Wednesday, June 24, 2009

CFBA Tour - The Firstborn

The latest book in the CFBA tour is The Firstborn, by new author Conlan Brown.


When the Nazarene died on a cross 2000 years ago, the ancient writings record tombs that opened up, and dead who rose to walk again. What was unknown was those who rose awakened with a gift. Some could see the past, some the present, others the future. They were meant to be a guide for those who followed, but the different perspectives led to conflict and separation into three different orders.

When the orders meet to work out issues, one leader dies and another disappears. Three disparate members of the groups must band together to discover the mystery of the battle within the Firstborn, as well as a looming tragedy of a suicide bomber within the United States. Will the different sides find unity in order to thwart the danger, or will an evil they can't see destroy them first?

Conlan Brown delivers a palpable action/adventure thriller as his first novel. The pages shouldn't stop turning, as he keeps a fast-paced suspense moving (maybe careening!) along from San Antonio to D.C. and rural West Virginia. The book starts with one of the Firstborn as a kidnapped hostage and the rescue, and the ending provides a capstone fitting for a summer blockbuster.

I think it is fitting that during the summer season of movie thrillers that this book comes out. It is a good distraction and easy, entertaining read. The characters are given various traits to make them stand out, but they don't come across as deeply developed. There are some themes that are clearly shown, but they almost get drowned out by the bullets and fists that are frequently flying. It also becomes a little disturbing to see these "Christian" groups with fully armed militias running and gunning. I appreciate an exciting adrenaline-fueled adventure, but the premise went a little over the top at points.

Overall, I thought it was a solid debut for the author. The book should appeal to guys who like explosions and lots of action, which doesn't always happen in the Amish/prairie romances of other CBA fare (I'm sure the inability to use modern detonators hampers an Amish action romp) or other adrenaline junkies. There were problems in characterization and plausability that I'm confident can be developed in further work. I'll be interested to see what Mr. Brown comes up with next.

If you would like to read the first chapter excerpt of The Firstborn, go HERE

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