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Reviewed by Sefina Hawke for Readers' Favorite
Artifice by Lutz Barz is a dark science fiction, fantasy and horror novel that will appeal most to a mixed audience of mature young adults and adults who enjoy reading dark science fiction with horrifying twists mixed in. Artifice takes place when the Soviet Union occupies Afghanistan in 1979, strange murders happen in Australia, and the occult is both real and dangerous. Artifice is a novel that combines the occult, aliens, and the time stream all in one plot line.
Artifice has a slightly confusing beginning in that Lutz Barz puts the reader right into the middle of the events; there is no gentle sendoff, but a launch into the unknown. However, I kept reading, and as the story continued, things began to make sense in this world of fiction and fantasy. The plot line began to come together as I learned more and more about the world state; in fact for me the story felt a bit like an adventure and a mystery to be solved as I had to find and put the pieces together for myself. I enjoyed the fact that Lutz Barz did not hold my hand and give me each piece of the puzzle on a silver platter. Instead, I had to find and understand it myself, which felt more like an accomplishment. The end of Artifice was not something I expected, but I really enjoyed the way Lutz Barz ended the story.