ARC Review: Mastermind or two amazing main characters, and a good thriller!

Hello people, and happy Monday! I really hope this week would be great for everyone. And today I am back with another review, so let’s start!

Thanks to NetGalley and to the Editor. I received a copy of this book in exchange for an honest review.

Title: Mastermind
Author: Andrew Mayne
Pages: 332
Expected Publication Date: September 7th, 2021

A mysterious electrical storm plunges Manhattan into darkness. As a strange, smothering fog rolls in, all communication crashes. In the blink of an eye, the island seems to vanish into a void.
FBI special agent Jessica Blackwood and brilliant scientist Dr. Theo Cray know this isn’t a freak accident. It’s a sinister sleight of hand. Their greatest adversary, a serial killer and cultist known as the Warlock, has escaped during a prison transfer in New York. A depraved master of manipulation, he promised the end of days. He’s making good on it.
One by one, cities across the globe are erupting in chaos as they disappear into the same black holes. Even for two ingenious trackers like Jessica and Theo, there’s still so much to learn about the pattern to the Warlock’s madness. The voids are just a warm-up for something bigger. To discover it—to stop it—Jessica and Theo must descend into the darkest of shadows—and minds

Wow. This book was wow. After reading Ola’s review about a book by this author I went on NetGalley to see if the ARC was still there. It wasn’t, but there was this one by the same author and so I decided to try this out. And it was an amazing decision. (And I am quite grateful that it was a read now book, too!).

I know that the book would come out in September, and so maybe it is a bit early to write this review, and I thought quite a lot about just writing it now, and then wait some more to post it, but then I decided to just go with it, and then in September I would try and share it again because this book deserves some love and some hype!
I also thought about the review itself, or at least I have tried, but I cannot promise anything here. I would try to write things in a orderly fashion, and I would try to make sense, but… but I cannot guarantee it. Be warned!
Because this book is so big. There is just so much in there, and I was creeped out by it, I was mesmerized by it and I couldn’t put it down. At all.
It is a riveting story, with some impressive characters, and a writing that flow so good that you would reach the end without noticing it.

In this book the two main characters are the main characters of two different series by this author, FBI agent Jessica Blackwood, and Doctor Theo Cray, computation biologist. This is my first book by this author, but now I have to go back and read both Blackwood and Cray’s series, because they are amazing characters. And together they are over the top. They are exceptional individuals, masterminds in their own right. Both of them have their strengths and weaknesses and they completed each other, in some ways. Both of them are strong, determined characters, with amazing minds and skills, and see them working together was a real pleasure. Also, the story is always narrated in first person, but we alternate between Jessica and Theo’s POV, and sometimes it wasn’t immediately clear who was speaking. And trying to guess who it was was a small pleasure too.
I really loved them both, and I am looking forward to see them again. I also hope that there would be more books of these two together, because I need them! (And I need them now!).

Aside from the amazing characters, we have a complex plot, that would take you in some places that are better left alone. Really, we get to see up and close how the mind of a sociopath with a god complex works, and it was scary. But it was not scary because of the evil of it, or its being alien, but it was scary because of it realness, because of its possibility. And the sad thing is that all that we get to see in this book it is true. It is not so far-fetched (okay, it is not something that can so easily happen, but it could be. ) and the reaction that it gets from the different characters, and government agencies it is, sadly, the most probable and real one. With all the moral and ethical implications. It was quite scary. Really.
But this aspect was also one of the strongest feature of the book (aside from the amazing characters, I have mentioned them, right?), because we have a catching thriller, with a mystery to solve, but we have also a lot of moral and ethical implications in there. And if you just want to have a nice thrill out of it, you can do it, but if you want to take the time to follow its line of reasoning, you can also do it. And it would take you in some scary places, that for sure.

And, last but not least, this is an unputdownable book. Really. Between the characters, the plot, the really fast-pace, putting it down it is almost impossible. It is the perfect book to read in one sit because you just need to read one more page, and one more page, and wait! I need to know what would happen now. And so on, and so on. I couldn’t do it in just one sitting, because life is an harsh mistress and they tell me that I need to go to work in order to be paid (go figure!), so I needed to stop the reading a couple of time, but I loved it from the first line to the last one. And it is just so hard to put down!

This was also the first book that I have read so far in which COVID is mentioned. It is not a book centered on it, and it is not about plague and epidemic, even if they have a place in this story too, but it is a book that is set in the world after it happened. And it was… strange. In some ways.

Anyway, my only complaint for this book is that I have read it now, but it won’t come out until September, so if there would be a sequel, the waiting would be just so so so long. And this is just sad. So so sad!

And that’s all for today! Have you read this book? Or have you read other books by this author? What do you think about them?? Let me know!!

Happy reading!

7 thoughts on “ARC Review: Mastermind or two amazing main characters, and a good thriller!

  1. Tammy says:

    I love that Mayne is starting a new series with these two characters. I haven’t read the Jessica Blackwood series yet, but I’ve read all four books of Theo Cray’s series and loved them!

    Liked by 1 person

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