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Prayers for the Assassin: A Novel (Assassin Trilogy #1)

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3.75 of 5 stars 3.75  ·  rating details  ·  676 ratings  ·  101 reviews
SEATTLE, 2040. The Space Needle lies crumpled. Veiled women hurry through the busy streets. Alcohol is outlawed, replaced by Jihad Cola, and mosques dot the skyline. New York and Washington, D.C., are nuclear wastelands. Phoenix is abandoned, Chicago the site of a civil war battle. At the edges of the empire, Islamic and Christian forces fight for control of a very differe ...more
Hardcover, 416 pages
Published February 21st 2006 by Scribner (first published January 1st 2006)
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Community Reviews

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11
T

Abandoned on page 100.



I don't really want to review the book as a story, but more like the book as a piece of our recent history, because that's what I was reading it for. First, let me build up some context...

Do you ever look back on the past ten years or so, and wonder how Americans allowed so many of our freedoms to be trampled on? It happened so fast, didn’t it?

We used to have due process in this country, but now it's accepted that you can be detained indefinitely as a terrorist, on suspic
...more
JR
At certain points in the novel, I had to step back from my enjoyment and take measure of the completely un-politically correct things I was reading.

Fifty years from now, the former United States is the Islamic States of America after nuclear bombs planted by rogue "Zionists" destroy New York and Washington, DC, and a dirty bomb makes Mecca uninhabitable for the next thousand years.

Seeking certainty in the face of two million dead, the country turns to the surety of Islam.

I'd never heard of the
...more
Adrienne
In 2015, three nuclear devices simlutaneously detonate in New York, Washington DC and Mecca. Mecca becomes uninhabitable for 10,000 years, while NYC and Washington are completely destroyed. When these attacks are blamed on an Israeli group, civil war engulfs the United States. The country splinters: the old Confederacy becomes the Bible Belt; Utah, parts of Idaho, Wyoming and Colorado become the Mormon Territory; and the rest of the country becomes the Islamic Republic, with a new capital in Sea ...more
Paul
Not a bad book -- started off strong, a little long in the end, but I felt that it ended a little abruptly (in other words, a good candidate to be made into a movie). Either way I enjoyed it -- "what if" books are a always fun to read, though this one seemed a little over the top.
Michael
The premise of this novel - Muslims and Christian fundamentalists fight over a divided future America - was actually the best part. The rest was pretty terrible and so I abandoned this one early on. I wonder if it's the nature of thrillers to be awful.
Bob
This was an interesting “what if” type of book. Nuclear bombs have gone off in New York City, Chicago and Washington as well as in Mecca. Soon it seems that they were set by Israel and as a results Islam has now taken over the bulk of the US and Europe with a pocket of Christians in the bible belt and Nevada and Utah being a separate enclave that’s is relatively open. The principal characters are Sarah Dougan a historian and author of a book that has angered the Islamic government , epically the ...more
Stephen Kennedy
Although this book had some bad reviews on the Sony book store. I purchased it anyway as I heard the author on a radio talk show promoting the second book of this series and I was intrigued about the premise.

The time is in the future and the US is now an Islamic state. Muslims and Catholics live together but the Southern US Bible belt and the Muslim states are in a state of constant war.

We follow the story of Rakkim (a former Fedayeen spy) after he is tasked to find the daughter of the former he
...more
Kip
Picked up a hardcopy of this at the B&N discount bin a while back. Premise looked interesting... Set in 2040 it's after a major nuclear strike against NYC, DC and Mecca. Blamed on Zionists looking to frame Islamic fundamentalists. The US has split into four areas... Islamic northern half, Mormom Territory, Nevada Free Zone (Vegas, baby) and the Southern Bible Belt. Southern Bible Belt was filled with Christians from the Islamic Republic after several high-profile Americans converted to Islam ...more
Ashley
I wanted to really like this book, because it was recommneded by a friend. I just couldn't. It was a short novel, but it took nearly two months to read. Here is my review:
The novel begins with an interesting premise. I found the "muslim" America very intriguing. I think Ferrigno did a good job of laying out the landscape. The map at the beginning was very useful. I found some of the action scenes interesting and creative.
Although this novel is creative with the premise, it is horribly written.
...more
Mike (the Paladin)
This book is built around an interesting idea I'd seen and heard discussed (or varations of it) in other places, especially after 9/11. The general idea is that after a confessed Israeli agents have attacked the US a new civil war broke out. An Islamic movement or backlash agains Isral (and by extention Jews) brought it about. Many Americans in the coastal areas and some of the midwest coberted to Islam. Open war broke out with heavy destruction and loss of life. Evangelical Christians have larg ...more
Sara
I listened to this book on audio. It was a book club selection and for some reason, I didn't think I'd like it. After finishing, I'd say that I found it compelling in a suspenseful way, but it wasn't something I'd choose for myself.

