Official Review: Altered Reality by Joel Knox

Please use this sub-forum to discuss any crime, thriller, mystery or horror books or series.
Forum rules
You must limit each topic thread in this section to only one book or only one series. Make the title of the topic the name of the book, and if possible also include the author's name. If you want to allow spoilers, you must include the word spoilers in the title of the topic, otherwise spoilers are prohibited.
User avatar
Vickie Noel
Posts: 1282
Joined: 30 Jun 2017, 04:46
2018 Reading Goal: 30
2017 Reading Goal: 20
2018 Reading Goal Completion: 50
2017 Reading Goal Completion: 295
Favorite Book: <a href="http://forums.onlinebookclub.org/shelve ... 86063">Are you afraid of the dark</a>
Currently Reading: The Cartel Crusher
Bookshelf Size: 395
Reviewer Page: onlinebookclub.org/reviews/by-vickie-noel.html
Latest Review: Toni the Superhero by R.D. Base
Reading Device: B01C9JZEBO

Official Review: Altered Reality by Joel Knox

Post by Vickie Noel » 10 Aug 2018, 19:25

[Following is an official OnlineBookClub.org review of "Altered Reality" by Joel Knox.]
Book Cover
4 out of 4 stars
Share This Review


If you love Avengers, X-men, Justice League and the likes, welcome aboard! I can definitely see Altered Reality by Joel Knox evolving into a blockbuster motion picture. The book is classified under the CTMH genre with elements of urban fantasy. Despite being a sequel to “The Alter” in the Alter series, Altered Reality can be read as a stand-alone comfortably. In my case, it has made me curious to meet the Alter at the same time its body companion did in the first book.

The story starts with the air heavy, danger brewing close by. The keen observer scans the area, calculating his precise steps. I feel my heartbeat increase as he approaches his target. The man is James Hyde, possessing an uncanny “creature” inside of him. It is addressed as “The Alter or Rakshasa.” In looks, The Alter brings to mind the picture of “The Incredible Hulk” and “The Thing” in the movies Avengers and Fantastic Four respectively. Perhaps due to the protagonist’s name, I couldn’t help remembering the old story, "Dr Jekyll and Mr Hyde," wherein James is the good guy while his Alter is bloodthirsty. The difference is that the latter pair worked together, relinquishing body control at appropriate times, while the former did not. This made “them” really grow on me.

The temple in Hong Kong is the home to all alters- people born with supernatural abilities. The key players include but are not limited to: James Hyde a.k.a The Alter, the most physically dominating of all; Marcos Mansilla, who can pass through any surface; Sergei, whose body could metamorphose into rocks of any shape or size and Cora, who controlled electricity in the atmosphere. Life isn’t all cupcakes and chocolate at the temple though; a storm is brewing, bringing with it divisive factions. James, at the opening scene, is on a mission to gather information about fellow alters and the covert collaborations certain private organizations were making with government officials to their detriment. This is when we first get a glimpse of his unusual abilities, brought to life by his personal rakshasa.

Maurice Street is a top government official working with the CIA who happens to know Hyde and his alter after personal encounters with “them.” Maurice shows up at a crime scene a few minutes after James did. There has been a massacre at St. Martins Detention Center, carried out by an assault team with a sole purpose: abducting Samuel Barkley. Samuel is a fifteen-year-old boy who uses his powers to bully the boys at the detention center. But as the story unfolds, he is much more capable of bigger feats. Yod, the spiritual leader at the temple, had a vision regarding Samuel standing “upon a pile…of bodies. A mountain of bodies.” James is entrusted with the responsibility of finding Samuel and helping him harness his power for use in the appropriate way. But the teenager has different ideas, being particularly averse to receiving instructions.

The antagonist, known simply as “The Man,” is a rich and powerful entrepreneur who has his own concept of “the nation’s best interests.” He aims to capture alters and use them as lab rats to achieve his ultimate goal. Will James be able to convince Samuel to join them before The Man gets him all twisted up? Can the temple survive its internal storm? Does Yod’s prophesy concerning Samuel come true? Will The Man accomplish his terrible objectives? What about Samuel’s father, who gave his son up to life at varying detention centers after tragedy struck his home? Who is Mei Ling and how does her power come into play? All these questions and a whole lot more are answered in this fast-paced thriller.

