4 star rating
The Blessed Man and the Witch
By David Dubrow

Brought to you by OBS reviewer Scott

the-blessed-man-and-the-witchThe Blessed Man and the Witch is a Biblical Apocalyptic thriller that forces the reader into a careening tale of seven characters whose differing pasts twist and turn until the final chapters in which they meet their fates at the site of the 9/11 disaster.  The pace starts slow, fleshing out each character into three dimensional beings, sets them on their pre-determined paths and builds ferociously as they become pawns in a much larger game of existential proportions.

The novel takes place during the period of 2014-2016 and retools fact and fictional events in such a manner that harkens back to the dustbowl era where unemployment rates and poverty are at an all-time high, there are tent communities in every major city, and the restlessness within these camps is heightened by a group called Occupy, that want to tear down the 1% of governmental or corporate bodies and workers and the fiscally drained capitalistic society they live in. Cities have gone bankrupt, states have followed suit, student loans have spiralled out of control, and there seems to be no end to the increasing unemployment rates. The world teeters on the brink of global economic collapse. In this day and age I didn’t find it a stretch of the imagination to envision these times.

The book begins and reads as seven separate stories as it switches viewpoints from Hector, a discharged army officer who has Post Traumatic Stress Disorder, and can’t account for a year of his life; to his wife Reyna who’s long thought her husband dead; to Ozzie a drug dealer and mob boss; to Siobhan, who practices magic, but works full-time at a coffee shop; to Kyle and Dylan, YooTV  “reality show” star and his film director respectively; and finally to Megan, a mercenary operative for an oganization tied to the mysterious company called Lidske Unlimited. It isn’t until the end these stories converge by destiny as the characters find their true roles at the end of the world.

I enjoyed the quick, witty prose and found myself turning the pages just to see the stories played but. I found that each of the myriad protagonists were well thought out and spoke in their own quirky, distinct manners. Each had a voice that spoke to me and gave me reason to like the characters, despite their moral ethics and they whet my curiosity on how these pawns, or pieces of the puzzle, would fit into place. The ending left me shocked, a rare occasion these days. Although it seems incomplete on first reading, after reflecting on what happens, it makes perfect sense.

Poignant information is also brought up in the “news clippings,” or biblical notes (taken from the “New Kingdom” edition). The “news clips” reflect on current social commentary and the biblical “quotes” dance and dart through the beginning of each chapter, foreshadowing events to take place. This technique propels the novel and made me want to read even more. On a whole, the apocalypse seemed to me like it was just around the corner of our present day chaos and discord. Fact and fiction blur in this truly well-written work.

For those who enjoy high urban thrillers, biblical apocalyptic novels or movies like The Seventh Sign, or Polanski’s The Ninth Gate are sure to enjoy this light and socially relevant read.

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