through the Amazon Vine program in return for my review. Blah blah blah.