There are as many different writing styles as there are writers. Some meticulously develop their characters, while the plot sneaks stealthily up on you. Other writers prefer to put the plot first and let the characters develop along with the storyline.

There is no doubt in my mind that Paul Mark Tag belongs to the second group. He wastes not one word on character development, preferring to launch into the plot at a speed approaching Mach 1. Now don’t get me wrong, this is not a bad thing, it is just a writing style.

Prophecy has at its very heart a very interesting precept. The ability to foresee the future, some call it, a gift, some call it a curse.

Set in the very near future (2009) Prophecy goes to work. An old safe is found on a construction site, it also happens to be the site of the great Johnstown flood of 1889. The town was destroyed, and its 2200 inhabitants met a watery grave when a sportsmans dam gave way. The only thing inside of this rusty old safe is a sealed bottle containing a letter. The letter was purportedly written by one of the Johnstown victims, Ms Augusta Schmidt. The disturbing aspect is that the letter was written prior to the flood, the day before to be exact, and it details her choice to stay and die with her family, rather than run for safety.

Since the late 1940’s the super powers, and some of the not quite super powers have expanded huge sums of money chasing the goal of ESP. He who owns the view of the future, owns the future, is the argument used.

Paul Mark Tag introduces us to a new explanation for the phenomenon, ESP is in the human genome. It is a rare naturally occurring mutation in the DNA. So rare, it may occur only once in every 200 million people. Prophecy is based on a plot line where both American and Russian scientists have discovered the gene mutation, and the ensuing battle between the interested parties to conquer the gene.

Our hero’s are Navy scientists Dr. Victor Mark Silverstein and his assistant Linda Kipling, neither of which are DNA experts, but rather meteorologists. They become the central focal point of the various groups when it seems like they hold the key to this strange ‘prophecy gene’. Rogue CIA operatives, a senator with Middle Eastern connections, and the very shady organization known as The Blade Of Sinai all become obsessed with owning the Prophecy Gene.

While the plot line sometimes lacks credibility, and the characters are ever so slightly over the top, don’t be put off. This book was designed to be a wild ride on the wings of escapism, and it certainly delivers. This is just the sort of novel to lose yourself in these dreary winter days.

You can get your copy from Amazon. Paul Mark Tag also has a web site with information about Prophecy and his first novel Category 5.

Simon Barrett

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