Monday, May 23, 2016

The Progeny by Tosca Lee

This novel is sort of a cross between an international thriller and fantasy. There are lots of twists and turns in the plot, many characters who turn out to be someone other than I thought, and a foundational reason behind it all that generally eluded me.

The main character is a young woman, Emily, who has just had her memory erased. She's the descendant of a serial killer who lived hundreds of years ago. As the novel progresses, we find out more about who she is and why she went through the process of memory erasure. There is a plethora of characters that come across her path. Someone is out to kill her and it is hard to know which are the bad guys or good guys. In fact, some bad guys turn out to be good guys and vice versa. There is a plethora of locations in Europe, many underground.

The character development of Emily is rather odd. Since her memory was erased, we only get to know who she is as others tell her who she was before the procedure. This happens in fits and starts. As an individual, sometimes she is very brave and other times she does stupid acts. I did not come to like her at all. The development of the other characters was odd too as many turn out to be someone other than they portray. Many do not stay around long enough to have any character developed anyway.

I felt some of the events in the novel were odd. The group that Emily has managed to gather around her hide out in a European city and attend underground celebrations at night. They all wear costumes and get high on their own somewhat supernatural abilities. I am not sure those events actually moved the plot forward. Near the end of the book, places are visited that did not seem to really contribute to Emily's pursuit of the item she is to find.

I do not understand the point of the novel. At the end it becomes abundantly clear that there will be a sequel. So maybe this novel did not have a point. Maybe that will come in a later book. When I finished the novel I felt the same way I did with some of Ted Dekker's novels. I could not identify an allegory or a subtle lesson.

If you like to read international suspense just for the suspense, you may like this novel. If you like a plot that takes you to many obscure eastern European cities, you may like this book. If you are willing to wait for the sequel for much of it to make sense, you'll do well to read this novel.

My rating: 3/5 stars.

Tosca Lee is a New York Times bestselling author. She lives in the Midwest with her husband and children. You can find out more at

Howard Books, 336 pages.

I received a complimentary egalley of this book from the publisher for the purpose of an independent and honest review.

No comments: