Sins of the Messiah

Title: Sins of the Messiah
Author: Jaye Valentine, Reno MacLeod
Cover Artist: Reno MacLeod
Publisher: M&V Tailz
Amazon: N/A
Genre: Paranormal M/M, Urban Fantasy
Length: Novel (51,000 words, 125 PDF pages)
Rating: 5 stars out of 5

 

Review Summary: An incredible journey with a lot of symbolism, combined with a mind blowing adventure in a world where anything goes.

THE BLURB

In the year 2029, the world becomes a better place thanks to one man.

Malcolm Wilder, a brilliant but unassuming university student, engineers an inexpensive solution to our dependence on fossil fuels. The new energy-for-everyone economy ushers in an era of world peace, and creatures once thought to be the stuff of legend decide they can safely reveal their existence to mankind.

A decade later, Malcolm is a corporate giant living in exotic Dubai. His business partner and lifelong friend, Levi Tanner, is concerned that Malcolm isn’t taking adequate time to enjoy his fame and fortune. Levi convinces Malcolm to accompany him to Mortal Sins, an entertainment complex catering to people seeking adult recreation with various supernatural species. Malcolm soon discovers that the world still has problems of Biblical proportion, but as all Hell seems about to break loose, an unlikely visitor brings the world an unexpected message of hope.

THE REVIEW

Sins of the Messiah is the re-edited version of two previously released books: Messiah I & II – 3 of Cups and Page of Wands. 3 of Cups was reviewed on the site almost a year ago but I didn’t review Page of Wands because I was advised by the authors that they were going to reissue both books as soon as publishing rights reverted to them. This is my review of the newly released book.

The world before the emergence of our hero, Malcolm, was not a happy place. There were predictions in 1970 about setting up colonies on the moon and a manned mission to Mars, control of the weather to eliminate drought and famine, and the eradication of cancer and other diseases. None of this ever came to pass. Instead, oil was king and the oil barons in the Middle East held the rest of the world hostage. By 2020 dependence on fossil fuels and other global crises had run the world economy into the ground. 10 years later when everything seemed grim and there appeared to be no hope, 20 year old Malcolm Wilder, a brilliant MIT student, figured out how to harness hydrogen power and create and distribute it cheaply. The contrast between the before and after Malcolm world was remarkable. There was no more energy dependence on the oil rich nations and the wealth of the world shifted.

However although Malcolm was a brilliant scientist and deserved all the accolades heaped on him it seemed reasonable to assume that other forces were at work which helped bring about this radical improvement in the fortunes of many nations in the world, and it soon became evident what and who was behind his incredible accomplishments.

In the meantime, almost without being noticed, there was an interesting development when in 2031 vampires, weres, angels, demons and other supernatural beings who had lived on earth all along, figured it was safe to  come out. At first they lived in peaceful co-existence with humans, but things changed soon after.

Shortly after his 30th birthday Malcolm’s best friend, Levi, persuaded him to take some time off from working 24/7 and go with him to Xanadu Island. When they arrived at Mortal Sins, a night club on the island, although he was impressed by the mind blowing technology and pleasures provided by the supernaturals, it wasn’t until Mal saw Suki, a demon and his designated companion for the next 24 hours, that he knew he would never be the same.

Sins of the Messiah is the story of how one man changed the fortunes of the world but was himself manipulated and controlled both in his personal and business life. Everyone around Malcolm had an agenda, even his best friend Levi who had lived with him almost all his life but about whom Malcolm knew practically nothing until it was too late. The threads woven throughout this book showed how secrets were kept from Malcolm because he failed to recognize he had been duped and who was pulling the strings.

Sins is not for the faint of heart and if you’re squeamish about blood, or if religious themes bother you, you may want to give it a pass. Also there’s shifted sex between Malcolm and some of the other characters so be warned if that’s a turn-off for you. However, if you love urban fantasy and duplicitous, volatile, in-your-face characters, amazing world building, and a plot that contains many surprises and keeps you on the edge of your seat, as well as an incredible and imaginative ending, you will appreciate the complexity of the story. The ending reminds me of Armageddon with the accompanying fire and brimstone.

This novel has some of the most impressive world building. The world was painstakingly crafted – it was dark but enticing and at times it was brilliantly lit and so awesome that I had to admire the authors’ ingenuity. The characters were just as impressive as the world, in addition to being complex and conniving, and just when I thought someone was not redeemable he showed qualities that made him seem capable of love.

Their attention to detail and excellent characterizations are always selling points for me with these  authors and here the characters are wonderfully drawn even though some of them are extreme. This writing pair loves to take historical characters and turn them around on a dime into full fledged living, breathing, three dimensional people and they seem to have a gleeful zest for shocking readers with their portrayals of biblical figures by showing us their feet of clay and frailties. Sins of the Messiah is reminiscent of movies that star likable heroes but the villains steal the show because their personalities are so compelling and vibrant.

