Prophet of Bones is an exciting thriller set in an alternate world where Darwin was discredited and the belief that the earth is only a few thousand years old persists into the 21st century. This is a fascinating premise and Ted Kosmatka really delivers with his sophomore effort.
In a world where the best science believes the earth to only be a few thousand years old, a discovery that threatens that belief triggers a violent reaction that costs Paul Carlsson an eye and several other people their lives. Paul manages to smuggle out a genetic sample and some very powerful people want to make sure his discovery never sees the light of day.
Kosmatka does a great job of creating atmosphere. While the pages move by swiftly, there is a pervading sense of tension and dread that oozes from the book. Dangerous experiments that mess with the genetic code are truly terrifying in the wrong hands. By setting the book in a world where Darwin was wrong, Kosmatka effectively highlights not only the threat that new discovery poses to the status quo, but to religion, politics and belief systems.
Prophet of Bones is not a typical thriller. The hero is not a bull-in-the-china-shop type. He is physically imposing, but he is foremost a scientist and a man of conviction. Paul Carlsson is a very interesting character. He is layered and driven. I very much enjoyed Kosmatka’s first book, The Games, but Prophet of Bones is even better. The characters are more rounded and compelling, the monsters are just as terrifying, and the plotting is solid from beginning to end. This is a story that will entertain as well as make you think. Highly recommended.
I was fortunate to receive an advance copy of this book.