11 Following

Radiant Shadows

The Faustian Host (Apocalypse Signs, #1)

The Faustian Host (Apocalypse Signs, #1) - Dave  Becker Suspense, mystery, intrigue - The Faustian Host has it in spades! With relatively likeable characters, twists and turns after every page, and an action-packed ending, my only real complaint is that I'm left with too many unanswered questions.At first, Tony Marino is a hard character to like. He keeps everyone at a distance, having felt unwanted his whole life, and shows no appreciation for his new foster parents who are doing everything in their power to provide him with a loving and understanding home. He tries too hard to fit in, making inappropriate jokes that get him stares instead of laughter, and he's constantly trying to point out why something won't work. However, seeing him at his worst is what makes his character growth so interesting to watch; his gradual acceptance of The Brown's affections, coupled with his eventual acceptance that logic and science might not be as absolute as he once imagined, endeared me to his situation. I often forgot that he was only fourteen, as some of his course material seemed a little advanced for his age, so when he reacted childishly to his peers' teasing or when his arrogant attitude backfired, leaving him embarrassed, I was reminded that his naiveté was due to his age and life inexperience.The supporting characters were all fine, but none of them truly stuck out to me. Erika had the potential to be a fascinating character, with her ever-changing hair colour and quirky out-going personality, but she wasn't given much attention. I did enjoy the dynamic Becker created between the group of friends, making them co-conspirators in various schemes to undercover the mysteries in the forest, and their interactions all came across as genuine - I just didn't find any of them truly stuck out as individuals. I liked that Becker didn't focus on Tony's infatuation with Katie, and that it was a mere side-plot to something much bigger. His jealousy of her closeness with Dan was a little strange, considering he botched every attempt to talk to her, but I did understand his frustration. Why Katie had any interest in Dan is beyond me - he was never presented in any kind of admirable light, and his actions toward Tony - especially those done in front of Katie - were enough to make me wary.As Tony's "curse" began to affect those around him, I became eager in my anticipation of each plague, waiting to see what would happen next. I found the townspeople's reactions to the plagues a little strange though. I mean, if there was a constant cloud of flies too thick to see through, I wouldn't be too worried about attending school. I also wouldn't be worrying about anything except for the end of the world if the sun didn't rise one day. But the people of Clement, after their initial shock wore off, continued their daily lives as normally as possible. I admired Tony's stubbornness, believing that there just had to be a scientific and logical explanation for the various plagues, and found his debates with his friends entertaining.Now for the things I'm a little confused about. Carver and Hammon's role in the strange happenings - were they involved, do they know what's going on, why were they so vague? Was the story Sinthos told Tony about his birth true or was it just a scare tactic? Why does Sinthos even need Tony to do his bidding? How did Tony's grandmother protect him for so long, without Sinthos being able to interfere? What was the backwards "F" symbol that Tony kept seeing, and what does it mean? What's a Faustian Host? And what happened to the monster in the woods?! Why did we finally get to see it, if nothing ever came of it? By the end of The Faustian Host, I could have filled a page with the amount of questions that were left unanswered - many which I now forget, as new ones have taken their place. I understand that this is book one of a planned series, but I still don't like how many loose ends are left.If you're looking for a quick, fast-paced fantasy read, and you don't mind waiting for the next book to get your answers, then I'd recommend giving The Faustian Host a chance. The ending was fast-paced, with a slightly (and not-so-slightly) predictable plot twist which had me on the edge of my seat! I'm definitely interested in seeing what's to come in book two!Find this review, and more, on my blog Radiant Shadows