As you read the first sentence of the novel, you know that the world is askew, because the sky “shimmers beautifully light green, completely enveloping the earth in an unnatural hue.” But can the one to set the world aright be a man lost in grief, alcohol, and bitter seclusion? A man withered away by the untimely death of his wife and little boy?
“Returning Blaze: Through Flesh and Bone” delivers riveting mystery and one gripping revelation after another. First, the story unfolds as two FBI agents struggle to solve a series of gruesome murders. Their only clues are the strange symbols tattooed on the victims’ wrists and a tiny blood-red pearl-like object lodged in their ears. The victims, drained of blood, are the aftermath of a supernatural being that seeks a rare, unique blood in order to augment its own innate power.
Then, there is the unnamed hero, the man isolated from the world by his grief. “The hero is nameless for a length of time in the story,” author Fredrick S. dela Cruz explains, “in order to build a mystique around the character. The reader wonders, who is he? What are his origins? What is he?” He is tormented by dreams and flashbacks of memories long forgotten, memories of a past in which he knows he did not live, and eras in history of which he could not have been part. How could they be his memories? Gradually, he begins to wield abilities that no other human has, and the symbol found on the victims’ wrists is the same one mysteriously materializing on his own wrist.
Next, you see an enigmatic hooded man as the master puppeteer, wielding deception. On one hand, he orchestrates the offences of the bloodthirsty being. But on the other, he draws out the hero from seclusion, manipulating and forcing him to try to stop the murders. Moreover, he executes a scheme to annihilate cities around the globe. Even so, he must vanquish his own personal demons.
Lastly, an entity, with the form like a black smoke of death, makes its bargains with humans and manipulates them to their destruction. Having the ability to traverse time and space, it eventually traps the nameless hero in an inescapable deception, preventing him from saving the world.
Author Fredrick S. dela Cruz brings the captivating plot lines gracefully together into a thrilling ending you could not have foreseen. The novel is a product of his love for writing since his early teens. Of Filipino and Norwegian descent, he has lived in Southern California since his childhood.
Returning Blaze: Through Flesh and Bone
Fredrick S. dela Cruz
ISBN: 978-1-4575-1891-1 532 pages $24.95 US
Available at Ingram, Amazon.com, Barnes & Noble and fine bookstores everywhere.
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