Racing through Asia and America, the characters are always on the move, especially James, Maurice and Samuel. The major themes are of greed, exploitation and self- sacrifice. Sam’s greed for power and absolute control leads him to exploit people by means of his abilities, bending their minds against their will. James’ self sacrifice shines through when he refuses to allow Ivan and Cora accompany him in his fight for Hope. Noy and Phillippe stand at the front line of the temple battle to help the others make a clean break for their lives.

I can’t complain about this work. Altered Reality is full of unexpected twists. Although the “whodunnit” characters and those having friction are revealed halfway through the story, there are several other small connections gradually being pieced together like a jigsaw puzzle as the plot speeds along. The writing style is simple yet rich, doused with occasional humorous descriptions. Most of these are of individual character reactions to seeing the alter at work during a power tussle. The introduction of new characters is done in a clear manner such that there are no mix-ups or complications. Aside from a few insignificant errors involving singular and plurals, wrong or omitted words and one omitted scene break, the book is professionally edited. My only issue with Altered Reality is the author’s penchant for violence. Knox seems to relish the gory details, dishing them out in varying styles ranging from severe gunshot mutilation, sword/knife fights and body dismemberment by the alters when in battle. Any who is perturbed by such vividly-described sensitive material should head in the opposite direction or, at the very least, be prepared to skip a lot of pages.

On this final note, I rate Altered Reality 4 out of 4 stars.

******
Altered Reality
View: on Bookshelves | on Amazon

Like Vickie Noel's review? Post a comment saying so!
Stop waiting for what you WANT, start working with what you HAVE. --- Seth Cain
Never be bullied into questioning your own credibility. --- Vickie Noel

User avatar
ParadoxicalWoman
Posts: 652
Joined: 25 Oct 2017, 06:42
2018 Reading Goal: 50
2018 Reading Goal Completion: 76
Currently Reading:
Bookshelf Size: 341
Reviewer Page: onlinebookclub.org/reviews/by-paradoxicalwoman.html
Latest Review: Heartaches 3 by H.M. Irwing

Post by ParadoxicalWoman » 12 Aug 2018, 07:47

I like how this book has the resemblance of X-men movie but I have a problem with the gory details and it bothers me so much. I have to pass this book and I believe those who enjoy crime and thriller genres will surely find enjoyment in reading this book. Thank you for your detailed review of this book.
"Read in order to live." ~Gustave Flaubert
"Fiction reveals truths that reality obscures." ~Ralph Waldo Emerson

User avatar
CambaReviewer
Posts: 440
Joined: 29 Apr 2017, 05:44
2018 Reading Goal: 100
2017 Reading Goal: 50
2018 Reading Goal Completion: 25
2017 Reading Goal Completion: 32
Favorite Book: The Barnyard Buddies STOP for Peace
Currently Reading: When Leaves Fall
Bookshelf Size: 411
Reviewer Page: onlinebookclub.org/reviews/by-cambareviewer.html
Latest Review: Brushstrokes of Heaven by Tammy C. Heidenreich

Post by CambaReviewer » 12 Aug 2018, 11:49

Thanks for an insightful review! I like the idea of a jigsaw puzzle being pieced together towards the end of the book despite the whodunnit being revealed earlier on. I will like to read this!

User avatar
Cecilia_L
Posts: 1481
Joined: 08 Jun 2018, 22:16
Currently Reading: TIME'S UP
Bookshelf Size: 125
Reviewer Page: onlinebookclub.org/reviews/by-cecilia-l.html
Latest Review: New York Linked Up Part 1 Manhattan by Colleen Katz

Post by Cecilia_L » 12 Aug 2018, 14:34

I'm not a fan of the gory details described, but I appreciate your candid review.

Taekwondoqueen
Posts: 87
Joined: 01 Jul 2018, 09:04
Currently Reading:
Bookshelf Size: 14
Reviewer Page: onlinebookclub.org/reviews/by-taekwondoqueen.html
Latest Review: World, Incorporated by Tom Gariffo

Post by Taekwondoqueen » 13 Aug 2018, 09:44

This sounds like a very enticing book. I must say, you did a wonderful job at describing it and I think that you will go far with your wonderful writing. I have put this book on my to read bookshelf, so I hope that I enjoy this book as much as you enjoyed it! Thank you so very much for writing this review, I will look for some more of your work.

