Sponsored post: I received a digital copy of this book for free on a read-to-review basis. Thanks to author David Khalaf.
Blurb (from Goodreads):
What if humanity’s great historical figures weren’t just talented—they were supernaturally talented? In this fresh spin on urban fantasy, history’s illustrious leaders, thinkers, warriors, and entertainers all share a secret…and a common destiny.
The year is 1939, and everyone who’s anyone has descended upon the glamorous streets of Hollywood. It’s a great place to be if you’re an actor, singer, politician, or businessman. Not so much if you’re a young guttersnipe stuck selling movie-star maps on the street corner. But then Gray Studebaker never wanted to be rich or famous—he’d be happy just being left alone from his tyrannical caretaker.
But during a rash of celebrity kidnappings, Gray discovers the stars on his map are hiding unusual talents for which they are being abducted. When Gray tries to solve the crimes on his own, he finds himself caught up in a battle for power that stretches back to the beginnings of humanity.
The hunt begins for an ancient tool that can rescue celebrities the likes of Charlie Chaplin, Mary Pickford, and Douglas Fairbanks from an indestructible maniac who wants to steal their talents to create an invincible army. But Gray has a secret of his own, a mysterious disease that will either save the others or destroy them all.
The Sixteen Burdens is the story that inspired Houdini's Last Trick, a 2015 FINALIST for the JukePop/Black Hills Press Summer Writing Project (available on Amazon December 2015). Original artwork in the book by artist Francesca Baerald.
My rating: 2.5 of 5 stars
This wasn’t a bad book, but I did struggle with it a bit. The characters were well developed, and the plot was also well thought out, but I struggled to keep track of what was going on. I think this was probably more me than the book, and the book was also well-written, but every time I put it down, and I seemed to forget what was happening, and was then lost when I picked it back up.
The ideas in this were good though, and I did understand the basic concept – that there was 16 people in the world with exceptional talents, and that these talents are as much a blessing as a burden. One woman was the most beautiful, another man was physically the strongest, and another man the most lucky, and other people wanted these talents? And there was something about something called ‘the eye’? I got a bit lost otherwise.
5 out of 10