MPire: In Search of the Lost, by T L James

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Author’s website
Publication date – June 1, 2009

Summary: (Taken from GoodReads) In Search of the Lost is the story of Mallory Towneson Haulm, a sexy financial powerhouse, who lives in a quasi paradise in Austin, Texas. His opulent world is decorated with expensive toys and women more exquisite than an exotic candy shop.

After fourteen years of separation from his family, Mallory is summoned to return home to join The Family Business. Poised for success, Mallory is focused on turning around the ailing business, not realizing that taking his assigned reigns will put him in a position of unrelenting power which he is unaware he even has. His world crashes as he reunites with his brothers and becomes Death, the fourth horseman of the Apocalypse.

With every complication popping up in his life, the biggest one by far is in the form of an old lover from the past coming back to reclaim the spot in Mallory’s heart.

Thoughts: I’ll be blunt when I say that the first third of the book was difficult to get through. I don’t know whether it was because I was in a bad mood at the time or what, but I found myself struggling through a host of characters, all of whom had definable personality traits but didn’t seem to have much personality, and through a lot of what seemed like word padding, details of what people ordered for dinner or their personal grooming rituals in the morning. I started to wonder if this book really wasn’t one for me after all.

But I persevered, and made it past the slump, and I found myself enjoying it more. There characters evened out into people I could understand beyond more than a difference in speech patterns and attitude toward women. The relationship between Mallory and Matthew developped, adding an interesting piece of conflict to the tale. And the hints of the paranormal became more than just teasing hints. I found myself wanting to know more.

The idea of exploring Death as a person, and the Four Horseman as a sort of family legacy is an interesting one. Humanizing elements of the fantastical, things that are supposed to be beyond us, has always held fascination for me. Death in love, and with someone who’s researching him, and yet Death-as-Mallory doesn’t even know his true calling… That bit really intrigued me.

This book did need a little work in the formatting department. There were some grammatical issues, and incorrect word usage. I don’t think I can honestly read “bullocks” where somebody meant “bollucks” and keep a straight face anymore, for example. Or calling it “the book of Revelations instead of Revelation. It was a bit distracting for me, as I tend to be the kind of person who gets thrown out of the reading groove when I come across issues like that. I think perhaps a revised edition might be in order, with those problems fixed, with more judicious use of proofreaders familiar with British English, for instance. Just so there are no more bovines in place of balls.

But overall, I can see the potential in this book and its story, for all the problems I also saw in it. It may not have been the kind of book I’d have picked up in a bookstore, but once I got a little more into it and began to see the story behind the dialogue- and sex-heavy interactions, I found myself enjoying it more than I suspected I would during the first third. It’s an interesting look at biblical literalism in regard to the end days, combining religion with humanity.

Next stop on the book tour? Go visit the Nurture Your Books blog to see a special excerpt from the author!

(Received for review via Nurture Your Books virtual book tours.)

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