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5 Stars Out Of 5
January 4, 2010
I loved the first book in this series, Shade, and have eagerly awaited the sequel, Powers. Olsons style is action-packed, vivid, and intense. But unlike some writers of suspense, his knack for characterization brings incredible depth to his stories.Powers did not disappoint.After a couple of literary paragraphs that plunked me right in the middle of a Louisiana swamp and convinced me it was the most beautiful place on earth, the action slammed into high gear. The story opens with Mariutza, a gypsy girl with Dorothy Gales innocence and Catwomans mad fighting skills. The man shes known as her grandfather is murdered by mysterious evil forces, and Mari must leave everything she knows to follow his final instructions to find the prophet Jaazaniah.If Mari is in touch with her inner Superwoman but a bit out of touch with reality, Jazz is the opposite. His harsh reality, scraping by as a musician in New Orleans, has squelched all but the instinct to survive. Until strange visions, and terrifying, hooded pursuers turn his life into a waking nightmare. Jazz and Maris paths cross, twist together, and lead them further into danger, intrigue, and powerful attraction. I loved the way the plot expanded to become bigger than all the characters yet still dependent on their choices. I was not ready for it to end, and now I have the bittersweet pleasure of waiting for the next installment.
Powers by John B. Olson is the sequel to Shade, but you don't need to read that volume to be completely hooked by this compelling thriller. Mariutza has been raised in seclusion by her grandfather, taught to fight, to use her mental abilities to outwit the enemy, and to fear the outside world. But when he is killed by mysterious hooded figures, she flees from the swamp that has been her only home to the city of New Orleans to seek the mysterious prophet Jaazaniah. Jazz Rechabson is just trying to make enough money to make the rent playing piano at a music club when he has a vision of a man surrounded and killed by strange beings. When he comes to, he finds himself being pursued by those same beings and the emergence of strange abilities he has no idea how to control or use. The two must pair up to find out the secret that binds them both and just may hold the key to their survival. The first 50-75 pages were a bit of a rough read for me. While the action was intense, I couldn't figure out if this was our world or a world similar to ours and just what was going on. Then I relaxed and just let the story flow, and pretty soon the hours flew by, and I couldn't put it down. The reader is much like Mariutza : in a strange world, disoriented, with no grasp of the circumstances. Olson dribbles out the information in enticing tidbits that keep the pages turning. A sure-fire hit with fans of urban fantasy or the supernatural, as well as regular thrillers, this weird, astonishing read is a true treat.
Mariutza's grandfather, Purodad, and beloved teacher, Miss Caralee were murdered while Mariutza stayed helplessly hidden. Before her grandfather died in her arms, he told Mariutza what she must do. She had been kept hidden in the swamp and cared for by her grandfather, but now she was alone, and being chased by the Badness. She had to get out of the swamp and find Jaazaniah the Prophet. He was the only one that could help her now.As soon as the book arrived, I was eager to start reading. Between the cover art and the blurb on the back, it looked like a fantastic read. I was not disappointed. From the first few paragraphs, I was drawn in, and had a hard time putting it down. I loved the characters of Mari (Mariutza) and Jazz (Jaazaniah) and found myself cheering them on. This is truly a page turner full of suspense and surprises, twists and turns, and even some conspiracy thrown in. "Powers" is the sequel to "Shade", but could easily be read as a stand alone book. Highly recommended!!