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Monday, October 29, 2012

31 Days of Horror: Day 29-- Review of Coronation by Lee Jordan


 Coronation
Yesterday, I had this guest post by Lee F. Jordan.  So today, I am reviewing his latest novel, Coronation.

Coronation has had the least attention of the books I have reviewed this month, and now that I have read it, that makes me angry because it is very good and deserves more readers.

The story was inspired by three actual nautical mysteries and these historical events are referred to throughout the story.  We begin with a creepy prologue in modern day with a submarine full of dead, hanging, smiling soldiers.

The story then quickly goes back to the 1800s and one of the the nautical mysteries, in this case the gruesome murders of lighthouse workers.

Then the story goes back to present day and we start to meet the main players in the present.

Let me say this shifting of time line and point of view continues throughout the story, but it is not confusing at all.  In fact, quite the opposite.  This shifting enhances the unease of the story.  We see a great evil from different perspectives and over a long period of time.

But this bouncing around also shows a restraint in storytelling. Jordan allows the tension to build, giving us little details, enough to keep us turning the pages compulsively, but not enough to blow the cover off the main evil.  As a result, I wanted to put the book down, but I literally could not.  I kept wanting to read just a little more. It was like an addiction.

Reading Coronation is like peeling an onion-- an evil, bloody, ancient evil driven onion.

This is an action oriented story.  Jon David is the most developed of the characters here, but don't expect more character development than is necessary to move the story along.  This is not a knock on the novel at all.  The point of the story is to move the action along.

Let's get to that action.  Our main character is a supernatural Navy investigator, Jon David.  He is called in to investigate that submarine full of dead people I mentioned at the beginning.  I will not give more details away except to say that the past and the present are connected, and there is a lot of blood, evil, and terror.

Since Jon David is a Naval detective this is horror with a strong investigative element. He is able to stop the evil human mastermind, but as Jon David is recuperating, the ancient evil is regrouping and staging a comeback.  I think Jon David will need to be called back into action to use his dark gift to stop the monsters once again.

Three Words That Describe This Book: supernatural thriller, action oriented, terrifying

Readalikes: This was easy because I immediately thought of a few works.  First, the classic gruesome and violent The Night Boat by Robert McCammon.  It is out of print, but available at many libraries and features a long ago sunken Nazi submarine that resurfaces with a zombie crew. I love this book.

For those who want more true nautical mysteries which feature a horror answer, try Terror by Dan Simmons.  Vice versa, if you like Terror, try the lesser known Coronation.  As I said about Terror  in my book:

"Simmons adds a supernatural twist in this historical novel of Sir John Franklin’s mysterious and failed 1840’s arctic search for the Northwest Passage.  No one knows what really happened after the ships became trapped in the ice, but Simmons’ description of disease, cannibalism, and a monstrous creature stalking the crew is compelling and terrifying.  This is an intricately plotted story with an oppressively menacing atmosphere."


Finally, Jon David reminded me of Jonathan Maberry's bestselling, supernatural thriller hero Joe Ledger.  In fact, Jordan's choice of quick changes in point of view, as well as a story line with human and supernatural evil will appeal to Joe Ledger fans.  Here is my review of Patient Zero, the first book in this series.  Scroll down to see comments by Maberry too.

Full disclosure: I received a copy of Coronation from the author for free so that I could add it to my library's collection.

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