Review: “Lies of the Prophet,” Ike Hamill

Pros: Fascinating plot and interesting characters
Cons: I’m left with a couple of questions
Rating: 4 out of 5

In Ike Hamill’s Lies of the Prophet, we find out that Gregory is a man who came back from the dead. Now that it’s happened once, people are praying around or experimenting with dead bodies, as people hope that their own loved ones might return. Lynne has recently begun to see things. She sees “Sparkles” that are somehow related to the passage between life and death. (This delightfully leads to use of the phrase, “zombie Sparkle”!) Lynne has been hired by the mysterious “Veyermin Group” and teamed up with Jenks. She’s being paid to sing out if she sees anything weird that others might not be able to notice. In another part of the story, Carol is convinced that her two-year-old daughter is an evil Changeling swapped in for her real baby. And Marta, well, Marta thinks Gregory abandoned her, and she will kill anything and everything–by the hundreds–that stands between her and Gregory. Add in a resurrected cat, and things get crazy.

 

Gregory’s people kidnap Lynne at one point because Gregory believes Lynne will kill him. This backfires in the obvious manner, but with unexpected results. It seems that within the last two years the world has gone crazy and no one yet knows what to do about it. Since it’s all fairly mysterious–and those involved have many secrets to keep–it seems entirely reasonable for things to still be chaotic.

I like the personalities involved here. Marta starts out as a housewife in an unhappy marriage, and blames Gregory when he leaves (he’d been their neighbor originally, then came to stay with them when he got resurrected). Gradually, and chillingly, this leads to her discovery that she can kill with a thought. Meanwhile Lynne appears to be Marta’s opposite: she can heal, although it seems to be dangerous to her to do so. I really liked that there was more than one thing that pushed Marta over the edge; she didn’t start off knocking out corpses by the dozen. As horrifying as I found her method of exploration (animal death as well as human), her handling of the terrible mess didn’t strike me as being in any way out of character. I do wish Jenks had showed up in more of the book than he did, just because he’s a fun personality.

There are some fascinating details that show the reader how interconnected all the weird stuff really is, but unless I missed/forgot something (which I admit, is not out of the question), I never entirely figured out the beginning and ending details of the zombies. I love how they behave though, and what it turns out they’re after.

This is a fun, occasionally confusing, dark look at how vulnerable our entire world would be if we had even a few people running around with terrifying powers.

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