By Robert Browne
In Stores Now
The war in Heaven makes its way to Earth in the latest thriller from author Robert Browne. This novel was my first exposure to the best-selling author but I now am eagerly awaiting his next work.
You are excused if at first glance you think this book is similar to Dan Brown’s “The DaVinci Code” or “Angels and Demons.” For one thing, the authors have nearly identical last names. And secondly, the stunning cover certainly makes you think of angels or demons. Both stories do deal with religious mysteries, but that’s pretty much where the comparisons end. Inspired by John Milton’s classic “Paradise Lost,” Browne has crafted a stunning supernatural thriller that goes far beyond your typical globe-trotting adventure yarn.
What if all the evil you see in the world … all the death and war and famine and violence … what if all of it, or most of it, was the result of four fallen angels, vying to win enough human souls to bring about the end of the world? Cast out of Heaven alongside Lucifer centuries ago and clothed in human flesh, these four “demons” are wreaking havoc on the Earth, looking to fulfill an ancient prophecy they believe will help them unleash unimaginable evil on the world.
Standing in their way is an unlikely duo. Agent Bernadette Callahan is an investigator with a shadowy government agency known as Section on the trail of a supernatural killer. Sebastian “Batty” LaLaurie is a lecherous college professor with a talent for drinking large amounts of alcohol and a vast amount of knowledge regarding “Paradise Lost.”
Together, the duo travels across the globe, decoding clues from Milton’s epic and the Bible. But no matter what they do, they always seem to be one step behind the deadly dark angels. Enter the fallen archangel Michael, who is battling the quartet of evil angels and helps the pair discover the truth. It all builds to a dramatic climax in a stunning setting. Will the world survive the battle?
I loved “The Paradise Prophecy.” Browne painted such vivid pictures, the story played out in my brain like a full-color motion picture. I wouldn’t be surprised to see it on the big screen someday. The characters felt so human and real. They were not flawless, perfect heroes who always do the right thing to save the day. They were just like you and me, full of faults and foibles, susceptible to temptation. Callahan and Batty are two extremely different characters who work together and grow as characters throughout the story.
The plot was gripping and engaging and kept me turning the pages, ready to discover what was really happening. Browne goes far beyond the typical historical/mythological treasure hunt thriller by seamlessly blending the mystery and thriller elements with the supernatural elements.
I am definitely ready for a sequel. Although Browne hasn’t started on a sequel yet, I am hopeful he will be able to write one eventually. I am sure there is more to this story and I can’t wait to read it.
On a scale of 1 to 5, I give “The Paradise Prophecy” a 4.
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