Some 5,000 years ago an ancient race of immortal beings brought humanity into existence by pulling them from their grass huts and caves and into a modernistic society along the Nile river valleys. For centuries, mankind flourished under the tutelage of these immortals until a group of men became conscious of the power their living gods possessed and plotted to eliminate them… the group, the Masons, nearly succeeded. Since the decimation of his people Warren Alexander has roamed throughout the world feeding on humans in order to conceal his true identity. As one of the few survivors of their ancient immortal race he now walks undetected amongst the humans while he hunts the members of the group of men that killed his family and virtually eliminated his people. When Warren meets the step-daughter of a direct descendant and participating member of these Masons he draws the girl close, in an effort to reach her step-father and access to the Mason organization. Not expecting to, Warren begins to fall in love with the girl as they race to avoid the FBI and the secret Masonic guard that has been trained to capture and eliminate the immortal threat. Now, Warren must not only fight to save his own life, but the life of the girl he has grown to love.
**A review copy of this book was provided by the author in exchange for an honest review.**
TIMELESS CONFLICT is an interesting blend of a Dan Brown-conspiracy like storyline with a heavy dose of the supernatural. Though I liked the originality of the shapeshifter race based on Egyptian mythology, there were elements of the book that kept me from connecting with the characters and the story in general.
The book’s strongest point really lies in its creepiness. I appreciate a paranormal story that’s not afraid to embrace the sheer evil or violence of its creatures. In TIMELESS CONFLICT, we’re introduced to a shapeshifter, based on the Anubis god of Egyptian mythology, who eats people. Loved that idea. Now, this same creature is also the lead romantic interest of a human character. I appreciated the inherent conflict of someone who eats people being in love with a human. I think with vampires you can sexy up the violence but creating a supernatural being who gorges on humans…well, it’s hard to make that sexy. The writer has to work even harder to “humanize” him in the eyes of the readers and it makes for a difficult to redeem main character.
While I appreciate the boldness of this choice, the rest of the book’s elements didn’t work for me. The main conflict centers around a race of shapeshifters who have spent centuries being hunted by the Masons. A young college student, Rachel, gets caught in the crossfire and her world is turned upside down as her relationship with Warren, a member of the Anubis clan, comes under the scrutiny of the Masons. These two must stay on the run in order to stay alive. By far the biggest problem for me was the instalove between Warren and Rachel. He ate (yes, ate) an acquaintance of hers and she saw him do it. But Rachel is a forgiving soul and is able to look past this and see the vulnerable person inside Warren. Yes, he has a tragic past; yes, he is full of understandable anger towards humans; yes, at one point, he saves her life. But he ate her friend. I can’t see how you look past that and then, several days later, proclaim your love for that very person, someone you barely know. I couldn’t suspend that disbelief. In fact, had that conflict been strung out over the course of the story, this push and pull of feelings for Warren, their relationship would have been far more interesting.
There were also some stylistic issues that bogged down the storyline. There’s a large cast of characters with constantly shifting POVs. These could often shift from paragraph to paragraph which could be confusing. This was particularly true for the first couple of chapters but I eventually got the hang of it. There was also quite a bit of detail in the first half of the book that slowed down what could have been an effective fast pace – for example, there was a lot of brand name details that didn’t add to painting a larger picture of the characters and there’s one scene in particular, several pages detailing Rachel leaving the hospital, that just wasn’t necessary. Editing some of that out would have sped up the pacing of the book quite nicely.
TIMELESS CONFLICT has some strong ideas and an interesting shapeshifter mythology. However, overall, I couldn’t connect with the story enough to give it a high recommendation.