Book Review of the Sci-fi Fantasy Novel: The Hand Bringer by Christopher J. Penington

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Original cover of the book – The Hand Bringer

Book Name: The Hand Bringer

Author Name:  Christopher J. Penington

Book Published on Date: 31st August, 2017

Genre: Sci-fi fantasy, Time travel

Rating: 5 out of 5.

Who doesn’t love a vampire story? Since the first introduction of Bram Stoker’s Dracula, people have always craved for more variations of vampire stories. The Hand Bringer by Christopher J. Penington is a novel of the sci-fi fantasy genre that takes us back to the era of Vlad Dracula, the Impaler’s existence. However, the protagonist of this story is Peter Hadrian, an officer of the local Police department in Dallas, in the 21st century.

The narration starts with Peter encountering an unbelievably pale person with sharp canines. He gets into a fight with this person during a raid and gets bitten on the neck. Unaware of the existence of vampires, his friend Luke McElroy, a fellow officer, accompanies him to the hospital. However, on their way, Luke comes to know about the existence of a secret organization called ASA (Apocalypse Suppression Administration) who is investigating the disease called vampirism. We get a further backstory on Peter, about his Romanian descent, and a more complicated past than known to the world. Luke gets trapped in all this as he is the only one who could help the ASA team to unravel the mystery concerning Peter and his association with vampires. As the story progresses, the narrative takes us to medieval Romania during the reign of Prince of Wallachia, Vlad Dracula, where Peter now with enhanced abilities, travels back in time and gains the title of The Hand Bringer. The story shows the repercussions of the choices that one makes and their long-lasting effects on the people involved.

The majority portion of the narrative takes place in medieval Romania in the year 1476. The rest of the story takes place in the 21st century in Texas, Dallas, and Bucharest. Despite two distinct points in time, with almost a difference of 500 years, the two settings never coincide. The attire, architecture, dietary habits, dialect, armaments, even the punishments are apt to the respective periods. The accuracy standards show the amount of research and dedication he has put into this novel.

The highlight of his narration is the smooth way of introducing every character in the book. Though the characters keep increasing in every chapter, each one of them leaves a lasting impression through their unusual characteristics. The vivid description of their mannerism and appearance makes it feel like we can visualize them in flesh and bones. The development of each character, from their introduction to their last appearance in the plot, makes us understand their choices, thoughts, and emotions, thus making them more relatable.

Every word creates a visual impact on the reader. The narrative style is elegant and engaging. The description of the different war sequences, the motivational speeches, the monologues, the bantering, the witty dialogues, and the emotional conversations are impactful. There are negligible grammatical errors. Overall, it is a well-edited book.

There are uncountable scenes or dialogues in this book that have made a place in my favorite list. Every monologue of Peter leaves an imprint on the mind. However, toward the end of the book, few dialogues seem redundant.

For me, this book gets a perfect score because of its beautiful storytelling. The unpredictability of the events and the unexpected plot twists captivate the readers till the end. This book is a treat for all sci-fi fantasy enthusiasts. However, because of strong language, gore, sexual references, and graphic violence scenes, I would recommend this novel to a mature audience.

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