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Reviewed by Melinda Hills for Readers' Favorite
Miriam is looking for a break as a star dancer in the Troupe Bennu, and the disappearance of the star of the show right before curtain up gives her a big chance in Encore: A Contemporary Love Story of Hypnotic Abduction by Tantra Bensko. The problem is that Dune, the leader of the troupe, hypnotizes the backup dancers to believe they are the actual stars, so when the show is over, Dune whisks Miriam away before the curtain drops and the hypnotic suggestion is ended. Dune is part of a secret society that answers to world leaders. They believe that Moldavite, a precious gem that is important in the legends of many cultures, will give them great power, not to mention wealth. Abducting Miriam is part of a plot to have the consciousness of each of the daughters of Luke, a famous alchemist, kept alive in the mind of another woman. With this level of power, the leaders and agents of the government hope to control the world, using the legends of Atlantis and Camelot with King Arthur to counteract the claims of the followers of Shambhala. Coming out of the hypnotic trance while imprisoned in a castle, Miriam hopes to escape and embrace the life she has just realized she could live, especially with the love of Colin, a friend who camps out near the castle in order to rescue her. With so many factors against her, will Miriam be able to actually overcome these men who have had control over her for her entire life?
Intriguing and otherworldly, Encore: A Contemporary Love Story of Hypnotic Abduction takes you on a slow, sometimes languorous journey through mind control and the lust for power. Tantra Bensko writes with tremendous imagination and vivid detail, although I found the dreamy nature of much of the action to be confusing, especially with people coming and going that you don’t really understand. However, many wonderful considerations are brought to light such as governmental control of people, the use of occult intelligence agents and the misappropriation of cultural legends to create artificial alliances. Readers will have to stay on their toes to determine who is using whom as the action unfolds. Although I typically love gothic suspense/romance stories and things that could be considered paranormal, Encore: A Contemporary Love Story of Hypnotic Abduction left me with more questions than answers. A very interesting read.