Short review of Ed Tasca’s latest novel
By Stan Hardy
This comic, cross-genre thriller flies from page to page and asks the question, what will bring the world to an end. All around her, Virginia, a conscientious, often paranoid spokesperson for the National Biodefense Analysis and Countermeasures Center (Agency of Homeland Security), sees an apocalypse unfolding behind the secret societies that may be involved in a biogenetic experiment on a strain of test bacteria gone wrong; while Bruno, a free-lance writer, atheist and cynic, is trying to dig up incriminating info on Homeland Security against Virginia’s will.
A mysterious feud is going on all around the couple as they reluctantly join up to investigate. The central conflicts in the narrative include their own constant quarrelling, skirmishes between unknown agents of different religions looking to invest bacterial DNA with their respective scriptures, spread their “Word” into the future and end the world.
The oddball characters, obstacles and disasters our principals face at every turn, and most vividly, Virginia’s peculiar dreams, lead her to believe the world is ending and something must be done to stop it.
The story is a comic take on the complications of Homeland Security interactions and the craziness of religious zealotry, climaxing with a confrontation and resolution that gives us a glimpse of apocalypse and how it might actually become reality. Virginia and Bruno wind up, in the most bizarre way, literally in one another’s arms and locked in an unholy embrace with a flayed decomposed corpse, surviving the mayhem and turning the whole tale into a surreal romantic adventure. Whether they have saved the world or not remains an unanswered question, but several compelling issues are raised about what could be the ultimate reason for any apocalypse to occur. Ed’s new book is currently available in e-book format at all online bookstores. Published by Aardwolfe Books, September, 2011.
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