John Carver has three rules: Don’t drink in the daytime, don’t gamble when the luck has gone, and don’t talk to the dead people who come to visit.
It has been almost five years since the incident in Kabul. Since the magic stirred within him and the stories began. Fleeing the army, running from the whispers, the guilt, and the fear he was losing his mind, Carver fell into addiction, dragging himself through life one day at a time.
Desperation has pulled him back to Afghanistan, back to the heat, the dust, and the truth he worked so hard to avoid. But there are others, obsessed with power and forbidden magics, who will stop at nothing to learn the truth of his gifts. Abducted and chained, Carver must break more than his own rules if he is to harness this power and survive.
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The Lore of Prometheus has a fantastic opening vibe and John Carver an instantly likeable anti hero. Like so many of our special forces returned from Afghanistan he has a heavy dose of PTSD and is struggling to get back to any semblance of a normal life. Its desperately sad that the guilt he feels about managing to keep a roof over his head has him turn away from other veterans less fortunate living on the London streets. One things for certain, he has not lost his training and after a particularly brutal street brawl he finds himself with no choice than to return to the place that broke him. I think it really helped me that I was a huge fan of the show Homeland because I could really visualise where he was and the streets and markets he found himself in. These opening pages were great, I loved how he became sharp, in his element, and honestly I could have read so much more of this stage.
The introduction of Mackenzie was unexpected and their eventual shared incarceration came together well as is the reason for it. I’m not sure I would describe their abilities as magics in the traditional sense but more like powers, think Umbrella Academy here, some that are discovered are easily concealed but others are truly terrifying. I did find that this middle stage of incarceration was a little repetitive and it was actually Mackenzie’s chapters that shone through here, the small taste of freedom that was snatched away being the ultimate tipping point. I liked how the story became about balancing humanity with self preservation and the murky waters in between.
The closing stages picked up the pace again and, in places, and when the depth of the facility and the depravity of those behind the programme becomes clear it really becomes quite horrifying. I liked how everything was a challenge but also how after just a short time together John and Mackenzie clicked into to place with each other, to work together in unexpected ways. I struggled a bit with the comic book style super villain I have to say but that said the ending was satisfying and the measure was right given what they faced.
I ultimately enjoyed the Lore of Prometheus, I think I would have loved it more if the middle section was pared down as it felt like a long read at times. But the characters are great, falling on the darker end of morally grey, their psychology becoming their biggest help over the hindrance they initially seemed, hopefully we’ll get to see more of them in future as they certainly deserve to be on the page again.
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