What would you do if you woke up one day and had let’s say “gifts” that you cannot explain? Gifts such as telekinesis, communing with animals, morphing into one, or even the ability to manipulate someone’s body just with a single touch. Would you use it for good or revenge? How would you explain it to your family, friends, and co-workers? Would you experiment or try to stifle the powers and be as normal as you can? Throughout Eastern Pennsylvania people woke up to have these extraordinary abilities without explanation. They are all from seemingly different walks of life, what could they possibly have in common?
From time to time there is a book you pick up, unsure of how it will turn out and then it becomes a book you refuse to put down. That is what Chris Pisano and Brian Koscienski have accomplished with their novel The Shattered Visage Lies. From the moment you open this book and begin reading about each of the characters you are hooked. They each wake up one and realize through various ways that they have unique powers such as Widow Montgomery who has reflexes like a cat or Nora who can communicate with animals. Each chapter goes through the personal stories of each person, but then begins to merge together as one. I love how Pisano and Koscienski do that and still keep the individual stories separate. Their descriptions are great, as they describe Derek “vibing” every time he senses someone with a unique gift I imagine a young kid vibrating uncontrollably. It was an amusing image in my head.
You can almost tell the difference in authors based on the language usage, but even with that the story flows beautifully. These two did a phenomenal job collaborating. They bring the story to life and make you want more not only of the characters, but also more of their writing. With each chapter being a different character you get a different feel each time you enter a new storyline. That same feel continues each time they reappear and remains once they all come together. They leave the story off in such a way that you are almost mad at them for it. But that is what makes you want to read their next book because you want to see it happen, they are geniuses.
As you read throughout the novel you learn things about the characters that you didn’t expect, and the explanation for what they all had in common makes you wonder if something like it is even possible. There are subtle clues throughout the book that if you aren’t really paying attention, you will not pick up on them, I know I didn’t. Some of the “gifts” start to become creepy like Kevin who is a technomage (on who can manipulate technology). The things this character does will make you cringe and squirm when some of the gruesome details are described. These two authors hold nothing back when it comes to details and descriptions.
Disclaimer: there are scenes that can be taken as offensive or lude or too much in a novel. It is not a book for everyone. I wouldn’t give it to my mom or a young kid to read, but it is a great book to read if you are okay with a few sexual and gory scenes. If you want a science fiction, paranormal, or even fantasy novel, then you need to add this one to your shelves. While the book may seem thick and long, the chapters are short and easy to read, almost reminiscent of James Patterson novels with each chapter being a few pages long. It reads fast especially when you cannot put the thing down! This is definitely a novel that needs to added to your bookshelf.