User avatar
OloladeO
Posts: 351
Joined: 02 Jul 2018, 08:36
2018 Reading Goal: 30
2018 Reading Goal Completion: 43
Currently Reading: Benjamin Street
Bookshelf Size: 37
Reviewer Page: onlinebookclub.org/reviews/by-ololadeo.html
Latest Review: Dues by Arnold Heller

Post by OloladeO » 16 Aug 2018, 05:25

Cover looks really spooky! I'll definitely skip the pages of violence as I am not a fan. Thanks for the review.
Latest Review: Dues by Arnold Heller

User avatar
JuliaKay
Posts: 498
Joined: 19 Oct 2017, 03:26
2018 Reading Goal: 60
2018 Reading Goal Completion: 63
Currently Reading: The Black Witch
Bookshelf Size: 55
Reviewer Page: onlinebookclub.org/reviews/by-juliakay.html
Latest Review: I Am Not Gog by Matthew James Hunt

Post by JuliaKay » 23 Aug 2018, 18:02

This book does sound like it would make a great movie, and I would be interested in reading the first novel as well. However, I am not a fan of too much gore, so I'm not sure how much I would enjoy that aspect of it. Thank you for the review.
“A reader lives a thousand lives before he dies, said Jojen. The man who never reads lives only one.”
― George R.R. Martin, A Dance with Dragons

User avatar
LV2R
Posts: 503
Joined: 25 Apr 2018, 22:28
2018 Reading Goal: 50
2018 Reading Goal Completion: 138
Favorite Book: And Then I Met Margaret
Currently Reading: The Mansion
Bookshelf Size: 122
Reviewer Page: onlinebookclub.org/reviews/by-lv2r.html
Latest Review: Trading E-Mini Stock Index Futures by Dr. Dennis B. Anderson

Post by LV2R » 23 Aug 2018, 19:02

Thank you for your very thorough review of Altered Reality. The book cover looks quite scary, but as you described James and the others of their special abilities, comparing them to The Hulk and The X-men, it may not be so scary. It sounds like there are a lot of characters that the author introduces clearly. You also gave a good introduction to the characters.

User avatar
JudasFm
Posts: 231
Joined: 16 Feb 2018, 08:10
Currently Reading: Night watch
Bookshelf Size: 32
Reviewer Page: onlinebookclub.org/reviews/by-judasfm.html
Latest Review: The Palm Reader by Christopher Bowron

Post by JudasFm » 23 Aug 2018, 19:41

I don't mind gore so long as it's not gorn, and the concept is very interesting! I'd definitely like to read this one! Thanks for an excellent review!

User avatar
Sahani Nimandra
Bookshelves Moderator
Posts: 1612
Joined: 27 Nov 2017, 22:49
2018 Reading Goal: 100
2017 Reading Goal: 5
2018 Reading Goal Completion: 115
2017 Reading Goal Completion: 5
Favorite Book: Harry Potter and The Sorceress Stone
Currently Reading: Lily White Lie
Bookshelf Size: 512
Reviewer Page: onlinebookclub.org/reviews/by-sahani-nimandra.html
Latest Review: The Sword Swallower and a Chico Kid by Gary Robinson
Reading Device: Huawei

Post by Sahani Nimandra » 23 Aug 2018, 21:31

Thank you for your descriptive review! I have a question to ask! When u compare this read to Marvals and DC comics I believe it belongs to sci-fiction genre why did you put it to C/H/T/M genre?
The person, be it gentleman or lady, who has not pleasure in a good novel, must be intolerably stupid! - Jane Austen :techie-studyingbrown:

User avatar
Yolimari
Posts: 633
Joined: 06 Mar 2017, 02:23
2018 Reading Goal: 50
2018 Reading Goal Completion: 64
Currently Reading:
Bookshelf Size: 133
Reviewer Page: onlinebookclub.org/reviews/by-yolimari.html
Latest Review: Mistress Suffragette by Diana Forbes

Post by Yolimari » 24 Aug 2018, 01:03

Sounds like a great book for fans of superheros. I am not into books with extreme gore and violence, though. Nice review!
"What matters in life is not what happens to you but what you remember and how you remember it."

