A teen boy discovers that he is an empath, able to detect the feelings of other beings. What's more, he is a projective empath, able to make others feel what he wants them to. Whereas many would abuse the power and look for personal gain, he has a moral compass that keeps him on the mostly straight and not so narrow path of justice. In the process, he has to deal with corrupt politicians, power hungry people, and some insane people (although one could argue that all of those descriptive words could be applied to just politicians in general).
For plot, I give the story an A (8). It is well told and does a decent job of filling in much of the story. It lacks some of the back story of some of the important secondary characters, but still well told.
For technical quality, it is above average, but still has enough small mistakes to drop the score to a B (7).
Finally, for personal appeal, I score it an A (8) again. To have merited a better score, I would have liked to have seen some more character development, particularly of the main secondary characters. Again, that is solely my preference.
I just cheated my company out of a couple of days pay by spending most of the past 48 hours immersed in this excellent story!
The odd, and very heartwarming thought comes to me is that I nearly *didn't* read this one because I kinda doubted that I would like it, based simply on the synopsis and the codes. What a great surprise when I opened the first page and found I could not stop reading.
The story itself is concerned with how a young man comes to terms with a supernatural ability that grants him enormous advantage over others to almost god-like status. It follows his adventures as a boy, a husband, a soldier and as a spy-catcher; but more, it follows his path as he comes to terms with his life and the one thing that is most important in his universe. There is a lot of action, on battlefield and in bed. There's also that joyous feeling of invincibility as he overcomes one obstacle after another.
The story has its ups and downs (and more than a few in and outs ;) ) but one of the features that puts it head and shoulders above many other tales is that it actually engages the reader in a philosophical debate about the meaning of many of life's principles. Religion, morality, politics, ethics, all get a kick at the can and, for the most part, receive a nicely well thought out treatment.
I am not a huge fan of incest stories -- I tend to find them superficial in their lack of thought about how the participants would actually react to each other. This one, I found myself defending its theme by comparing it to some of the Greek tales. It is certainly enough of an epic to make such comparison valid. As it turns out, I think that the relationship between the brother and sister is healthy enough and integral enough to the story to justify leaving aside any such squicks.
Another strong point of the story is that although this is written in the first person, it demonstrates a great understanding of the other characters' points of view and so allows for some very authentic dialogue.
Cleverly, the central character is flawed enough that his abilities do not remove any of the essential tension that such a story requires. One continues to read the next page because there's always the possibility that he might fail or others might succeed.
And there are a LOT of pages to read, a fact that I am very grateful for. It has been a blast reading this story and I suspect I will crack it open again some day to relive the enjoyment.