MUCH like the character of Mrs God herself, author Mark Evans is a glutton for punishment.
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The Cork-based writer, having captivated audiences with his first sojourn into fiction three years ago, could easily have churned out a run-of-the-mill sequel featuring updated escapades from all the same characters in much the same format.
He has weaved together a complex tale of love and loss, fantasy, and intrigue in an action-packed novel that keeps the reader on their toes from start to finish.
From the opening pages of his second offering, Mrs God: Trinity, the reader is forced to ask themselves an unexpected and somewhat disarming question — where is Mrs God, the protagonist who featured so heavily in Evans’ inaugural novel?
The opening chapters are instead dedicated to three entirely new characters — a Trinity of exceptionally talented young women who are struggling to overcome their physical disabilities.
This change of focus is a bold one.
In the void left by Mrs God, we fall for these three powerful yet intensely vulnerable individuals who, unbeknownst to each other, are undeniably connected, despite the space and time — and, indeed, dimensions — that separate them.
As a blind, yet gifted, Lunden lass, born in secret to loving parents, Alyssa’s story is particularly gripping.
A young woman at war with herself, Alyssa is forced to choose between her own personal safety and the wellbeing of others.
Almost immediately we identify with Alyssa’s intense desire to make something of her life, to make it count.
While her eyes may not work, that doesn’t mean she can’t see what’s going on around her.
Others may underestimate her, but the reader never does.
Half a world away, Verona is confined to her wheelchair within the hulking mass of the Gaia spaceship.
Her fellow humans have long since destroyed the planet and must now take refuge in the stars.
But Verona, in her eagerness to learn more about the ship’s inner machinations, makes a terrible discovery, suggesting the rescue operation isn’t all it claims to be.
These gripping chapters see Evans veering deliberately away from his comfort zone and delving deeper into the world of sci-fi.
Verona’s chapters are compelling but they are, truth be told, also a little unsettling.
The post-apocalyptic scenario seems chillingly prescient when considering the real life human race’s current ‘head-in-the-sand’ approach to climate change.
Back on Earth, in present day New York we meet dark and dangerous teen Eva, who is locked in an epic battle against the demons of hell.
She wanders the city taking out Lucifer’s monsters one by one, hoping she will come face to face with the mysterious, powerful, and beautiful woman who saved her life as an infant.
Follow the demons, find the woman, Eva repeats.
The woman, we know, is Mrs God, and the reader is asking much the same question Eva is — where can she be found?
But Evans is not one to leave his audience hanging.
Mrs God does indeed appear, but only after we have irreversibly immersed ourselves in the lives of Alyssa, Verona, and Eva.
While all three facets of this story would easily make novels in and of themselves, author Mark Evans boldly weaves them all together to create an intricate and complex gift — a tale of heaven and hell, of love and loss, of demons and angels.
The result is a dark, yet intensely hopeful tome which will delight sci-fi and fantasy readers in both this world and the next.
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