Joe, a twenty-five year old soldier serving on the front lines of a covert war that stretches beyond memory, has always thought of himself as moral man fighting on the side of all that is good and righteous. He follows the rules which means no killing of children under the age of eighteen or innocent bystanders; no exceptions are tolerated. Selected as sixteen year olds and specially trained for two years to be killers in the war of good vs. evil, recruits have little reason to question the order of things and for years, Joe was no exception. When an assignment went awry, Joe’s handler metes out punishment in the form of a dangerous mission in Montreal where he meets Maria, a woman who gains his heart and changes his life. Going against orders and everything he was trained to for, Joe strives to protect Maria and in doing so, becomes a traitor. The stakes couldn’t be higher and raises the question, how can you tell good from evil, right from wrong in a conflict so old no one remembers what caused the conflict in the first place.
This fast-paced tale takes a few chapters to get into but after that it is a thought provoking, enjoyable read that will stay with readers when the last page is done. Joe’s character would have benefited from additional early history but otherwise the character development is sound. Shane has taken the unusual premise of an ancient, secret war which is cleverly camouflaged from the civilian population and created a taut morality story.
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