The Pseudo-Chronicles of Mark Huntley
(580 pages, 2016)
Jeff Deck has returned. Following his previous novel, Player Choice, moved into the paranormal thriller realm, but kept a bit of the technological for spice. Welcome to the world of The Pseudo-Chronicles of Mark Huntley.
My name is Mark Huntley. You know, life was a lot simpler when my biggest problem was how to pay for both rent and beer. Now, I’ve apparently got to stop a secret war between otherworldly forces that threatens all of humanity. Oh, and make sure I don’t get any of my friends or loved ones killed in the process. All this while a demonic weapon inside me may slowly be driving me insane.
This should be fun.
Mark Huntley is a political fact-checker in Washington, DC. As the world rapidly approaches the 2004 Presidential Election, Mark runs headlong into destiny. He starts sensing things that he shouldn’t – auras and flashes, smells and emotions, all related to random people – and he doesn’t know who to tell, or even who to trust. So he starts a blog under a pseudonym and tells the world.
Previously published as a four-part serial, the novel is told in epistolary style as each chapter is a new blog entry. Since the story takes place exclusively from Mark’s point of view, the reader gets to ride a wild roller-coaster of intrigue, humor, paranoia, depression, anxiety, and guilt, all while unraveling the mystery as the story dips and twists. The novel is grounded in Jeff’s experiences since he’s familiar with the DC area, and that adds an air of authenticity to the otherwise alien happenings, and it rapidly escalates from the mystery of one man’s life to the challenge of a small group of chosen (yet reluctant) heroes saving the world.
Even though it comes in at nearly 600 pages, the story is quickly paced and exciting, and I had a hard time putting this one down.
Overall, I give The Pseudo-Chronicles of Mark Huntley four stars out of five.
Disclosure: Jeff provided me a free copy of the novel in exchange for an honest review.