BOOK REVIEW – Zara Hanson & The Mystery of the Painted Symbol

by J.L. Haynes

Original Book Cover -Zara Hanson & The Mystery of the Painted Symbol

Book Name: Zara Hanson & The Mystery of the Painted Symbol

Author Name:  J.L. Haynes

Book Published on Date: April 2019

Genre: Sci-Fi, Fantasy, Adventure

Rating: 3.5 out of 5.

A few memorable quotes from this book:

“How am I supposed  to  know about  all  of  this?”

“How do you  know that you  do  not?”

“I  am that  which  is  not,  born  from the imperishable  stars.”

Exactly! Single-mindedness has  power,  but  multiple  minds have unity of  purpose  and with  that  comes  possibility.”

“It is foretold  that she may  teach us the  way of  the  just,  for the  light  of  the universe is in  her  eye.” 

The existence of alien entities or possibilities of alien invasion has always been a subject of interest for sci-fi enthusiasts and fiction lovers equally. Hence, any adventure novel involving the theme of saving the earth and protecting the human race from ultimate destruction is irresistible. Zara Hanson & The Mystery of the Painted Symbol is a fantasy science fiction novel by J.L. Haynes. It succeeds in fueling the interest of the readers with a refreshing narrative style.

Brief Summary:

Our protagonist, Zara Hanson, is a top agent of a secret task force. She is assigned the task of investigating and interpreting The Painted Symbol. It holds critical details that could help to protect the human race from an inter-dimensional threat. In this mission, she meets Ansebe and Fez, two extraterrestrial beings who accompany her in solving it. However, in the process, she realizes that her strong emotional connection with Ansebe and Fez extends to a former life and that her role in this mission is more than she anticipated.


A significant part of the narrative occurs in outer space, either on a different planet or inside a technologically advanced spaceship. The remaining story takes place on earth in the United States. The book is abundant in picturesque landscapes. The vivid description of the attires, physique, and mannerism of each character creates an authentic atmosphere. The author has effortlessly blended the reference of various mythical characters from different cultures in his narration.

The language used matches the tone of the story. However, the author has most of the time used extremely complex expressions to describe any scene. Though there are a few editing errors, the fast-paced narrative style doesn’t leave much room for highlighting them. It is a third-person narrative except for a few scenes.

The best part of the novel is that it includes humor, grief, trust, betrayal, suspense, action, and character development in balanced proportion. The plot twists are unpredictable. Overall, it is an entertaining story. The fitting introduction of every character, the battle strategies, and the witty conversations make this story appear extremely intelligent.

However, toward the end, the last few chapters felt a bit rushed. Moreover, the action sequences, though well-choreographed, sometimes felt over-elaborated.

I certainly enjoyed this book. However, considering the technical terminologies used throughout the book, I would recommend this one specifically to readers interested in the sci-fi fantasy genre.


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