Friday, September 16, 2016

The Raven by Mike Nappa

The plot and characters in this novel are well crafted. The novel is entertaining and informative.

The main character is sort of an anti-hero. Raven entertains people on street corners of Atlanta with magic and picks their pocket while he's at it. Trouble comes to him when one of his victims has Ukranian mob connections. He has some tough visitors and they are not nice.

Another prominent character is an older woman, Mama Bliss, who owns a huge store containing one of a kind items such as movie memorabilia. She has clout with policemen and mobsters alike. We find out that she handles merchandise much more lucrative than trinkets from by gone eras.

Coffee and Hill are also characters in the novel but somewhat irrelevant. Most of the action centers around Raven as we learn his story and watch his encounters with mob people and Mama Bliss.

I like to learn something when I read fiction and in this case it was a bit about Edgar Allen Poe's “The Raven.” Even more interesting to me was learning about laundering guns. The CIA would use private people to get guns to friendly nations without having to get the U.S. government involved. Individuals might even feel patriotic, providing untraceable guns for foreign wars, seeing themselves as helping to undermine and topple foreign governments.

While there was much to like in this novel, overall, I am not excited about it. Both Raven and Mama Bliss are sort of anti-heroes. They are both law breakers and initially think nothing of it. Raven does have some redeeming action at the end but it was not profound.

Much of the plot deals with revenge in and through mob connections. I found that a little depressing. I miss having a stronger Christian influence on at least one of the characters. The spirituality was somewhat vague. Raven's father was a minister and Raven could have had a spiritual realization about his life and actions but it was not meant to be.

I recommend this novel to those who enjoy a well crafted plot and well crafted characters and don't mind the lack of a redeeming aspect to the novel.

My rating: 4/5 stars.

Mike Nappa is an entertainment journalist at, as well as an award winning and bestselling author with more than one million books sold worldwide. A former fiction acquisitions editor, he earned his MA in English literature and now writes full time.

Revell, 432 pages.

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

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