Paul Montgomery's Reviews > Allah's Revenge

Allah's Revenge by Pete Barber
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Aug 01, 12

Read in August, 2012

Synopsis - New technology is ever a double-edged sword, ready to help the world or threaten it. So it is here, as the terrorist group Allah's Revenge sieze nanotechnology, designed to devour raw material and convert it into cheap fuel. In their hands, it's an airborn threat, invisible, silent, deadly. Easily hidden, easily dispersed. And should they choose to make it so, unstoppable...

OK. I have to say this first. I want to dislike this book. I really want to dislike it. And why? Because of the opening scene. A terrorist attack on the London underground. It's not that I find it in bad taste (taking aside the infamous 7/7 bombings). It's more that using the Tube every day, there's a couple of flaws in the execution and the description of the attack methodology. So that set it off on a bad foot for me.

Then, it moves into the old Muslim terrorists, mission from Allah territory. Again, I want to dislike this book.

It's therefore pleasantly surprising and gratifying to realise that actually, I don't dislike it. I actually enjoyed it. It's a well thought out, well written, well paced book. The characters are credible and likeable. The love story is well handled. The multiple threats are (in a nice change) given solid and logical backstories, providing an interesting insight into their motivation and behaviours. The McGuffin (Nanotechnology) is plausible as both a benefit and a threat. Dialogue never rings false. The action scenes (particularly the finale) are handled very well - thrilling and with a genuine sense of threat. The technology is described well enough to hook the layman, but without bogging us down in too much science.

The characters themselves are wonderfully written, identifiable and easy to empathise with. Quinn may, I suspect, evolve into one of those literary detectives that survives book after book. And good for him - he deserves it.

Barber's great skill here seems to be that he makes it all look easy. He avoids the cliches which would have been so easy, counterbalancing, for example, the evil Muslim terrorists, with human Muslims (their families, their likes, their dislikes, their relationships, their connection with Allah, etc).

The research, the cultural respect, the intelligence, the threat. All well handled. Staggering that this is Barber's only book on Amazon. He has produced a book that sucks the reader in (barring the Tube incident) and keeps them hooked. An ideal Summer read, and one I would recommend. Thoroughly enjoyable. (Not sure about the cover image, though).
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