Maze Master the latest from New York Times bestselling author Kathleen O’Neal Gear is an apocalyptic tale of biblical proportions that blends science and faith. Lucent B is plaguing the world, it spreads quickly and is 100% lethal. The US government believes that James Hakari is the only person who can find a cure to the devastating disease; unfortunately, his is presumed dead by most of the world. With James dead or in hiding the task falls to his former student Anna Asher, a woman whose intelligence and beauty is rivaled only by her mistrust and PTSD. To unravel the breadcrumbs that Hakari left behind Anna enlists the help of Dr. Martin Nadai, a paleographer, and religious studies scholar. The pair set off on a globetrotting adventure to save us all before the virus, or World War 3 claims everyone.
The strength of the author lies in her ability to create likable characters for us to follow and her attention to detail when describing a location. Whether our heroes are trekking through the desert exploring an ancient cave or pacing in an underground prison cell you have an excellent sense of place like you, have been there yourself. She also showcases a strong grasp on humanistic perspective and those that may choose to act in a more selfish manner. Any fan of zombie films knows that at some point your biggest problem is no longer the monsters but your fellow humans.
There is a ton of validity to the scientific statements made throughout the book. While it doesn’t go as in-depth as a Michael Crichton novel, there is still enough to understand the work the author put into her research. As a bonus Maze Master is weighed down by technical jargon and doesn’t feel inaccessible to those without a biology or theology degree.
My biggest complaint about Maze Master is that the story starts to drag a little in the latter half and then comes together too quickly in the climax. I think if the significant breakthroughs would have been spread out a little more and more focused on our core group of characters it would have improved the pacing. My only other complaint of note is more of a personal one because my favorite character gets put in the back seat and almost completely forgotten about for a significant portion of the story. It may make sense because his skill set is not the most valuable at that time, but it was discouraging because it was his POV that I enjoyed and identified with the most.
Maze Master is a quality tale that anyone who loves the religious mysteries of Dan Brown or the large scale scientific disasters of Michael Crichton could find enjoyment in.