Review: The Warrior’s Beckoning by Patrick Howard

warrior's beckoningThe Warrior’s Beckoning by Patrick Howard is told in two parts in this first installment of the series. There’s a war between Light and Dark. A team gathers to fight an evil presence. Each team member was shown an address in a dream and all of them appeared at the address. They really don’t understand why they came together, but they all believe that arriving there was the right thing to do. In the first story the team finds a diary that contains key information. The second story introduces the Warrior, who is summoned by a woman he’s never met. However, the Warrior knows he loves this woman.

This 170-page book has quite a lot packed into it. There are action scenes, knights, soldiers, evil blobs, ghost hunters, a warrior and tons of other characters, as well as scientific experiments that study how people who suffer from certain conditions have a tendency to have telepathic capabilities. Howard obviously has an active imagination and it’s clear in this first installment that he is bursting to tell an exciting story.

The beginning starts off well by building the suspense. On the first page the reader encounters this passage:

No one knew what had happened, and no one who investigated ever returned. At least, not of whole mind. The police closed the town off from the world, yet my team and I walked right past their warnings. I regretted that now as I ran into the endless night. I began to recall it all…how it had been before the massacre.

It sounds promising. The following pages reveal much confusion. Partly this is intentional. The team members involved in the war really don’t know what they are up against and they don’t have a clue as to how they can win. But they won’t give up and their bravery is inspiring. Since the people involved in the story don’t understand what’s going on it’s understandable that the author leaves the reader in the dark.

However, there are some flaws that make it hard to understand this book in its entirety. First the author doesn’t develop the characters. Many of them are simply names without mannerisms or characteristics to differentiate them. Some  are known by monikers such as The Ghost Hunter, The Survivor, The Specialist, The Girl, and The Warrior. A reader should be able to tell characters apart by the way they speak or how they act and not solely by their name.

Second, the author includes a lot of information, such as scientific experiments involving night terrors, schizophrenia, and telepathic capabilities without a whole lot of explanation. It seems the author’s hope is that the action of the story will keep the reader from wondering why, who, what, when, and where. Some readers may be able to overlook the lack of development and will be to enjoy all the action scenes. Many don’t need a lot of explanation as long as things keep blowing up. And there are lots of guns, including a .45 pistol, Uzis, M4, FAL P90, H&K G36, and H&K CAWS,to name some of them.This could be interesting for gun hobbyists for sure.

Unfortunately,there are inconsistencies with the plot. The author jumps around quite a bit causing confusion and he is constantly switching point of view. In the second part The Warrior is introduced. However the reader has to go through many pages before reaching the section titled, “The Ghost Hunter’s Epilogue,” which provides key information for understanding the previous pages. The author may understand his motives for doing this, but the reader may be taken aback and slightly annoyed.

This book will appeal to action lovers. It’s one action-packed scene after another. For those who look for character development this may pose some problems.

However, Howard’s creativity is impressive so it’s a shame this book doesn’t present all his wonderful ideas more coherently. It would be a much stronger book if it did.

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