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B & H Publishing Group / 2008 / Paperback
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"You will not fear the terror of the night."--Psalm 91
A monstrous waking nightmare is pursuing graduate student Hailey Maniates across San Francisco to Golden Gate Park where she is rescued by a towering homeless man. She seems able to read her rescuer's mind but is it just a delusion? Doctors diagnose her as a paranoid schizophrenic and attempt to prescribe away her alleged hallucinations. But too many questions remain around Hailey and the man who saved her. He appears to suffer from her same mental condition and is convinced that some type of Gypsey vampire is trying to kill them both.
"You will not fear the terror of the night." Psalm 91
A monstrous waking nightmare is pursuing graduate student Hailey Maniates across San Francisco to Golden Gate Park where she is rescued by a towering homeless man. She seems able to read her rescuer’s mind, but is it just a delusion? Doctors diagnose her as a paranoid schizophrenic and attempt to prescribe away her alleged hallucinations. But too many questions remain around Hailey and the man who saved her. He appears to suffer from her same mental condition and is convinced that some type of Gypsy vampire is trying to kill them both.
Against reason, Hailey finds herself more and more attracted to this strange man. But what if he is a fantasy? What if he is the monster?
"From its stunning first scene to its heartwarming last, Shade is a striking tale of mystery and danger that kept me hooked. This is Olson’s finest work yet, and reading it, one gets the feeling he’s just getting warmed up."
Melanie Wells, author of My Soul to Keep and When the Day of Evil Comes"Things that go bump in the night are not all figments of overwrought imaginations or evidence of mental illness. As our heroine discovers, evil personified preys on the ignorance of its victims. Lock your doors and windows, leave the lights on, and hunker down for a splendid, spine-chilling read."Donita K. Paul, author of the DragonKeeper Chronicles
John B. Olson holds a Ph.D. in biochemistry from the University of Wisconsin but left his job as a director and principal scientist at a major scientific software company after eight years to pursue full-time writing and speaking. He has since won several awards for his books. Olson lives with his wife and two children in San Leandro, California.
Christian fiction is coming out of the box and leading the way are authors such as John B. Olson. His soon to be released thriller takes the genre of suspense and supernatural fiction to an entirely new level, and it works.
"Shade" tells the story of grad student Hailey Maniates and her "protector", a homeless man who goes by the name of Melchi. When Hailey is attacked one night on her way home, he swoops in and saves her from whatever it was that wanted to kill her, carrying her to the hospital and then vanishing.
It's then that Hailey starts having visions...hallucinations...nightmares of astounding proportions. Diagnosed as paranoid schizophrenic, the doctors put her on medication to make them go away. But they don't. And who, or what, was it that attacked her that night and that still hunts her? Where did the homeless man come from, and is he really a mere homeless man?
So begins the hunt...to find Melchi and discover who (or what) he is...to find Hailey's enemy and uncover why he (or it) wants her so badly...to know if there be vampires out there.
Yes, I said the "v" word...and if anyone can make it plausible, it's John B. Olson! Now, the first third of this one is confusing. Had he defined some terms earlier on in the story, I wouldn't have had to hunt so hard for the bread crumbs that kept me going.But around the ninth or tenth chapter (I know, that seems like a long time...), this story really kicks into gear. And it's worth the read, just to see how he crafts this remarkable tale of shadows and redemption. I hope he continues in this genre for a while, honing his craft and creeping me out in a good way for many more novels!
This isn't one for the "Big Honkin' Chicken Club", but if you don't have a membership there yet, take a chance on "Shade"...I think you'll be glad you did! I'm giving it four out of five bookmarks, with a flashlight as a charm...it gets dark in here quite a bit!
"Shade" releases from Broadman and Holman October 2008 (so sorry to tempt you so early, but hey...a gal's gotta review what a gal's gotta review!). A Peek at My Bookshelf Fiction Blog
Unloved, unclean, threateningly large and homeless, Melchi is tormented by his failures to remain pure of heart. When he rescues a defenceless woman being terrorized by evil and finds himself falling for her beauty his worst fears surface.
Hailey Maniates nightmare begins as she is pursued by an elusive force, is rescued by a crazy man whose eyes express more than a thousand words, and whose thoughts she can somehow perceive without him speaking aloud.
Stalked by evil, derided by colleagues and friends and diagnosed with paranoid schizophrenia, Hailey doesn't know whom to trust. Melchi is the only person who makes sense to Hailey and that is frightening all on its own. He acknowledges her terror as truth, but his strange ways and fearsome strength confuse her mind as do her burgeoning feelings for this unusual man, who may very well be the source of her fears and the cause of her problems.
