Stone of Fire
By: J.F. Penn
Publish Date: January 5, 2011, Audiobook May 23, 2013
Format: Audiobook - 7 hrs 28 mins
Narrated By: Veronica Giguere
Series: 1st in ARKANE series; Book 6 ~ Gates of Hell, Book 7 ~ One Day In New York
Impression: Religion far deeper and adventurous than we ever thought, with a paranormal sway.
A power kept secret for 2000 years. A woman who stands to lose everything.
India. When a nun is burned alive on the sacred ghats of Varanasi, and the stone she carried is stolen, an international hunt is triggered for the relics of the early church.
Forged in the fire and blood of martyrs, the Pentecost stones have been handed down through generations of Keepers who kept their power and locations secret.
The Keepers are being murdered, the stones stolen by those who would use them for evil in a world transformed by religious fundamentalism.
Oxford University psychologist Morgan Sierra is forced into the search when her sister and niece are held hostage. She is helped by Jake Timber from the mysterious ARKANE, a British government agency specializing in paranormal and religious experience. Morgan must risk her own life to save her family, but will she ultimately be betrayed?
From ancient Christian sites in Spain, Italy and Israel to the far reaches of Iran and Tunisia, Morgan and Jake must track down the stones through the myths of the early church in a race against time before a new Pentecost is summoned, this time powered by the fires of evil.
The first in the ARKANE series, PENTECOST is a fast-paced thriller that explores the edges of faith against a backdrop of early Christian history, archaeology and psychology.
If you love a fast-paced, rollicking read, download a sample or buy Pentecost now.
It is said that those who die in Varanasi can achieve moksha, release from the suffering of repeated death and rebirth.
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*This book is available for free in ebook.
My Thoughts and Summary:
*I purchased this book.
The Keepers are being murdered and strange, marvelous miracles are happening at these moments. The stones they keep safe are coveted and taken by another. The Apostles Stone. Morgan Sierra, a psychologist at Oxford University, is now approached about the stone she wears around her neck, along with her sister's. There is a group out to retrieved them all, in time for the comet that last was around Earth at the time of Jesus' Resurrection and the power of Pentecost bestowed on the stones. Morgan is approached by another group, the ARKANE, to join them with finding the stones and keeping them safe, along with her and her sister's family. She has nine days to find the remainder of the twelve stones for her sister and niece's lives. ARKANE is involved and she'll need the help and resources of ARKANE to do so. ARKANE is willing to offer it.
I'm hooked on listening to these books. Veronica shines in her talent of voices. There are male and female voices along with different accents. She easily differentiates personality and tones with each person. There is a moment where she even reads an article from a news paper and has the formal sound of the news. Veronica uses the emotion and rush of the moments in her voice to accent the rush of the moment. When things get moving, and hearts pumping, Veronica does speak with the speed of the moment. This is an older audio and there are moments the vocal sounds a teeny tiny bit of a twang to the voice.
There are different POV's in the chapters broken by the heading of place and time. There is also a long pause between these sections so they do stand out in audio as they would in reading. That long pause is nice to transition me to knowing there is another section highlighting someone else coming, but at times I felt the long pause meant my device shut off.
We meet Morgan Sierra for the first time. She works at Oxford University, but as much as she enjoys her job there feels to be something missing in the day to day work for Morgan. Until she is involved on a mission with the ARKANE to find all the Apostle's stones, and save her sister and niece. We get a glimpse at her life's experiences with the current dangerous events she's living through. And there are hints of things that's happened to her, that I'm hoping we get to see in future books.
We also meet Jake Timber for the first time. He's not so sure about working with an outsider, but finds that Morgan is intelligent and more than capable to take care of herself in dangerous situations. He finds he's even a bit attracted to her. Jake sounds like a wonderful person. I love how he struggles with his job and mission he's to accomplish and his internal cares. It's a rough spot to be in. But he is a hoot at times! Sometimes it calls for extreme actions, and Jake does it. We do get a view of his family past as well. I really do like Jake, and even meeting him here he sticks out for me.
Jake and Morgan end up making a great team.
Penn has a great way of writing a thriller where we get the evil doers POV as well. I like that we get to see the human side of the man who wants these powerful stones, and why. But what he does to get them. *chills* He's in need of help. But! There is mention of another entity here that is skating the trails of Morgan and Jake. We learn just enough to make us curious of this other group, and that they are dangerous. But not much more on them or why they are after the stones, or any powerful religious artifact. This entity feels like an extra that will lead to more in the future.
Penn has an amazing way of describing the city through the religious view and feel of the people. I find this attractive as it tells of the city and it's personality along with the people here, setting a whole stage easily. However at times my interest waned in some of the religious descriptions. I was really glad Penn didn't waste time on the uneventful trips but focuses on the search. The search of the cathedrals and citadels is where she blends in their history and the story, along with great action. Who the characters are is why they are here, so she accents their strengths to get the job done.
This is the first book of the series and well worth a try if you are a fan of Indiana Jones type adventure/searches along with the feel of The Da Vinci Code. Wow, what a blend.