Fearless a Worthy Second Offering in Suspense Series
- Paul Rose Jr. Infuze Magazine
- 2007 23 Aug
Author: Robin Parrish
Publisher: Bethany House
When INFUZE founder Robin Parrish released his freshman novel Relentless, he made it clear that it was just the first part of a grand three-stage epic. In Fearless, he delivers on his promise, creating a straight-up superhero story that many of the X-Men writers would envy, yet one that proceeds smoothly out of Relentless’ suspense-filled thriller pages without missing a beat.
The story picks up a few months after the conclusion of Relentless, with Grant Borrows and his rapidly-growing band of ring-wearing cohorts in Los Angeles, fighting crime and defending innocent bystanders from the dangers that have arisen in the city, thanks to riots and fear from a large spate of global natural disasters.
Grant is a hero of the people, spawning a rash of websites, news stories and fan clubs across the world, none of whom know his or his teams’ real names. He is known simply as ‘The Guardian,’ and has been working with Dr. Daniel Cossack to continue to understand and develop his powers. Meanwhile, Morgan, the earliest-known person to be shifted, has dispatched her former lover Payton, also a ring-wearer known as the Thresher, to further their investigation of the organization who claims to be pulling their strings, the Secretum of Six, once led by Grant’s grandfather.
With new ring-wearers popping up on a regular basis, Grant’s sister has developed their own version of the Underground Railroad to bring new Loci into the fold, at the same time, attempting to vet them as true heroes. Unfortunately, the plan isn’t flawless, and finding themselves as the subject of betrayal, Grant and his closest teammates flee the country to avoid an FBI investigation, reluctantly led by Special Agent Ethan Cooke.
But the team’s departure is not just for the sake of convenience. As a result of the natural disasters, a group of rogue ring-wearers, under order of the Prime Minister, isolate the central portion of London, creating an invisible barrier that no one on either side can manage to pass through. And following an encounter with Devlin, the man who appears to have replaced Grant’s grandfather as the Secretum’s Keeper, Morgan convinces Grant that the answers to his questions might be hidden in the 5-centuries of writings stored in the Library of London.
A detour to Jerusalem is prompted by a mental message from Payton, which gives Grant and the team an opportunity to express their worldwide commitment to heroism, while helping dig out the victims of another so-called natural disaster.
Once in the British Isles and cleverly penetrating the barrier, Grant and his closest Loci find themselves closer to the truth than certain parties are comfortable with and the story’s intensity continues to build, page after page, to its startling conclusion.
True to his word, Parrish answers many of the questions left open at the conclusion of Relentless. We learn more about the Secretum, their origins, where the rings come from and some of the deeper mysteries involved in the prophecy told about the Bringer by the Dominion Stone. But like with all truly great epic stories, every question answered leads to more questions as Grant finds himself deeper in the proverbial rabbit-hole than ever before.
Along the way, Parrish demonstrates that he not only understands the super hero genre, but is willing to break some of the standard rules of the game to increase the tension and raise the stakes far above that of normal suspense or comic book-styled literature.
In Fearless, Parrish quickly proves that he is far from a one-hit wonder, something his INFUZE readers doubtless recall from his earlier serialized novels on this website. Relentless was a much more serialized novel, with short chapters that left the readers dangling on the cliffhangers, hardly able to put the book down in their quest to find out what happens next.
Fearless, on the other hand, has longer chapters, giving Parrish and the readers more time to explore character depth, which Parrish handles with almost as much style as his action scenes, while at the same time, building with a pace reminiscent of Relentless, still keeping the readers at the edge of their seats in anticipation of the final chapter. In fact, I stayed up an extra two hours to finish the book myself, wanting to discover the book’s finale. In fact, the ending is so monumental, Parrish’s readers will be cursing the fact that they have to wait 12 months to discover the Dominion Trilogy’s endgame in Merciless.
It’ll definitely be worth the wait to find out how Parrish resolves the threads he leaves hanging at the end of Fearless. I can’t imagine anything less than a conclusion in the style of a blockbuster film. One thing’s for sure—The Dominion Trilogy should have a place on any suspense fan’s bookshelf next to Stephen King and Dean Koontz.
© 2007 Infuze Magazine. All rights reserved. Used with permission.