King's X (Episode 1) by Stephen T. Harper
Release Date: December 13, 2010
Publisher: Novel Endeavor Books
Reading level: Adult
A young detective working the night shift in Hollywood, Wendell Book has seen plenty of tragic teen runaways, but never one like Molly. Every night, she dreams of violent deaths and whispering voices that push her to do wicked things, like run away from home, steal cars, and break into a stranger's apartment. Wendell Book's apartment.
In time, maybe just in time, Molly begins to see her dreams for what they really are. Memories. The deaths she recalls were all her own, each a link in a long chain of lifetimes. The mercilessly unfolding truth - this overwhelmed girl is the fox in an impossible hunt. She is the guardian of an ancient and mysterious object known only as the King's X. Its true owners have chased her from lifetime to lifetime to get it back.
Now, they have the scent again...
Mini-Disclaimer: Alright, this is not a young adult novel by any means but as I know there are adult readers of my blog I am reviewing this here for your interest because it's a fascinating read.
This novella starts out mid-action and doesn't seem to slow down even when the author is describing delicate women in quiet moments with the men they care for. Which, definitely are not the key elements of the plot of this noir-esque story. There is a lot to absorb on the few pages of this first part. It's a giant feat to be able to fit so much character introduction and unveil at least enough of the wide-ranging plot to keep the reader wanting to log onto Barnes & Noble to read the next episode and Mr. Harper accomplishes it well.
The characters are developed well enough with the simplest of clues and statements that I quickly fell into the world being created. I especially enjoyed the historical segments as I have a fascination with the Crusades and Knights Templar. I felt the characters and description of settings was much richer and more colorful in these sections than in the more modern sections. I found myself more interested in what would happen with Sebastien and Khali than with Book, Molly, and Sara.
All in all, this was a nicely gritty, fun read. I'm impressed with the fortitude it must have taken to weave together something so complicated as I can already feel this story is going to be. I think that if you're an adult (there were some things that I personally don't think young adults would relate to or need to read) and need to take a break from YA for a bit, pick up King's X. You won't be sorry.