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Silver by Steven Savile
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Silver (2010)

by Steven Savile

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I was given this book to review.

Silver is a tome, one hell of a book, in scope, complexity and power. Twinning a secret religious cult made up of the descendants of the misunderstood Judas and a handful of highly organized acts of terrorism that begins with 13 people burning themselves alive at the same moment in time across the world, Silver pits a team of secretive investigators against a worldwide religious-political threat.
Move over Dan Brown, Saville threads in more flavor, texture and dimension into a story than most authors dream of. Moving from the U.S. to Israel, Rome and Germany and including a vast cast that will make other international thrillers appear pale in comparison, Silver is a hefty read.
The pace is even, but not always speedy and the layered details might not be intriguing to all readers. The emphasis here is strongly on large scope character and world building. Silver would appeal to readers who enjoy more of a mainstream slant to genre fiction, such as those who find Stephen King and Michael Crichton's detail and character-oriented styles to their taste. Even readers who might find this storytelling method slow will have to admit that Saville backs it up with a lot of plot interest and intrigue and a twist on the Christian theological mythos that's edgy and new. ( )
  Michele_lee | Jan 24, 2010 |
Sometimes something drops through the letterbox that you have been aniticipating for so long and desiring so badly that you do things like, phone your husband and make him open the post and describe it to you over the phone because you are not going to be home till late.

That's how I was with Silver. I have made it clear enough that I love Steve Savile's writing, his love of language and writing style draw me in as much as his characters and stories. He hits just the right balance for me.

So, it arrived. Beautiful and shiny in trade paperback size with it's gorgeous cover art (Larry Rostant I believe) and full of promise. I spent the whole night feeling vaguely disloyal because I was out with colleagues celebrating a successful scheme launch instead of at home devoting my time and attention to the book. If I sound like a squeeing fangirl it's because I am and it's only going to get worse as you read on.

Needless to say then, that the various other books I am part way into have been temporarily abandoned in favour of this new love. Yes i'm fickle, but really Silver has been on my mind since I first saw the cover over at the Variance Blog. I harrassed the guys and variance until they promised me a review copy and then demanded a daily status update from Steve while the ARC's languished in the Swedish postal system. I had high expectations of this book, avoided reading the blurb so I would come to it fresh and prepared to rave uncontrollably about it's genius as long as it didn't disappoint. No pressure then Savile.

Thursday I came home and started reading. By page ten I was caught as usual in the web of words and intrigue that Steve does so well. Today I went to work and booked the afternoon as flexi so I could get back to the book.

We are playing with conspiracies, secret agencies, spies, betrayal, mystery, terrorism and religious intrigue and yes it moves along at a fair pace, travels around the world and everyone has more secrets than is at first apparent. I am especially delighted by some of the scenes taking place in Newcastle wondering if I did know the locations or my memory was playing tricks again.

The cover quotes make reference to Dan Brown and yes it would seem that Steve used the same basic lego box as Dan Brown, Colin Forbes and Clive Cussler in writing Silver, but if you have ever played with lego you know, the art is in the construction not the bricks and Steve did one hell of a job on the construction.

It's complex and full of twists and tension, no way of knowing how it will end and Steve never delivers typical so I knew the ending would be a bit special. And then some. The characters are solid, there is not time in this book to explain them all but there is at least one more coming and I look forward to learning more about the team, in the mean time they were easy to buy into and I I have a girl crush on Orla.

I want to tell you all about it in detail, give you examples of the humour and horror of the book but it's impossible without giving away it's secrets. I can tell you I read with the book in one hand while I chewed the nails on the other out of existance and then swapped. A habit I thought i'd beaten years ago.

If you liked The Da Vinci Code this will blow your socks off, if you thought the Da Vinci Code was rubbish then this is the perfect antidote and yeah, it's probably blasphemy if you are of a remotely Catholic persuasion. Silver, to borrow from Koni, wakes you up at four am and drags you out of bed naked and screaming.

More reviews at http://ww.unboundblogzine.com ( )
  hagelrat | Nov 22, 2009 |
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2,000 years ago, 30 silver shekels secured history's most infamous betrayal. Now, 13 martyrs burn in Judas's name, promising 40 days and nights of terror. In a race against time, a covert team, codename Ogmios, tracks a labyrinthine course through truth and lies from London to Checkpoint Charlie and into the Holy See itself. All you believe in will be proved wrong. All you hold true will fail.

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