Friday, February 29, 2008

Sinnin' & Grinnin'

Tomorrow on the First Team of the Northern Alliance Radio Network, we will be joined at noon by Robert Ferrigno, author of the novel Sins of the Assassin. Sins is a sequel to Prayers of the Assassin which was published a couple of years ago (read my review here) and is the second in a planned Assassin trilogy.

It picks up where Prayers left off in the Islamic States of America circa 2043 with the not-very-devout Muslim anti-hero Rakkim Epps again battling fundamentalist enemies, trying to protect his family, and possibly help reunite a divided country. A number of characters from Prayers are back again including the evil mastermind determined to bring about a new worldwide Caliphate. But the greatest danger to Rakkim comes not from without but within his own mind as he battles for control of his soul. In Prayers, he was touched by an angel. In Sins, he is stalked by a demon.

Ferrigno has again penned an action-packed thriller that keeps up the pace and more than holds your interest. And the details and references in his descriptions of America in 2043 are both interesting and entertaining: New Orleans completely under water, Mexico slowly but surely realizing its reconquistda dreams in the Southwest, "Nuevo Florida" as an independent country, and a mathematical theorem named after John Derbyshire are but a few examples. Ferrigno also weaves the war in Iraq, global warming, and the rise of China into his intricate vision of the future.

It is a dystopian novel and as such it does require some suspension of disbelief. But it's also a fascinating and dare I say fun read. In many ways--character development especially--I found Sins to be superior to Prayers.

Be warned that it's not a book for the fainthearted. The violence is pretty graphic, the language is salty, and the sex...well, the sex is best described as plentiful but awkward.

I expect that someday Prayers, Sins, and the next book in the trilogy will be made into movies and I would advise that most of the sex scenes end up on the cutting room floor. The plots are good enough to stand on their own without the gratuitous tawdriness. But don't wait for the cinematic version. The books are good enough to read now before they're turned into unrecognizable Hollywood films.

Listen as always on AM 1280 The Patriot (where you can also now find the internet stream) to the entire Northern Alliance Radio Network from 11am-5pm tomorrow. If you have a question or comment for Robert Ferrigno, give us a call at 651-289-4488. It would be a sin to miss it.

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