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Reviewed by Tilmer Wright Jr for Readers' Favorite
Four: Book 1 of the Numbers Trilogy by A. A. Clifford paints the picture of a world divided. The year is 2097 and, for the first time in history, most people in the world do not believe in the existence of a deity. Cyrenism, a philosophy that encompasses all subsets of non-believers, dominates popular thought. However, a series of disturbing and mysterious events, including the escapes of high-profile mass murderers from the world’s most secure prisons, cause even the most skeptical non-believers to wonder if something supernatural is afoot. Global marshal Austin Corrigan, an avowed Cyrenist, is tasked with tracking down the escapees and bringing them to justice, but he soon learns that this is no simple manhunt. Armageddon is nigh, whether brought on by supernatural forces or the perversion of science. It’s up to Austin and his No Name team to stop it.
With Four: Book 1 of the Numbers Trilogy, A.A. Clifford blurs, shifts, redefines and arguably obliterates the lines between cold, hard science and subjective faith. The action starts early. It doesn’t let up until the breathless conclusion that leaves the reader wondering what comes next. The story moves at a breakneck pace, but the plot remains solid, despite some unexpected twists and turns. It’s an effective beginning to a promising trilogy that will challenge your perception of the roles of science and religion. Characters are realistic, blunt, and raw. Things they say and do will sometimes shock or even offend you, but they are true to themselves. This makes for a great story, even though it will make you uncomfortable at times.