Reviewed by: BigAl
Genre: Thriller/Speculative Fiction
Approximate word count: 80-85,000 words
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“I was born into a blue-collar family in Liverpool, England. Like my peers, I grew up working with my hands until an uncanny aptitude for building computer software allowed me to trade overalls and hard-hat for a suit and tie.
I immigrated to the US in the early 90s, became an American citizen, and lived the American dream.
After twenty successful years in the corporate world, I turned my back on eighty-hour weeks and quarterly results and bought a run-down, dog-friendly motel in Carolina Beach, North Carolina. A close friend still refers to this decision as a brain fart; but life is a one-time play, and no one can write, and run a public company.
When the worlds of finance and real estate went stir-crazy in 2005, I sold the business and moved to Lake Lure, North Carolina where, in addition to helping my wife manage a small herd of llamas, I am, at last, fulfilling my life's ambition to write speculative fiction.”
Pete is also Books and Pals most prolific pal; if you read his reviews you’ll get an idea of the kind of scrutiny he’s put his own book through. This is his first book, with another work in progress expected to be released in the spring of 2013. For more, visit Pete’s website.
“Allah’s Revenge,” an Islamic terrorist group, terrorizes the world using a weapon developed with nanotechnology. Quinn, an English cop, is determined to find and stop them.
I’m a big thriller reader. Speculative fiction (fantasy, science fiction, and similar), not so much. What I liked about the speculative fiction portion of Allah’s Revenge is that it involved technology that, while not here today, could be. Nanotechnology is on the leading edge of science; the nanotech inventions and discoveries that figure in this story aren’t hard to imagine as possible in the near future.
There’s also a lot to like about the thriller portion of Allah’s Revenge. Building on a premise (both political and scientific) that could happen someday, it has a likeable protagonist, necessary in my opinion to draw the reader in. If you don’t care about the protagonist, it’s hard to care about his success.
What I found interesting is that, while not wanting the bad guys to succeed, I still found some of them sympathetic at times, and even the most evil of the conspirators was involved in doing something that could have had a positive effect on the world. Since thrillers are plot driven, character development often doesn’t get as much attention, resulting in secondary characters that are cartoonish or caricatures. Barber avoided this mistake, while still leaving no doubt about who the good guys and bad guys were. Thriller fans should find Allah’s Revenge, with its combination of timely concerns and speculation about what the future might hold, a very worthy read.
Some adult language and situations
No significant issues.
Rating: **** Five stars