4 star rating
The Beholder
The Beholder, Book #1
By Ivan Amberlake
Author’s Website:

Brought to you by OBS reviewer Scott

the-beholder-ivan-amberlakeThe Beholder is a distinctive “urban paranormal  pulp;” bringing me back to my old Doc Savage adventure novels iced with movies like The Matrix and comics like Starman, of which it bears a striking similarity, both in pace and action. The writing was frenetic, a real page turner. If Robert Ludlum wrote urban fantasy this would surely be in his repertoire.

The book follows one Jason Walker’s journey into becoming a paranormal super-powered being called the Beholder, who shall tip the scales from darkness back into the light.

The writing is terse, minimally descriptive and keeps the momentum going through action alone –  there is no messing around in this heroic tale, a book definitively set up for a sequel. This is something I would probably pick up, if for nothing but to see the different characters expanded upon.

Backing characters could have been fleshed out more in this novel, though.  I never really got a full look at Debbie, Matt, Taylor, etc., nor any hard description of the environs; but I believe this two-dimensional dramatization was necessary to tell Jason Walker’s story.  .Also, the locations in which events occur could have taken place anywhere – even in your own city or town  – which was a very nice touch.

The background is just as much a blank tableau slowly unfolding around Jason and as I was reading the novel, I found it as ephemeral as I delved into Jason’s perceptions of the paranormal world around him.  As he loses hold of “reality” on his journey to become the Beholder with “the Sight” (an altered “reality” co-existing with the real world where the laws of physics are violate), the reader is pulled into his world as if watching an action movie

There was only one mild author intrusion in which Jason sees himself as the lead character in the book not knowing the ending – the same state the reader is in at that point, and reader response is : “Hey! That’s what is happening to me!” It’s the only jolt in the book that pulls the reader’s suspension of belief away. (well, that is, if you’ve bought into paranormal shadow beings attacking NYC).

For those fans of tight-paced, mind numbing action like The Matrix, I am Number Four, fast paced urban fantasy fans, or those interested in a quick moving supernatural read, this book is for you. Overall, The Beholder left me feeling satisfied that I had finished a good book, or action movie. It’s a light read but a good one nevertheless.

*OBS would like to thank the author for supplying a free copy of this title in exchange for an honest review*