Verdict: This is an intricate and well-written story, with a new twist around every corner. The world-building is excellent - McCormick's universe has a history that feels real and solid behind it, without ever getting overly involved in backstory.
Chancellor Brumhall is outwardly respectable and popular, but secretly runs Operation Peacemaker, a project wherein a crew of organized criminals are hired to suppress rebellions against the Coalition. The front corporation for this project is headed by Atusa Navarro, a noted businesswoman and philanthropist admired by almost everyone.
Christmas “Crazy Eyes” Parker is one of her operatives, the adopted daughter of a gangster whose eyes are affected by a disorder that gives her hallucinations whenever she removes her specially-designed goggles. Ben Weizmann is a detective willing to go beyond the legal limits to bring Navarro and her operatives down, but who has an Achilles heel in the form of his sick young son Nikos. And Horace Murchison is a government official working with Operation Peacemaker, whose betrayal of an ambush (a betrayal requested of him, apparently, by God Almighty via the Metatron) drives Crazy Eyes to seek revenge, setting off a train of events that will lead in directions none of the participants can envision.
This is an intricate and well-written story, with a new twist around every corner. The world-building is excellent – McCormick’s universe has a history that feels real and solid behind it, without ever getting overly involved in backstory. The characters are well-developed, each with their own personality and motivations, and the reader is kept in suspense wondering just how far each will go in order to achieve their goals. The plot unfolds itself smoothly and swiftly, with each action leading inexorably to the next until we find ourselves in entirely unexpected places.The religious element is well-handled, as it threads through the rest of the story just behind the scenes, subtly but powerfully affecting events until the final revelation. Moral choices are never black-and-white or easy, and despite the existence of a literal deus ex machina, not everything is cleanly resolved at the end (and that’s a good thing). All in all, it’s an intriguing, thought-provoking book.
Sometimes the book’s complexity gets to be a bit much for an ordinary reader. It can be difficult to keep track of the politics and of the characters at times, and what the author does to space-time will make a non-physicist’s head hurt. (However, that is true of much of cutting-edge physics, frankly. I’m not saying by any means that the plot isn’t plausible; I honestly haven’t the scientific knowledge to point to any reason why it wouldn’t be.)
A Voice In The Thunder is an exciting, fast-paced, well-written book that will leave your head spinning a bit at the end, in a good way. If you’re looking for a summer read that manages to be both thoughtful and action-packed, this is an excellent choice.
Reviewed by Catherine Langrehr for IndieReader