Friday, November 9, 2012

"Placebo" Blog Tour

by Steven James
Pharmaceutical Cover-Up Turns Deadly in New Jevin Banks Series
While investigating a controversial neurological research program, expose filmmaker Jevin Banks is drawn into a far-reaching conspiracy involving one of the world’s largest pharmaceutical firms. He seeks answers about the questionable mind-to-mind communication program – and answers to his own family tragedy.
Rooted in groundbreaking science, Placebo explores the far reaches of science, consciousness, and faith. This tau, intelligent, and emotionally gripping new thriller from master storyteller Steven James will keep you flipping pages late into the night.
Available November 2012 at your favorite bookseller from Revell, a division of Baker Publishing Group.


About the Author: Critically acclaimed author Steven James has written more than thirty books, including the bestselling Patrick Bowers thriller series. He is considered one of the nation's most innovative storytellers and versatile authors, and is a contributing editor to Writer's Digest. Steven lives in Tennessee with his wife and three daughters.
My Take:

Since this book is more my husband’s type of novel, I asked him to write the bulk of this review!
Jevin Banks is a successful magician who blames himself for the death of his wife and twin sons.  After quitting the stage, he starts a new career as an expose filmmaker who uses his expertise to expose charlatans for what they really are.  He and his stage assistant, Charlene, are working on a new story investigating a clinic doing studies on mind-to-mind communication.  As they dig deeper, they uncover a conspiracy involving the clinic, a pharmaceutical company, and the military.

This is the first book I have read by Steven James, and I have been told by those who have read his other books that this is very different from his previous series.  I enjoyed the fast paced thriller aspect of this story.  There wasn’t much mystery involved, but perhaps that is because I have read too many novels like this and was just able to see where it was going.  I still enjoyed watching how our characters figured out what was going on and seeing how it all fit together.
I also really enjoyed the two main characters in this book.  Jevin (Jev) and Charlene started the book as close friends with a long history.  But, with Jev’s wife and sons being dead only 13 months, it was a strained relationship.  It was great watching them grow closer together as the book progressed.  It felt like a very natural progression, too.

But, one of the biggest problems I had with this novel was how dark it was.  The book starts out telling the story of the death of Jev’s wife and twin sons, and it is told in very graphic detail.  And then of course Jev kept reliving it throughout the book.  In addition to that story, there were several characters in the book who would best be described as psychopaths.  They have no conscience or feelings at all.  Reading the descriptions of the child abuse and torture that took place in their lives was just too much for me.  I found it way too disturbing at times, especially for a Christian novel, and if the remainder of the series is to be as dark, I might not continue with it.
I will also say that the main concept behind this book was a bit farfetched.  I personally do not buy into the concept of affecting other people with our thoughts.  And, trying to explain away prayer or miracles by saying that we are influencing others with the connections of quantum particles that we all share was just too much.  However, it was cool how it made the skeptic main character evaluate the things in which he believes.  The process of his path toward God was very realistic.  He didn’t get all the way there, but hopefully he will in the next few books.

So, I am torn.  I enjoyed most of the story and the two main characters.  I would really enjoy reading another story based on these two characters.  However, if the next book in the series is anywhere near as dark and disturbing as this one, I probably will not be reading it. 

I will give Placebo … 3 BookWorms.

Disclosure of Material Connection: I received this book free from Revell Publishers. I was not required to write a positive review. The opinions I have expressed are my own. I am disclosing this is accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255: "Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising."


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