3 out of 4 stars
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When diving into the first few chapters of The Hand Bringer by Christopher J. Penington, it can be hard to put your finger on the pulse of the novel. Is it going to be a cop drama, supernatural thriller, or an action-packed military type book? As you progress through the story, you find out that it is all of this and more. The blending of genres in this book make for a wild ride full of action and adventure. You can’t deny that this book is unique, but the mix of genres makes it difficult to classify and rate, due to so much going on in one storyline.
The story starts with the main character, a cop named Peter Hadrian, responding to a seemingly routine disturbance call. But when he arrives, he is attacked by a subhuman creature and things start to become anything but routine. Badly injured in the fight, Peter is whisked away in an ambulance that is quickly intercepted by a military helicopter. As the story progresses, the reader is introduced to the Apocalypse Suppression Administration, or ASA for short. Peter goes on to find out that he has been chosen for a special mission, one that relates to vampires and medieval history. With a plan to eradicate the beginning of vampirism that has become an increasing threat in the modern world, the ASA sends Peter, along with a group of men prepped for the mission, back to medieval Romania. In Romania, the group of men must find a way to kill the vampires that exist and stop the spread of vampirism, which gets them entangled in wars, romance, and betrayal.
With The Hand Bringer fitting into so many different genres, it is hard to give it a rating. On some levels, this book can work for certain people, while on other levels it may not be a great choice for some readers. Personally, I felt that the story got going too quickly, and I would have liked to get to know the important characters a bit more. Not getting acquainted with the characters made it hard to like and understand them, especially as more characters were introduced throughout the narrative. When Peter and his friends were in medieval Romania, there were times where it seemed the transitions from one event to the next were a little hazy and could have benefited from a little more context.
But one thing is for sure, Penington has created a story that is unlike any other, making it a refreshing take on the many genres that it encapsulates. Considering everything this book throws at you, what works or might not work for some readers, and some grammatical errors, I kept going back and forth between a 2 star or 3 star rating. Eventually, I decided on giving this book 3 out of 4 stars. While the war and violence didn’t appeal to me, it may be the reason someone else really likes the book. What really makes this story work is that there really is a little something for everyone. And if you have ever felt that books in a certain genre lacked individuality, this book will be an invigorating change.
The next challenge was figuring out who I would recommend this book to. The ambitious blend of genres might be attracting to some but could also seem like too much of a reach for others. As previously mentioned, the war and violence portrayed in this book are not really my thing. However, the historical fiction aspect with a touch of the paranormal was very intriguing and made for a good read. So if you are a fan of the paranormal, drama, action, adventure, thriller, or historical fiction genres, this book could be a good fit for you, especially if you are looking for a story that is different from the norm. Since this book is so different, I would say it may not be a good fit for those who aren’t fans of the weird and unusual, as it does take you on a wild ride that includes vampires, war, love, time travel, and secret military operations. But if you like different, you may want to give The Hand Bringer by Christopher J. Penington a shot!
The Hand Bringer
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