The tragic deaths of Jevin Banks wife and twin boys jolt you at the outset of the book. It's senseless. He tries to find someone to blame. Maybe that someone is himself. Though the story starts out as an emotional downer, the author jacks up the pace as Jevin changes occupations.
Once an illusionist and escape-artist, he has turned his talents to finding truth in expose film-making projects, debunking test results, exposing them as fakes and tricks to scam people of their money. He works his new job with his former partners Charlene and Xavier. This particular project brings him into the manipulative world of a particular pharmaceutical firm who will stop at nothing to get what they want.
Steven James brings in the thriller aspects he is so well-known for, making for a gritty, suspenseful read. One you can't put down until you're finished with the book. The scientific aspects of mind-to-mind communicating, the use of tolerase, and quantum physics kind of left me scraping through the story for a while, leaving me a bit confused, but the author brings it to a point of understanding that makes all the medical and scientific terms necessary and more understandable to bring the story to its conclusion. You get that â€˜Aha' moment and it falls into place. True Steven James writing!
Steven wove many different plot angles that kept me thinking on my feet. I enjoyed his thriller cat and mouse story on all the different levels of action. The characters definitely fit the scenarios and situations. There are those you'd rather not meet.
The story of Riah Colette was most intriguing to me, as she lived her life without feelings or sensing consequences to her choices. Having seen this type of behavior in person, I felt the author brought out a poignant look of dysfunctional family life and its effects on those involved, following them into their adult life.
I did have a problem with some of the language the author used that I don't feel belongs in Christian writing. Though it fits the scenarios of a non-Christian book, I think he could have woven it around differently to make his point.
Though I enjoyed the Patrick Bowers Files more, I think this series will be a hit as well for Steven James enthusiasts! I'm ready for the next book.
This book was provided by Donna Hausler, Blog Tour Coordinator for Revell, in exchange for my honest review. No monetary compensation was received.
Revell, a division of Baker Publishing Group, offers practical books for everyday life. For more information, visit www.RevellBooks.com.
I am a HUGE fan of the Patrick Bowers series by Steven James - HUGE! So when I knew Steven James was writing a new series I was excited but tentative. Change can be hard for readers sometimes, but it isn't always a bad thing. In this case I found Placebo to be very interesting and cerebral, with a new cast of characters that were fun to get to know. I had trouble letting go of Patrick Bowers at the beginning and embracing Jevin Banks - though I really liked his sidekicks Charlene and Xavier immediately. The plots that interwove in the book were a little hard to track for awhile, but was very intriguing. Once my head was able to wrap around what was going on I really liked what I was reading. This is going to be an interesting series and I think each book will get stronger as Jevin Banks starts stepping into his own.
I liked this book because it kept me riveted to the pages from about midway through to the end. The first part of the book took me a little while to get into but I was glad it picked up. I also liked that there is no bad language, I wasn't sure how it was going to be when I began the book.
What I didn't like about the book is it didn't seem overtly Christian, don't get me wrong there's nothing wrong with some non-Christian books or not mentioning God every other page, but this one seemed to describe certain characters and situations in a totally non-Christian way. For example, as a woman, I don't care how seductive a woman looks, do you see what I mean? And I realize the characters are not Christians, but I don't find that kind of stuff necessary. It's fluff. I was more interested in getting to the bottom of Jevin's investigation and the results of the conspiracy, not the leggy or voluptuous secretary. However, I guess those descriptions did generate some strong feelings about certain characters and that means the author did his job in drawing me into the "Placebo world" and all involved.
No matter the kind of book I read, I enjoy a good, clean, entertaining...or in this case thrilling...story line and because Placebo meets those criteria I feel I can still give it a thumbs up.
"Available November 2012 at your favorite bookseller from Revell, a division of Baker Publishing Group."
Faith and Family Reviews received the following product in exchange for writing a review. While we consider it a privilege to receive products to review, our reviews are our honest opinion and thoughts of the product.
1st in Jevin Banks Experience series taut thriller
November 9, 2012
Placebo by Steven James is the first book in his new Jevin Banks' Experience series. Jevin was a successful escape artist until his wife inexplicably drove her van into a lake, drowning herself and their twin sons. Haunted by their deaths and blaming himself for not being able to rescue them, Jevin has started a new career using his magician's skills to expose psychics and paranormal experts using the tricks he knows all too well. His latest job is to expose the fakery of a quantum physicist, Dr. Tambryn, who is claiming to be able to prove a form of telepathy between people who have a close relationship. His trusted team of Charlene, his "lovely assistant" and Xavier, his tech guy with a taste for conspiracy theories, travel with him to Tambryn's clinic, but their plans are suddenly changed when an assassin tries to murder the doctor, which exposes a link between the clinic and a pharmaceutical firm. Jevin's determination to find the truth could lead him all the way to the White House and question all that he knows to be true. James has become one of my favorite authors with his Patrick Bowers series, and while I was initially disappointed that this book wasn't in that series, Jevin quickly won me over with his broken heart and desire to save everyone around him and make up for those he couldn't save. James grounds the story in scientific fact, making the wild theories inside seem all too possible, and while Jevin's skill set wouldn't seem that powerful, his clever mind makes him a smart action hero. His team, Charlene, Xavier, and Fionna (the technical queen who with her homeschooled children can break into any computer) add both humor and heart to the story and keep Jevin grounded. Placebo will have you wondering just how much James has made up and what is true, and the political machinations will have ramifications far into the series. I can't wait to read the next book in the series!