A Portion of Malice by Lloyd Jeffries is the first book of the Ages of Malice series and presents an intriguing concept that mixes fantasy, history and religion.
Hopeless Emery Merrick is ready to end his life, but destiny has something else in store for him. At what he thought was the last moments of his life, he meets a strange and commanding man. He’s not a complete stranger though: Thaddeus Drake, famous global figure, has made a name for himself as a peacemaker and now has a once in a lifetime proposal for Emery: to write his biography. Soon Emery finds out Drake’s darkest secret, an unimaginable reality that will change the course of his life forever. When proof comes out about ancient biblical stories having truly occurred, and we find out that some of the people that were part of those stories are still alive as a punishment from God, the intrigue of the book increases exponentially, bringing something unique and enigmatic to the table.
From the beginning of this darkly alluring novel the characters introduced were intriguing, since each of them held some darkness hidden in their pasts: immortality, cruelty and power. Immortals roam the Earth, and the most vicious seem to be the ones with the most ambition. Throughout the story readers meet figures that they’ll recognize from Bible stories; and I was always excited to see them because I was interested in seeing this particular author’s take on those characters. As we see Cain himself attempt some sort of revenge against God, we see a clear representation of human greed and barbarism. Leading living members of the Roman Legion, Cain has a master plan to shape the human world as an act of defiance against God. I never knew where the storyline would go next, the creativity imbued in the plot is unparalleled in the occult thriller genre.
What is the fate of humanity? Cain has his own plan and is willing to commit the most atrocious crimes to reach it. The narration style lets the reader see through different timelines the evolution of these ruthless immortals. Jumping back and forth, we get to connect the dots, which makes for an engaging and intricate plot.
Though slow at times, the pacing of the story allows the readers to digest the depth of the ideas and the nuances of the characters. This is a visionary story with a fantastically strange aura of mystery. By the end, some reflection into the human psyche will be necessary to understand where these dark characters come from and where they’ll most likely be going in the next installments of the Ages of Malice series. I can’t wait.
Pages: 364 | ASIN: B0BG8ZPY7D
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A Portion of Malice follows two men, one a journalist, the second an immortal looking to fulfill biblical prophecy, as the world prepares for the coming apocalypse. What was the inspiration for the setup to your story?
The story came from a contemplation concerning Cain murdering his brother, being marked, then cast out. My entire life I’ve contemplated God’s nature, the nature of Humanity (created in God’s image, yet imperfect), and the reasons why the modern world is so filled with mayhem, avarice and despair. From that, the idea sprang and became richer and more provident as I explored. Thus, A PORTION OF MALICE was born.
Was there anything from your own life that you put into the characters in your novel?
I think they all represent me in some way and were born from those facets. Emery as long suffering, in over his head, a metaphor for how I’ve felt through so much of my life. Cain for his dark side, his search for redemption while fulfilling a destiny even he can’t imagine. Longinus for his strength, his boldness, and the darkness that blooms when any single trait becomes too magnified. Igneus for his fear, his confusion, his self-doubt, surprised when he rises above his flaws to become the man he never knew he was. I am all of these and none of these. To me, that’s the thrill.
What were some themes that were important for you to explore in this book?
It was important to explore the concepts of sin, redemption, religion, time, God, Man, history, legend, myth and folklore. Somewhere in there, truth lies (pun intended).
I wanted to write a story that challenges paradigms, that provokes thought and sparks curiosity about the world in which we live and how we all can improve that world.
I seek to give readers an abundance of fodder so they might discern, for themselves, their own truths, and challenge their own beliefs.
Some of my readers are elated, some get angry, but all experience emotions that challenge their paradigms. That’s the reason I’m writing the AGES OF MALICE series, to provoke, to confront, to bend the trunk and strengthen the tree.
What is the next book that you are working on and when will it be available?
A MEASURE OF RHYME, book II of the AGES OF MALICE series, is complete and will release in spring of 2023. EMBERS OF SHADOW, book III, is complete and will release in fall of 2023. I’m currently working on Book IV, THE TEMPESTS OF TIME.
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Two-time Pulitzer prize-winning journalist Emery Merrick is about to end his life when he gets the offer to write the biography of well-known billionaire Thaddeus Drake in exchange for a mouth-watering payday. Merrick accepts what appears to be a lifetime opportunity and soon discovers a staggering truth: Drake is Cain from the Bible, the first murderer who God caused to roam the earth forever. Merrick’s gradual absorption into Drake’s life reveals the secret society of immortals, the billionaire heads, and his plan to fulfill a biblical prophecy concerning the end time. What is Drake’s plan for humanity, and what darkness lies at the other end of it?
A Portion of Malice by Lloyd Jeffries is a thriller that weaves a fascinating and somewhat controversial tale involving events and characters from the Bible and history. One of its biggest selling points is how different it is. It’s thought-provoking, and some might even call it startling. The book’s pace is riveting, and the alternation between present-day and historical events creates multiple layers of engagement.
Jeffries delivers his writing with a beautiful cadence that lets you slip into the story easily and follow every action or scene being described. His descriptions are vivid, giving life to the story. His detailed approach to articulating his characters’ experiences is immersive. It makes his writing robust, provocative, and soulful, like a good poem. I always admire a writer’s ability to encapsulate an entire body of art in an apparent mood without being too obvious about it. It’s the subtlety that thrills. And with Jeffries’ book, you can always sense an ominous shadow lurking at the edges of the story the entire time. All in all, I’d call this a great read. It’s fresh, bold, and entertaining.
A Portion of Malice is a captivating political and paranormal suspense thriller that will have readers on edge as the nefarious plot unravels to cause the end of humanity. The journey of a man into the apocalypse and a confrontation with God himself will leave readers stunned and waiting for book two of the series.
Pages: 379 | ASIN : B0BG8ZPY7D
Tags: A Portion of Malice, author, book, book recommendations, book review, book reviews, book shelf, bookblogger, books, books to read, ebook, goodreads, indie author, kindle, kobo, literature, Lloyd Jeffries, nook, novel, paranormal suspense, political thriller, read, reader, reading, story, supernatural thriller, suspense, thriller, writer, writing