Review of The One Who Rules

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Review of The One Who Rules

Post by abstactlemon »

[Following is an official review of "The One Who Rules" by Tanner Owen.]
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3 out of 4 stars
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The One Who Rules by Tanner Owen is an engaging conspiracy thriller that follows an unnamed protagonist as he starts to discover something that could upend the status quo on a global scale. He notices a similar physical appearance in a lot of powerful people. Following a hunch, he decides to dig a little deeper. However, he is promptly shut down and nearly loses his life. His house explodes due to a gas “accident” and he is given a huge settlement, which he suspects is both a threat and an effort to keep him quiet. The information he’d gathered also disappeared with all his backups. They’ve taken his livelihood, his friends, and his passion, yet he doesn’t even know who they are. He intends to find out, however, and he is not going down without a fight.

The one thing I want to start by saying is that this book is on the slower side of thrillers. The author describes it as a “slow burn” and it creates its thrills using a different method; through tension and mystery. The plot unravels in a very engaging way, and it creates so many questions about the conspiracy the protagonist is chasing. I even wondered if it was all in the protagonist’s head sometimes because of how reticent the prose was to give me more information, which I thought was a brilliant decision on the author’s part.

I also like the decision to keep the protagonist nameless. It makes the whole thing feel that much more real, and that is saying something considering Owen’s already realistic writing style. Every step the protagonist takes feels like something that someone going through what he is would do, yet somehow, Owen manages to still write an unpredictable book. This book is less about what happens and more about how the protagonist handles it.

The protagonist himself is also really entertaining. He is a bit of an overthinker and has a lot of introspection. I enjoyed watching him logic his way through each obstacle. He even makes several references to Sun Tzu, which I thought was a nice touch.

However, it would be wrong for me to talk about the protagonist’s introspection without mentioning how repetitive the prose was sometimes. He often said the same things twice, making them redundant. I mentioned enjoying the fact that the book was a slow burn, but I will admit that it tended to be unnecessarily slow sometimes. Owen often depicted unimportant details like the humdrum of daily life that added nothing to the overall story, which is something that I can’t forgive, especially in a thriller. I have to dock a point and give this book 3 out of 4 stars for that, although I would still consider it an excellent story.

I recommend this book to thriller lovers. It is on the slower side, but the tension, the suspense, and the twists should satisfy anyone who is a fan of the genre. Owen knew the type of story he was trying to tell and executed it to near perfection.

The One Who Rules
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Amy Luman
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Post by Amy Luman »

There are always people in authority that don’t want the general public to know what’s going on. I really hope the protagonist can find something. This absolutely reeks of conspiracy.
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Jennifer Coxon
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Post by Jennifer Coxon »

Thanks for the great review. This really sounds like a book I would be interested in. Hopefully as you say the slow burn doesn’t take away from the thrill too much.
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