Young Adult - Fantasy - Urban
416 Pages
Reviewed on 04/20/2019
Buy on Amazon

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    Book Review

Reviewed by K.J. Simmill for Readers' Favorite

Sam had been having a tough time. Her father had been murdered and accused of something she just knew he hadn't done. As a minor, she was assigned to care, but no one could keep her from investigating the truth. On the run from her carers, she soon finds the list of people she needs to hide from growing. The police, the government, and even a street gang are on her heels. The danger is mounting. The DHS had tipped their hand when she'd had a stroke in their custody. There is only one person she can trust, and she isn't even sure if he is real. Alex claims to be a sentient virus, and those who survive the onset of this virus are rewarded with unimaginable gifts. Gifts coveted by the government. Sam is determined to use Alex to help discover the truth behind her father's murder, but to do so she must stay ahead of those who are hunting her. She will stop at nothing, but neither will they.

Gnosis by Rick Hall is a paranormal urban fantasy and what a tale it is. I have admit, I absolutely loved this book. I was hooked from the first page, instantly drawn to Sam and the trouble she was in. The narrative is, hands down, one of the best examples of a first-person narrative I have ever come across. The style is gripping, engaging, and completely immersive. I enjoyed the building relationship and the development of understanding between Sam and Alex. All the characters are vivid, well rounded, and have their own back story and incentives. The emotions and reactions portrayed are real, and even age and experience appropriate. This book oozes reality, from the hunt for truth, Sam's confusion, all the way to subtleties such as the manner in which Sam lashes out at Melvin, and each line only serves to draw you in deeper. People in this book are not only well developed as characters, they are emotionally perfect; something that can be difficult to achieve. Action, danger, and a hunt for truth and understanding will drive you through the detailed and complex plot. This is one book I would, without a doubt, recommend to anyone, whether you want a gripping action, a touch of the supernatural, or a read packed with action. Gnosis ticks all the boxes.

Amy Raines

In Gnosis by Rick Hall, Samantha Black finds herself in a world of turmoil, distrust and despair after her father is murdered. Many people believe her father was a dirty cop but Samantha refuses to believe it. In search of the truth, bad luck seems to plague her everywhere she goes. After running away from foster care to following up on her father’s death, she finds out she may be deathly ill with a virus that makes her a target. Even though she refuses to believe she could be that sick, the voice she can hear that takes the shape of a small boy proves the bigger problem may be surviving the virus rather than succumbing to it. Will Samantha’s bad luck change so she can find out who really killed her father? Will the virus eventually kill her or be a useful tool to help her in her investigation?

I loved Gnosis by Rick Hall. It is a fast-paced story with a complex and winding plot with unexpected yet entertaining twists that keep the reader turning the pages, wondering what the next turn is going to bring. The characters are very well defined with unique and distinct personalities that keep the reader’s attention. My favorite thing about Gnosis by Rick Hall is the strength of the lead characters. I love that Samantha did not give in or give up; she allowed the ‘virus’ to feed her courage. I recommend Gnosis to anyone who loves an exciting action story that has both the thrill of the chase and the thrill of the hunt rolled in with some very strange side effects. I hope to read more from Rick Hall in the very near future.

Romuald Dzemo

Gnosis by Rick Hall begins with a startlingly gripping statement which prepares the reader for what follows: “I was six months shy of eighteen when I realized my first major truth: Life is not a trust fall exercise.” And hence begins the premise on which this riveting story builds. Samantha Black has had her fair share of misfortune, a lot for a seventeen-year-old. Her dad, a cop, has just been murdered and Sam refuses to accept what the police are saying. Her dad wasn't a dirty cop and he wasn't killed by terrorists as the Department of Homeland Security claims. Escaping from a foster home, Sam is determined to face whatever stands between her and those who murdered her father. When she is taken to the hospital for her headaches, she hears the voice of a ten-year-old in her head. He is called Alexander and he claims to be a telepath. Doctors think it's something to do with Sam's brain, but the truth is that Alexander is a sentient virus and the government is aware of it.

This is an engrossing story that had me turning the pages nonstop. Rick Hall creates a wonderful character in Sam, a character that inspires sympathy in readers. It's easy to love her. This is a story that explores themes of conspiracy, organized crime, and the ruthlessness with which governments can prey on the vulnerable. The tension builds up in the plot, augmented by a strong sense of suspense, and the reader keeps turning pages right up to the explosive denouement. I enjoyed every bit of this story, and I loved the psychological depth and the emotional strength of the characters.