Review by Leen282 -- The Hand Bringer

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Leen282
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Review by Leen282 -- The Hand Bringer

Post by Leen282 »

[Following is a volunteer review of "The Hand Bringer" by Christopher J. Penington.]
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4 out of 4 stars
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The Hand Bringer by Christopher J. Penington talks about Peter, a street cop, who encounters a vampire during an intervention and gets bitten. Wounded, he is taken away by an ambulance, only to be intercepted by a team traveling by helicopter that takes him to a different location for healing. His friend Luke goes with him. Upon arrival, they learn that they have been brought to a secret research facility. Scientists are looking into vampirism and are trying to find a way to prevent vampires from taking over the world. Peter is the tool to achieve this. He gets genetically modified to be sent back to 15th century Romania, which is where and when the researchers believe vampirism started with Vlad Dracula. Peter agrees to this mission after having met Boriana, a beautiful female vampire held in captivity. Luke accompanies him on his time travels. Bat, a former convict, and Kolemis, a doctor, complete the team.

The author dedicates the first half of the book to introduce the scientific idea of battling vampirism, the main characters and their background story, the setting of 15th century Romania and the first encounters with vampires. The second half of the book is faster-paced, with detailed reports of battles with different groups of vampires. While the descriptions are quite graphic, I did not find them overly gruesome. Only one paragraph made me uncomfortable, where Dracula is handing out a specific punishment.

I rate this book 4 out of 4 stars. The editing is well-done, apart from a handful of typos that did not impact the reading. The book has religious references that fit the story and, as such, should not be shocking or bothering.

There are plenty of elements I like. The author includes a lot of jokes and wit in the conversations between the main characters. Further, even though Peter is genetically re-engineered, he stays very human and relatable in his thoughts and behavior. The book also invites the reader to think about time travel. Peter's first comment sums it up nicely: "It seems to me that by going back in time that we're already part of history. But implicitly, if that's the case, we've already gone, and we've already failed since there are still vampires today...". The author maintains a sound logic about time travel and its impact up to the end of the book.

The part I liked most is the relationship between Peter and Boriana. Throughout the book, the author hints at a deeper connection between the two of them, and I kept wondering what it could be. I had one possibility figured out, but the author went a different route, which is revealed near the end.

I recommend this book to readers who like vampire stories and witty conversations. The readers should be comfortable with religious references, as well as explicit descriptions of gruesome fights and non-explicit references to adult relations.

******
The Hand Bringer
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Chika T C
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Post by Chika T C »

I love your review. It captures the essence of of the book.
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Post by ThomasCShearman1976 »

Hi Leen282, I just read this book, too. I thought it would make the basis for an excellent film. What do you think?
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Leen282
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Post by Leen282 »

Chika T C wrote: 15 May 2020, 10:48 I love your review. It captures the essence of of the book.
Thanks
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Post by Jacktone Ogada »

Hm. I failed to understand just how going back to the past may change what is happening now. Nice review.
:tiphat: Lead by reading :techie-studyinggray:
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Post by Jacktone Ogada »

:doh: see
Jacktone Ogada wrote: 16 May 2020, 01:13 Hm. I failed to understand just how going back to the past may change what is happening now. Nice review.
Anyway, it was a nice read.
:tiphat: Lead by reading :techie-studyinggray:
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Leen282
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Post by Leen282 »

Jacktone Ogada wrote: 16 May 2020, 01:13 Hm. I failed to understand just how going back to the past may change what is happening now. Nice review.
It's a nice brainteaser. If Peter goes back in time to eliminate vampires, and he succeeds, then he wouldn't have been bitten and he wouldn't have been reengineered and the current day would look different.

But if current day is already impacted by him having gone back, then he hasn't succeeded since there still are vampires. Then what's the point in sending him back in time?

Thanks for your comments.
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Leen282
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Post by Leen282 »

ThomasCShearman1976 wrote: 15 May 2020, 11:12 Hi Leen282, I just read this book, too. I thought it would make the basis for an excellent film. What do you think?
Yes, I can totally see it as a movie.
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Post by DBNJ »

It is not an easy task to write Sci-fi novels that will keep the reader drawn into the story till the very end. This requires lot of imagination and creative ability form the author, so the events unfold in the story needs to be interesting and attractive to the reader. Having said that, some readers will find this bit boring whilst others find it is a fantastic read. It all depends on what kind of books you love reading and what you are trying get out of reading a book. Your review is very informative! :tiphat:
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Leen282
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Post by Leen282 »

DBNJ wrote: 16 May 2020, 04:23 It is not an easy task to write Sci-fi novels that will keep the reader drawn into the story till the very end. This requires lot of imagination and creative ability form the author, so the events unfold in the story needs to be interesting and attractive to the reader. Having said that, some readers will find this bit boring whilst others find it is a fantastic read. It all depends on what kind of books you love reading and what you are trying get out of reading a book. Your review is very informative! :tiphat:
Thanks, you make a valid point.
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Post by Chika T C »

ThomasCShearman1976 wrote: 15 May 2020, 11:12 Hi Leen282, I just read this book, too. I thought it would make the basis for an excellent film. What do you think?
I was thinking of that too.
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Post by Erandi Ekanayake »

I have read and reviewed this book recently, and it's a pleasure to see that you have enjoyed it too. Your review was interesting. Great job!
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Post by UzmaKhan »

After reading the book the thing I appreciated the most is how it breaks stereotypes surrounding vampirism.
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Leen282
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Post by Leen282 »

Erandi Ekanayake wrote: 17 May 2020, 01:01 I have read and reviewed this book recently, and it's a pleasure to see that you have enjoyed it too. Your review was interesting. Great job!
Thanks for stopping by.
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Leen282
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Post by Leen282 »

UzmaKhan wrote: 17 May 2020, 01:08 After reading the book the thing I appreciated the most is how it breaks stereotypes surrounding vampirism.
It's indeed a different approach from most.
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