Be prepared to bend your mind in more ways than one as you delve in to the harrowing journey of Hailey, Melchi and their battle with evil. Shade is chock full of action, terror, mind games and tender emotion as John B Olson tosses Hailey in to a real life nightmare and makes her squirm! The initial chapters had me all at sea and I felt a little of what Hailey feels, confused and somewhat frustrated but as the story opened up, I found my feet and launched in to the battle for Hailey's mind, body and soul. Melchi is an amazing character with untapped depths. A brief glimpse in to his childhood is horrifying and sets the scene for his adulthood, a man striving for righteousness while being choked by his failings, ignorant yet with a wisdom of the ages, fearful yet willing to fight with unsurpassed courage. How John manages to weave in attraction in this supernatural thriller is anyone's guess but it works! I am more than a little intrigued with where John will take this series but I am strapped in for what is going to be a ride of supernatural proportions! If you like your novels to be thought provoking, dark with plenty of heart pounding action, very evil bad guys with not just a little weirdness, Shade is just the ticket! - Rel, www.relzreviewz.blogspot.com
Grad student Hailey Maniates is working late one night when someone or something attacks her. After barely escaping from her lab, she is rescued by a strange homeless man who vanishes into the night. Her encounter with himleaves her with strange abilities and bizarre emotions that she cant seem to make sense of. Soon Hailey reunites with her rescuer and suddenly finds herself in the middle of a deadly game against an unimaginable evil. Now she must decide whether or not to put her trust in a seemingly delusional homeless man who seems to be the only one that can save her.
John B. Olson offers up a fresh and surreal tale beautifully set in the streets of San Francisco. On the surface Shade is a mysterious tale laced with vampire themes and supernatural thrills. However, just when we think we know where the story is going, Olson effectively pulls the rug out from beneath us and takes us in yet another mind-boggling direction. This story is fun and captivating, supported by strong characters and smart writing. Shade is a classic good vs. evil tale that is told in a fresh new way that will resonate with readers long after the end. I can only hope we will see more of these characters from Olson in the future. If you havent discovered John B. Olson by now, there is no better place to jump in! - Jake Chism, BookshelfReview.com
From its stunning first scene to its heartwarming last, Shade is a striking tale of mystery and danger that kept me hooked. This is Olsons finest work yet, and reading it, one gets the feeling hes just getting warmed up. - Robin Parrish, Author of Relentless and Merciless
Things that go bump in the night are not all figments of overwrought imaginations or evidence of mental illness. As John Olsons heroine discovers, evil personified preys on the ignorance of its victims. Lock your doors and windows, leave the lights on, and hunker down for a splendid, spine-chilling read. - Donita K. Paul, Author of The DragonKeeper Chronicles
Olson is a seasoned storyteller, and Shade is quite a story! As the heat turns up, and as menacing tones and brooding characters abound, the theme of Gods grace boils to the surface. A few years back, Olson gave us a new twist on Jekyll & Hyde; now he puts his own fast-paced spin on the Dracula story. I can only hope theres a sequel in the works! - Eric Wilson, Author of Field of Blood and A Shred of Truth
A rare combination of page-turning thriller and characters so well drawn that you will think about them long after the story is finished. - Kathryn Cushman, Author of A Promise to Remember and Waiting for Daybreak
John Olson draws us into a swirling, surreal world, made more terrifying because it inhabits the ordinary places of a young womans life. Best of all, while the story conveys horror in vivid strokes, it also paints the beauty of humble, noble, sacrificial love through a character that will live me for a long time. - Sharon Hinck, Author of the Sword of Lyric series
An intelligent, fast-paced novel that keeps the reader guessing until the very last page. Shade portrays deep spiritual truths while continuing to stretch the envelope. - Hannah Alexander, Author of the Hideaway series
Readers will be taken on the ride of their lives in this hang-onto-the-bar thriller. Olsons writing and ability to blend reality and fantasy willhave them clamoring for more. - Patsy Glans- Romantic Times Book Reviews
Christy Awardwinner for Oxygen, Olson, a biochemist-turned-novelist, keeps pace with a page-turning thriller that will please fans of paranormal spiritual battle tales. In a goth-vampireinfused mind-bending race through the streets and underworld of San Francisco, Hailey Maniates discovers a deeper diagnosis than paranoid schizophrenia for her hallucinations. One man wants her as bait in a cosmic duel, and anotherMelchi, the child of prophecywants to save her life. With the help of her graduate school friends and Melchi, Hailey turns from victim to fellow soldier with Melchi in the battle against the evil Mulo, the spirits of the dead who act like vampires. With breathless pacing, a sharp sense of suspense, memorable descriptions and a churning plot, this novel is a must-read for those who enjoy such authors as Ted Dekker and Frank Peretti. Readers will appreciate carefully woven themes from Dracula, science, faith, conspiracy theory and divine battle. Christian themes surface in the supernatural warfare, and a Christian character, Susan Boggs, helps Hailey see beyond the physical world to a deeper reality. (Oct.) Copyright 2008 Reed Business Information.
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