Monday, March 24, 2014

Strong characterization, exquisite sensory language and rock-solid storytelling

Daimones (Daimones Trilogy) 
by Massimo Marino
A Book Review by Ginger Dawn Harman

Strong characterization, exquisite sensory language and rock-solid storytelling make Daimones by Massimo Marino a must read. Dan Amenta begins his morning with ordinary routine. Newspaper, breakfast, and the familiar commute to work at CERN in Geneva, Switzerland establish a solid start. Within the first chapter, Massimo Marino captures the reader’s attention with small indirect details that evoke mood, tone, and setting. The author accomplishes this with strong word choice and tense emotions. Vivid details that contribute to the mood include: investigations into animal deaths, loss of employment, and Unsettling events, which continue that February night.
Usually, novels of this kind involve a search for a way to live, but that possibility is eliminated within the first few chapters, after contact with a young man named Michael from Facebook. This development adds a nice, shadowy jolt to a well-established trope. They are not alone. Surviving selective human termination, Dan with his family must learn to create a life that challenges morals, purpose, and regain lost knowledge. Along with the interpersonal relationships between others and future generations.
Connect with Massimo Marino on Goodreads.
The novel is written in the first person narrative. Book shelved as post-apocalyptic, I personally find Daimones to be more a Science fiction thriller that is well balanced in pace for the reader. Chapters are not too slow and not too fast nor frantic. Daimones is a comfortable read. Just as in real life, readers need breathers now and again. This was very important for this novel since the author uses several symbols and hidden clues for the reader to decipher. For example the number 98, the name of Dan’s wife Mary, to early centers of civilization in particular the Mesopotamian city of Eridu are key elements in the novel. Furthermore, the word choice of “Palladium” for the center of knowledge really struck my curiosity since it is a rare chemical element, which was itself named after the epithet of the Greek goddess Athena. This connection of the great goddess of wisdom enhances the subtle conflict of emotion, religious beliefs, and logic along with ethics.
Several quotes were provided for the reader including Latin, Albert Einstein, and Ralph Waldo Emerson that greatly add to the plot and develop the theme of adaptation to progression. My favorite quote was “Expiating a sin does not mean doing something opposite to wallow in guilt, but to use that same guilt to achieve full knowledge of the sin. The fault lies more not in having committed certain acts, rather in having carried them out without reaching their intimate knowledge. And this leads to committing a wrong again and again.” Moreover, the author has a talent for prose. His descriptive analogy of bad thoughts were described as “dangerous if left to simmer and weaken the heart slowly and invisibly. Like termites that destroy the beams of a house, secretly, in the dark until it's too late and everything collapses.” Many of the metaphors have thought provoking wisdom to the slight hint of humor.

Massimo and I at the 2014 Geneva Writers Conference.
With a plot that functions intermittently; Marino probes more deeply into characters’ motivations, interactions, and emotions, with the outcome even more absorbing. The characters are very well developed and plausible. The dialogue between characters, use of flashbacks, and thoughts were engaging while revealing each personality. This book will appeal to fans of science fiction, fantasy and post-apocalyptic thriller. The front cover was masterfully done with appropriate font and colors. Daimones is an unusual, intelligence, and compelling read. I highly recommend Daimones by Massimo Marino.


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