The premise of the story (which initiates a trilogy) is that after a series of attacks and civil wars, America splits into two countries with serious religious and cultural differences. Most of the country converts to Islam, while the South becomes a Christian strong
...more
KarenC
Nov 16, 2011 KarenC rated it 3 of 5 stars
Recommended to KarenC by: series
Introduction to central characters, locations, politics and social conditions that will carry the reader through the three volumes of the Assassin Trilogy. Ferrigno does a decent job introducing the characters, describing the social conditions and setting up the rest of this futuristic trilogy. We get glimpses of the decay befalling the Islamic Republic, as well as the dramatically changed religious, political and social landscapes. Is this really what the U.S. might look like by 2040? A little ...more
Zeke Chase
Rating: 6.1 / 10

This book is predominantly marketed as speculative fiction, and in that sense, it's...not the best. The premise, or at least the catalyst in the novel, is just a little too absurd to be taken seriously by anyone not in a neoconservative thinktank. However, it's written much in the style of a thriller, and despite the that it's futuristic, really just boils down to a spy thriller within a fictional near future. And as a thriller, it's actually pretty good.

The year is 2040 and the
...more
CJ
Action adventure with some nice twists. It's several decades in the future, a couple suitcase nukes went off in D.C. and New York and the Mossad got blamed. The United States has split into an Islamic Republic and the Bible belt in a bloody civil war. To the south, the Aztlan empire has laid claim to Texas and Florida and some of southern California. To the north, Canada is trying to get its hands on some of the great lakes states.

Toss into this mix a Fedayeen shadow warriar (elite spy trained
...more
Ori
This book has a lot going for it. The fight scenes in this are peerless. I was taken back to the olden days when I used to read and then reread R.A. Salvatore books featuring Drizzt Do'Urden. In fact, I'm not 100% certain that Rakim Epps isn't really Drizzt (more on that later).

Also, though it's a bit odd, I learned a fair amount about the Muslim religion and traditional observances. It's a stew of modern and fundamentalist practices and really makes me feel like I should find an actual book abo
...more
Dan
Sep 07, 2007 Dan rated it 4 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: sci-fi thrillers
Shelves: thrillers
Here's the essential problem --- the foundation of the story isn't believable. Ferrigno bases his plot on the idea that the world believes that a nuclear attack on New York City, Washington, DC and Mecca in 2015 is the work of Israeli agents. As a result, most of the USA converts to Islam, with a group of the southern states breaking away to form a Christian nation.

It doesn't ring true. A novelist, particularly someone writing speculative fiction, asks his readers to suspend disbelief, but he h
...more
Schnaucl
Mar 20, 2011 Schnaucl rated it 4 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommended to Schnaucl by: Seattle Times article
Three and a half stars.

It's an interesting premise but I'm not sure I understand the demographics. I'm pretty sure the new capital in Seattle only because the author apparently lives there.

We're the least churched area in the country and we don't have a particularly strong Islamic population (or Catholic population for that matter, which is the other big population in the book).

Otherwise it's a pretty interesting book. Although I find it interesting that the guys seem to think things are most
...more
Daniel Mitchel
Written in the midst of President George Bush's sandbox wars, Ferrigno conceives a future fiction set roughly in 2040 in which Northwestern America is Muslim and has been so for a generation. The setup provides for a world as nervous as William Gibson's novels. Unlike Gibson, Ferrigno's setting is more about cultural collapse and militant ideology than of about technology driven change.
Looking forward to the next two books in the trilogy.
Tom Fox
Set in the decades after an Islamic Revolution in America and subsequent to the dissolution of the USA, I was hoping for more backstory on the events of the revolution and the social upheaval. The author mentions these events only in passing and often repetitively. The story centers on the trials and travails of two lovers as they race against time and pursuers to solve the mystery of the nuclear weapons that triggered the revolution. The story varies from suspenseful and compelling in places to ...more
Bookmarks Magazine