The story is brilliant, the characters are complex, the plot is original and pushes the envelope in every direction and I loved that there were no sacred cows. This was a 5 star read for me because of the complexity of the plot and characters as well as the prose, even though some of the characters were over the top and the violence was excessive, at times verging into horror, however that’s a trademark of Valentine and MacLeod. There were many characters that deserved special mention, among them Levi who was depraved but he loved Malcolm although he was like everyone else taking care of No. 1. Suki the demon was another well drawn character, both good and evil, loyal to a fault – you’ll have to find out where his loyalties lay. As for Malcolm he was also well drawn, but despite his intelligence and genius he was unaware of what was going on around him which made it easy for others to control the agenda, and I thought that Levi was much more dynamic and complex. The most remarkable figure was Lucifer but you will have to read about him since anything I say in the review will be a spoiler. I probably don’t need to mention there is a lot of sex, because you’re probably aware of that if you have read any books by MacLeod and Valentine. 🙂

Sins is highly recommended if you like intense, suspenseful plots with characters who defy logic but still make you believe in them.

Sins of the Messiah is the first book in the series and I can’t wait for book 2.

Discretion advised for readers sensitive to religious themes and graphic violence.

Author

I live in Canada and I love big dogs, music, movies, reading and sports – especially baseball

16 comments

  • I’m about half way through this story but there is one thing bothering me…

    Malcolm’s main sex partner Suki is basically a female character with a penis. The character looks like a woman, dresses like a woman (down to the school girl outfit) and most notably acts like a woman.

    I feel like the authors just gave the character a dick so they could market this as m/m and it’s annoying the hell out of me (pun intended).
    😈

    Reply
    • Hi Diane

      As you probably know, Jaye loves androgynous characters and he and I have even written a post about gender benders.

      One of the models he loves is Andrej Pejik and if you check out this post

      http://tinyurl.com/6ggvvwt

      you’ll see similar characteristics between Suki and Andrej and a couple of the other pictures in the post (at least I think so). I’m sure he’ll correct me if I’m wrong. 🙂

      So to come back to your comment, I don’t think he sees Suki’s character as a chick with a dick, but rather as a gender bender.

      Reply
      • Oh… I wish that had been in the disclaimer. I’ve never read anything by Valentine before. I’m fine with religious sacrilege, excessive gore and guys who dress androgynously (huge guyliner fan here), but I can’t stand guys who act like stereotypical women. That’s the reason I stopped reading het in the first place.

        Reply
        • I hope that Jaye will see your comment and respond.

          In the meantime he has written two shorts under another pseud – Acer Adamson – called Only Words and Any Excuse (both of which are reviewed on the site) starring tough cop Max and his cross dressing boyfriend Skyler. These characters might give you a much better insight into Jaye’s mind (if you ever want to go there). 😀 I (along with many other fans) love these two MCs and we can’t wait for the novel he promised to release next year.

          Reply
          • I think my comment came off a little harsher than I intended. 😀 The author doesn’t have to answer to me, he just wrote the character that organically flowed within his story.

            I was just taken aback by the relationship being labeled as m/m. Anatomy only one part of gender identity and since the Suki character lives as a female; to me it’s reads like an m/f romance. Which is fine, it just wasn’t what I expected in a story marketed as m/m.

            Reply
            • Diane
              No sweat. I think that our perception of Suki’s character is simply different. I view him as androgynous, like many other characters by this author, while you see him as female. To me Suki’s characterization didn’t detract from the story, but obviously it affected your enjoyment.

              Reply
  • Wave, waaave it sounds like such an awesome book and something that can make me sooo happy, but you know the song I sing, I am totally fine with pushing buttons and envelops… to a certain degree that is :). Would be the begging help if I want to know how far ending pushes the envelope? Please? Great review 🙂

    Reply
    • Okay, this is what I’ll say, knowing your tolerance about certain things. The book is extremely violent in parts and there’s a fair amount of blood. This is not a romance but there is a love story between Malcolm and Suki, a demon, and there’s some shifted sex. There is no monogamy.

      Last, since you asked me about the ending, if you’re not religious the ending wouldn’t bother you.

      Reply
      • Thanks Wave, I LOVE unorthodox twists on religious themes, so it is a big turn on, no monogamy does not bother me, violence depends on the degree of it, but graphic descriptions of a lot of blood may be a turn off, have to think about it.

        Reply
  • What a glowing review! This story sounds like it pushes all my buttons. I just downloaded and started reading it right away! Thanks for the recommendation.

    :reading1:

    (I wonder why it is not available from Amazon’s Kindle store? I had to buy a prc file from another retailer).

    Reply
    • Hi Diane

      I think Amazon has an issue with these authors’ books since they refused to post one that contained twincest.

      I must admit that Jaye’s and Reno’s books are not for everyone, which is why I always include appropriate warnings in my reviews.

      Reply
      • The reason Sins of the Messiah isn’t available on Amazon at this time is because of our concern that the second book may be iffy in regard to Amazon’s nebulous publishing guidelines. Until we’re 100% sure of how certain aspects of the story are going to unfold, we thought it best not to offer the first book on Amazon. No sense for one book in a series to be available there and not the other(s).

        Reply
  • I love your review. It makes me want to re-read the wonderful book/books so bad. I am so happy that I will have time to do so next weekend. Thanks for reminding me. It is always such an adventure to dive into the magnificent worlds, so beautifully created by Jaye and Reno. The characters usually stay with me for a long time. But I haven’t revisited with the cast of Messiah in a long time. Thanks again Wave and thanks to Reno and Jaye for being such awesome, talented and fearless writers. 🙂

    Reply
    • Hi Anja

      I love these authors’ books. They are definitely not like other writers and they have a style and technique all their own, in addition to a well spring of imagination that inspires their books. They make me stop and think and admire their talent every time I pick up a new book.

      I’m very happy you liked the review. 🙂

      Reply

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