-Gabriel García Márquez

User avatar
Vickie Noel
Posts: 1282
Joined: 30 Jun 2017, 04:46
2018 Reading Goal: 30
2017 Reading Goal: 20
2018 Reading Goal Completion: 50
2017 Reading Goal Completion: 295
Favorite Book: <a href="http://forums.onlinebookclub.org/shelve ... 86063">Are you afraid of the dark</a>
Currently Reading: The Cartel Crusher
Bookshelf Size: 395
Reviewer Page: onlinebookclub.org/reviews/by-vickie-noel.html
Latest Review: Toni the Superhero by R.D. Base
Reading Device: B01C9JZEBO

Post by Vickie Noel » 24 Aug 2018, 01:39

ParadoxicalWoman wrote:
12 Aug 2018, 07:47
I like how this book has the resemblance of X-men movie but I have a problem with the gory details and it bothers me so much. I have to pass this book and I believe those who enjoy crime and thriller genres will surely find enjoyment in reading this book. Thank you for your detailed review of this book.
Thanks a lot for reading! It's important to stick with what you're comfortable with, in this our large world of books :lol:
Stop waiting for what you WANT, start working with what you HAVE. --- Seth Cain
Never be bullied into questioning your own credibility. --- Vickie Noel

User avatar
Vickie Noel
Posts: 1282
Joined: 30 Jun 2017, 04:46
2018 Reading Goal: 30
2017 Reading Goal: 20
2018 Reading Goal Completion: 50
2017 Reading Goal Completion: 295
Favorite Book: <a href="http://forums.onlinebookclub.org/shelve ... 86063">Are you afraid of the dark</a>
Currently Reading: The Cartel Crusher
Bookshelf Size: 395
Reviewer Page: onlinebookclub.org/reviews/by-vickie-noel.html
Latest Review: Toni the Superhero by R.D. Base
Reading Device: B01C9JZEBO

Post by Vickie Noel » 24 Aug 2018, 01:40

CambaReviewer wrote:
12 Aug 2018, 11:49
Thanks for an insightful review! I like the idea of a jigsaw puzzle being pieced together towards the end of the book despite the whodunnit being revealed earlier on. I will like to read this!
You certainly will enjoy it in that case. Thanks for stopping by!
Stop waiting for what you WANT, start working with what you HAVE. --- Seth Cain
Never be bullied into questioning your own credibility. --- Vickie Noel

User avatar
Vickie Noel
Posts: 1282
Joined: 30 Jun 2017, 04:46
2018 Reading Goal: 30
2017 Reading Goal: 20
2018 Reading Goal Completion: 50
2017 Reading Goal Completion: 295
Favorite Book: <a href="http://forums.onlinebookclub.org/shelve ... 86063">Are you afraid of the dark</a>
Currently Reading: The Cartel Crusher
Bookshelf Size: 395
Reviewer Page: onlinebookclub.org/reviews/by-vickie-noel.html
Latest Review: Toni the Superhero by R.D. Base
Reading Device: B01C9JZEBO

Post by Vickie Noel » 24 Aug 2018, 01:41

Cecilia_L wrote:
12 Aug 2018, 14:34
I'm not a fan of the gory details described, but I appreciate your candid review.
Thanks for patiently reading it :tiphat:
Stop waiting for what you WANT, start working with what you HAVE. --- Seth Cain
Never be bullied into questioning your own credibility. --- Vickie Noel

User avatar
Vickie Noel
Posts: 1282
Joined: 30 Jun 2017, 04:46
2018 Reading Goal: 30
2017 Reading Goal: 20
2018 Reading Goal Completion: 50
2017 Reading Goal Completion: 295
Favorite Book: <a href="http://forums.onlinebookclub.org/shelve ... 86063">Are you afraid of the dark</a>
Currently Reading: The Cartel Crusher
Bookshelf Size: 395
Reviewer Page: onlinebookclub.org/reviews/by-vickie-noel.html
Latest Review: Toni the Superhero by R.D. Base
Reading Device: B01C9JZEBO

Post by Vickie Noel » 24 Aug 2018, 02:00

Taekwondoqueen wrote:
13 Aug 2018, 09:44
This sounds like a very enticing book. I must say, you did a wonderful job at describing it and I think that you will go far with your wonderful writing. I have put this book on my to read bookshelf, so I hope that I enjoy this book as much as you enjoyed it! Thank you so very much for writing this review, I will look for some more of your work.
Wow, I'm deeply touched by the depth of your gracious words. I feel spurred on to do more and I'm grateful for the encouragement. I would love to know the outcome of your read when you do get around to checking out the book! :tiphat:
Stop waiting for what you WANT, start working with what you HAVE. --- Seth Cain
Never be bullied into questioning your own credibility. --- Vickie Noel

Post Reply

Return to “Crime, Thrillers, Mystery and Horror Books”