Prayers marks a departure for Ferrigno, whose previous books focused on life in contemporary Southern California. In Ferrigno's neo-Orwellian world, Mount Rushmore has disappeared, LAX has become Bin Laden International, and midday prayers interrupt the Super Bowl. Critics expressed different ideas about the plot, using words such as "preposterous," "credible," and even "ordinary" to describe it. There's no doubt, however, that Ferrigno raises important questions about religious freedom while ha

...more
Cherie
This book gives the reader a look at what the United States would be like after a Civil War between Conservative Christians and Muslim Americans.
It is set in the year 2040, 15 years after an armistice ended that war and divided the United States into the Muslim States of America and the Bible Belt. It was especially interesting to note that Nevada was a free state not aligned with either side, and Utah and Southern Idaho were designated as "The Mormon Territories." Not much was said about The Mo
...more
Mike
I've read the second book, Sins of the Assassin, before this one, so I know how the ending will go here. Nevertheless, the edge-of-your-seat element was still there. Darwin is so cunning, so deceptive.

I like Prayers... more than Sins... (pun somewhat intended).

It was nice for the author to compare today's freedoms in the USA (or in any other democratic country) with a fictional Islamic USA, where almost all freedoms were regulated, if not stifled. The argument was between tolerating excesses an
...more
Ron
A very interesting book. One you won't want to put down until you find out what happens. NO peeking at the rear end first! This is the first of a trilogy.

This book sheds a lot of light on the Islamic mentality, factions within Islam and customs. It is a bit of a sci-fi'er as it is set about 30 years into the future when America has become the Islamic Republic and is split into several different areas.

The main character is a Fedayeen Shadow Warrior who goes toe to toe with many killers and a Fed
...more
Robert
This is a very novel approach to a "what if" book. A future look at a world turned upside down. A story of an America that is split in half by a future war that has caused worldwide shifts. I found this to be very entertaining and fast read. The author really pulls the reader along as the main character and his future wife attempt to find the real cause behind the war that has ripped everything apart. Salted with new gadgets and talk of the "old" gadgets of our world makes this a very entertaini ...more
Quinn
The United States is in chaos. The Pacific United States is now under Muslim control. The southeast United States is Christian. Years earlier several atomic bombs were detonated in three key cities. The Christians being blamed for the attacks. Now several muslim factions are wrestling for power. The “Old One” controlling one, Redbeard controlling another, Ibn Azziz trying to gain control. Rakkim is an assassin and he must find out what happened and why the atomic bomb attacks occurred. Rakkim di ...more
Emjay
In the year 2040, the United States is divided in half: the Islamic Republic in the north and a Christian fundamentalist republic in the south. The Israeli Mossad was blamed for the 2015 nuclear attacks on New York and DC.. But did they? There's a professional assassin, an ex Fedayheen (who flunked the Assassin course) and a gorgeous historian. And former terrorist/freedom fighter Red Beard and master manipulator The Old One are battling for control of the Islamic Republic of America. Humor, hor ...more
Art
This was a different sort of book. It takes place in Islamic America, after Hollywood has help complete the conversion of the American public from Christianity to Islam. The only holdout area, which is portrayed as the wilderness is the Bible Belt South. The plot actually involves a struggle within the ruling Islamic government on America. From a strictly readability standpoint, the book was well written and the tale pulled the reader along to the end. From a political standpoint, I am not sure ...more
Martin Winslow
I really enjoyed this entire series. A unique and fascinating premise, well executed for once! Great writing, great characters and thoroughly entertaining.
Christal
I just did not care for this at all. Don't be mistaken, it isn't for lack of a plot, poor writing or characterization, or anything like that. I simply did not like the subject matter. The synopsis from the BN website made it sound like it was a scifi alternate history sort of story, and they were correct in that it was the background setting. But this was anything but scifi/alternate timeline in the story. It was a military action/adventure/kidnapping and they are not my cup of tea. I had to for ...more
Dustin Rios
I really enjoyed this take on the future, and I have recommended it to many of my friends who also became enthralled with this fictional future.
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Robert Ferrigno is an American author of crime novels and of speculative fiction. I've written twelve novels in the last twenty years, most crime thrillers. Sins of the Assassin was a finalist for the Edgar, Best Novel, by the Mystery Writers of America in 2008, and my comic short story, "Can I Help You Out?" won the Silver Dagger, Best Short Story, by the Mystery Association of Great Britain.

Seri
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Other Books in the Series

Assassin Trilogy (3 books)
  • Sins of the Assassin
  • Heart of the Assassin
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“The faith is not the problem, Bernadette. The problem is the faithful.” 38 likes
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