4 out of 4 stars
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The Poe Consequence by Keith Steinbaum is a fantastic science fiction that incorporates the work of Edgar Allan Poe into the plot. Kevin and Warren are twins, whose personalities are total opposites of each other. While visiting New Orleans, Warren wants to visit a psychic to see if he is going to get a teaching position at USC. Kevin does not believe in psychics and thinks he is wasting his time. Warren goes ahead and meets with a psychic named Madame Sibilia, who tells him that the Tarot cards predict violence, evil, isolation, anger, and death in his future. She tells him he will have two lights to choose from after his death. One will take him to be with his wife, Michelle, who died a few months before from cancer, and the other will allow him to take revenge. Warren gets mad about all the doom and gloom she predicts, and leaves before hearing what the final card about his future reveals. After returning to Los Angeles, he goes to a Dodger game with his son Seth, and Kevin, where he develops a severe headache. Kevin suggests he stops by Alfredo’s Market to get something for his headache. While leaving the market, Warren is killed when they find themselves in the crossfire between two Mexican American gangs, the Lebos and the Diablos. As he realizes he is dead he becomes angry, because he had promised Michelle that he would always take care of and protect Seth. Consequently, he takes the light for revenge, which he believes will allow him to protect Seth from gangs after death.
The two gangs continue to fight and kill each other, and law enforcement notices a pattern in the deaths. Strangely, every time a gang member kills someone, the killer dies from a heart attack shortly thereafter. Autopsy results of the gang members, who have a heart attack, reveal a frozen heart, and one of their eyes is blue and swollen with fluid. All tests to the eye come back negative and there is no explanation for their condition. There is no evidence as to what leads up to the heart attacks. Seth develops a deep hatred of Mexican Americans because they killed his father; and also blames his Uncle Kevin because he had suggested they stop at the market. Kevin takes over raising Seth and tries to help him with his grief while dealing with his own.
I really liked this book, because Seth’s struggles made him not only come to terms with Mexican Americans and realize that not all of them are bad, but he also realized that his uncle was not to blame. The author did an excellent job of explaining how members evolve into the gang lifestyle. There was nothing I disliked about this book. It was action-packed, and each chapter flowed smoothly into the next. The first chapter caught my attention and kept it all the way to the end. As a fan of Edgar Allan Poe, I could easily follow the connection between the gangbangers’ deaths and his work.
I would recommend this book for older teens and adults. Profanity, erotic sexual content, graphic murders, and death scenes are throughout the book, which would not be suitable for younger people, nor those who do not like cuss words and sexual or graphic scenes. Anyone who is a fan of Edgar Allan Poe will enjoy this book.
This is a well-written book with only one typographical error found. There were no grammatical errors and it appeared to have been professionally edited. I give it 4 out of 4 stars.
The Poe Consequence
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