I became interested in James by reading the Patrick Bowers series. They are intense and full of suspense.
This is the second in the Jevin Banks series and I am getting hooked. Banks is an illusionist who manages to get involved in suspenseful situations. He frequently uses his expertise in illusion and similar skills to get to the truth.
The Jevin Banks series is more about scientific ideas than action and suspense. There is action and suspense, but it seems to revolve around something scientific. In this novel it is the concept of singularity. There will come a moment, sometime in mid-century, when converging "technologies create a tipping point after which our understanding of what it means to be human will be irrevocably changed." (137) Machines will have intelligence, emotion, language acquisition, and pattern recognition on the same level as humans. On the other side there is gene splicing and bionic implants (like night vision). The question is: What does it really mean to be human?
While the novel is not overtly "Christian," there are Christians in the novel and Christian themes woven into the story. For example, on the issue of what makes humans different from machines, Charlene says, "to create truly 'human machines,' they'd need to be able to worship or rebel against their creators." (448)
While there is philosophical thought in the novel (such as whether kids should be forced to read the classics), it also has lots of action. There is cutting edge research going on developing machines that can be controlled by the human mind. We even manage to get into the secret research location of Area 51. If you like to read about what may be happening in the near future, you'll find much to like in this novel.
In this book, Steven James writes that "magic is the only honest profession" as magicians promise to deceive you, and they succeed. But Mr. James is also an honest guy as he promises a crazy, suspenseful ride, and pulls it off each and every time.
Singularity takes you through a complex web of mystery, robotics, the search for eternal youth, government secrets, and desperate people willing to do anything to get the answers they need. And at the centre of it is Jevin Banks, a man still recovering from a family tragedy, and who is suddenly thrust back into an emotional roller coaster ride.
Singularity was a thrilling tale, and in my opinion, was even better than its predecessor, Placebo. Fingers crossed that there will be another instalment in this series!
Book has been provided courtesy of Baker Publishing Group and Graf-Martin Communications, Inc. Available at your favourite bookseller from Revell, a division of Baker Publishing Group.
You'll hold your breath through the pages of Steven James' latest thriller in the Jevin Banks series, Singularity.
I was hesitant to read Singularity, because the first book in the series, Placebo, was a little heady for me and not as fast-paced a read as I'd hoped for. Not so with this one. From page one James had me hooked, holding my breath along with his characters (escape artists), and flipping pages. Throughout the novel I waited for the bad guy to cross paths with the good guy and for Jevin to have to escape a situation he may not get out of alive. This is definitely an edge-of-your-seat read.
My biggest concern with Placebo was the amount of information Steven James shared, which continually pulled me from my fictional dream and slowed the read. In Singularity, when James must share information to let the reader in on the magician's ability to deceive his audience or to show us exactly what that robotic equipment is capable of doing, it didn't come across as an info dump or snap me out of my fictional dream.
I think he's found his groove and cannot wait for the next novel in the Jevin Banks series to release.
Having read Placebo I was looking forward to reading Singularity. The invitation to join this blog tour came with a warning Not for the timid or faint of heart reader, and believe me this was no idle warning. The book opens with a man being paralyzed so that a neuro-tech experiment can go to the next level - the merging of man and machine (creepy - really, really creepy)..
Totally creep-out and I started reading this on October 31 as my nice quiet evening at home read. Not the best thing to read before bed, unless you plan to stay up the whole night because you can't put it down.
While this isn't my normal reading choice, Singularity does rank up there with works by Frank Peretti and Ted Dekker they can definitely have a bit of a creep-out quality to their works as well. Now don't take this wrong because yes the book had a creep-out factor, but it was suspenseful and definitely held my attention until the end.
In Placebo we are introduced to Akinsanya and his is back as evil and diabolical as ever and Jevin has to outsmart him if he is going to save the lives of those closest to him. And when evidence is discovered that suggests a link between RixoTray and the DOD, Jev's investigation into the murder of his friend Emilio becomes a lot more complicated.
I can say with all honesty that I am looking forward to what happens next in the illusion that is Jevin Banks's world. And I'd like to know if he can discover who is the power behind RixoTray and Akinsanya. My dad would have loved these books as he was the one who introduced me to Frank Peretti.
I was provided a copy of this book by the publisher in exchange for my honest review.
Available November 2013 at your favorite bookseller from Revell, a division of Baker Publishing Group.
Jevin Banks is a famous illusionist and makes his home in Las Vegas. He is on location with his friend, fellow illusionist, Emilio Beningo when the unthinkable happens. Emilio is in the middle of performing an illusion when he is murdered. Jevin knows who the killer is and pursues him. Jevin doesn't give up and even when he gets back to the United States, he continues to pursue his own investigation in the murder as law enforcement seems unwilling to do anything. With his girlfriend, Charlene, and best friend, Xavier Wray along with colleague Fionna McClury and her four children, Jevin uncovers much more than murder. He performs his top-rated show at a first class hotel and narrowly escapes serious injury. The owner of the hotel, billionaire Clive Fridell, is aware of the almost injury and wants Jevin to cancel a show to give him time to focus.
Someone has hired Emilio's killer. Is it Akinsanya, Jevin's nemesis from Placebo? What is actually going on at the Air Force Base at Groom Lake? Does Area 51 actually exist? Xavier, Jevin's special effects man and best friend is a fount of knowledge on government conspiracy plots and has a truckload of information. Soon they discover a link between Emilio and the Groom Lake facility. What does young Tim at Fuller Medical Center have to do with Emilio? While trying to discover the answers, Jevin meets Solomon, a very bad guy involved in prostitution as well as other unsavory business dealings. He respects Jevin's search for justice and helps him out with some information.
While there is nonstop action and thrills as with any Steven James book, I didn't care for a few of the sexual references or situations (no specific details are given); thus the 4-star rating instead of 5-star rating. Otherwise, the story raises some very interesting questions about life and how it is changing with the addition of artificial intelligence, and if anyone has the right to put himself in the position of God. The amount of research the author did into this topic as well as illusions and magic is phenomenal. This story is not for the weak of heart as the tension is ratcheted up with every chapter. There is a bit of gruesomeness as well, so be prepared. I enjoyed the timeline employed as it keeps readers on the edge of their seat to see if the protagonist can come to the rescue in time. I'm looking forward to the next book in this series.