The Order of the Four Sons Book I by Lauren Scharhag
My rating: 4 of 5 stars
A paranormal mission impossible...
The Order of the Four Sons, or O4S as the modern organization call itself, is under attack. Teams are disappearing on missions, yet events that demand their attention are on the rise in frequency and intensity. After sending out every spare group of people, even the main office's administrative staff, they bring in a misfit crew to investigate a mysterious phone call received just that day from an agent who disappeared 20 years ago from a small town called Excelsior Springs.
Set in the modern day, this story is not focused on Egyptian mythology, despite the description and the intro chapter. I found this to be action-packed and interesting. The banter between the teammates is natural and often humorous. The setting in Excelsior Springs, including the history involved, is also impressive. I was surprised and pleased with the historical fiction aspects of the story, many of which involved this little town. It was clever to link a famous historical figure with O4S, though I don't want to say who the figure is due to spoilers. The old hotel and the alternate old hotel are both extremely creepy, especially due to the creatures and ghosts that inhabit them.
Murphy, Bill and Kate are my favorites from the team. Murphy, the detective, is a sceptic; even after he finds himself transported to another dimension, he still refuses to believe, though he deals with what he's experiencing. Bill monitors, records and coordinates the efforts of the team as they investigate. He pops in with humorous remarks and seems to be their tether to the real world. Finally, Kate, the apprentice mage who thought she was simply coming for her first training mission, instead finds herself on a desperate mission, facing terrifying enemies.
And those terrifying enemies are numerous and varied. Counted among them are ghosts, demons, immortal serial killers, and the particularly nasty spirit that spawned The Order of the Four Sons in the first place.
Overall, I really enjoyed this story, particularly the historical fiction and the ongoing battle between good and evil. This is the first in a series, so the book ends off with a set up for the next one. I'd recommend this book for those who like books with interesting characters, historical tie ins, and cameos by famous (and infamous) historical figures. Others may enjoy the paranormal spin on a story set in the modern world.
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