The Sword of Goliath – Anthony Jones
Anthony Jones has created a wonderfully imagined take on the angels versus demons story, with a Herculean task to recover the Sword of Goliath, one of the enchanted weapons of God. This is a book of supernatural fantasy that embraces the bloodline of angels and the seemingly eternal fight of good versus evil. Those angels that remain loyal to God are known as Shaddai and those that rejected God are called Grigori. There exist 12 instruments that make up a talisman of invincible power that should either side collect, would eliminate the other. The Paladin are the selected 12 Shaddai preordained to use the 12 enchanted instruments and likewise, the Mesa are 12 dragons chosen by the Grigori to use those 12 instruments. The battle between good and evil will continue until one destroys the other.
The novel is very cleverly plotted to utilise many religious beliefs and enrapture us in a thoroughly beguiling and captivating story. Jake Stanton is serving a life sentence in San Quentin State Prison for the brutal and horrific murder of his wife Teresa. His recollection of the night she was murdered was
“… when something shook him. He jumped to his feet and saw a dark shadow move across their bedroom towards the bathroom. As he went for his gun in the nightstand drawer, he felt pain on the top of his head and warm blood pouring down his forehead before all went black. He woke with Teresa’s name on his lips. Jake dazed and in pain, found himself handcuffed in a hospital bed. Here he was met by two Sonoma County detectives who showed him pictures of his beautiful wife, bloody and hacked to pieces.”
When in jail, Jake is joined in his cell by Stephen Stross, who opens Jake’s mind to the power he possesses and his destiny, should he choose to accept it? That destiny is to recover the Sword of Goliath and its location resides in his subconscious and through time will make itself known. The story unfolds in a very engrossing and pacey manner where the race to find the sword cannot be more crucial. The Grigori are hot on their tails and don’t even need Jake alive to learn what he knows – they just have to consume his brain.
As the hunt continues the death toll rises and the police are brought into the story where detective Sam Jericho leads the investigation along with an expert in religious myths, Dr Ruth Springer. This introduces a romantic dimension and an aspect of the story that grounds it back in everyday life and not all just fantasy. It also provides layers to characters that aren’t just all GOOD or BAD, but shades of grey.
The structure of the book has short sections within each Chapter and I find this works really well for the early snappy and gritty pace that’s set. The narrative is very intelligently woven between the religious beliefs, legends and real-world conflict that Jake, Stephen and his brethren are embroiled in. I did feel the story dragged a little bit in the middle with Jake coming to terms with his family situation but the additional strand from Detective Jericho in trying to make sense of the strange incidents, corruption and attempts on his life became interesting, and for me started to capture the attention again.
A highly recommended book. Many thanks to Anthony Jones, for a free version of the book in return for an honest review.