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A Hideous Beauty by Jack Cavanaugh

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A Hideous Beauty
by Jack Cavanaugh

Reviewed by Phillip Tomasso III

"A Hideous Beauty is not just entertaining, it is enlightening."

For years now, I have been a huge fan of Jack Cavanaugha. I remember reading his Songs of the Night and Great Awakenings Series, finishing one book, and restlessly awaiting the release of the next, and the next … When I read the summary for his newest series, the Kingdom Wars, despite warnings that Cavanaugh had stepped away from historical fiction, I was immediately anxious to begin reading.

Grant Austin was living the life. Aside from winning the Pulitzer for his non-fiction book about the president, he was back at his old high school—speaking to the student body—and about to rub his success in the nose of Myles Shepherd … his greatest rival, perhaps his archenemy. Shepherd beat Austin at everything. Sports. Academics. Stole his girl. You name an event, and Shepherd possessed the trophy to prove he was better at it.

It is funny how you work out the way a conversation will go in your head, many times, long before the actual conversation ever takes place. What Austin and Shepherd end up discussing is far from what Austin imagined, or even dreamed would be discussed.

Learning about an upcoming presidential assassination attempt, Austin is confronted by immediate conflict. First, he learns that not only is someone planning to kill the president, but that the president is aware of the plotted attack. Second, Austin discovers that he hasn’t just been informed about it, but that the book he wrote actually predicts the assassination—even though he hadn’t been aware of the easily un-coded language filling the chapters of his work. Third, Austin must find out the truth about his own identity if he is to even expect to be useful in thwarting plans set to murder the country’s president. Fourth, Austin discovers that good versus evil really exists, angels and demons, or is he just losing his mind …

Time is of the essence. There is an unseen war being raged between angelic beings. An assassination attempt is in the works. Teaming up with three important ladies in his life, and a wheel-chair bound professor, Austin dodges every best-judgment call in order to attempt to save the president, his friends and his very life…

Witty, clever and sarcastic, Grant Austin is one of my favorite Jack Cavanaugh characters to date. Short chapters, plenty of action, and tongue-in-cheek dialogue kept me turning pages. Even when I was forced to set the book down and do other things, like clean around the house, or work, my mind was attuned to the novel, constantly wondering, What will happen next? There are a lot of people who may not believe in God and Lucifer, angels and demons, Heaven and Hell … but I would beg them to at least admit they—at the very least—feel the after shock of the spiritual war waged around them.

A Hideous Beauty is not just entertaining, it is enlightening. Cavanaugh writes with such impacting elegance and simplicity that the novel’s flow is smooth and seamless. must admit—when I finished reading this book, I panicked. A quick on-line search, however, calmed my frayed nerves. The second book in the Kingdom Wars series is out. Tartarus. So I can breathe a sigh of relief that I will not have to wait … at all … to see what Mr. Grant Austin is up to in his next adventure!

Phillip Tomasso IIIThomas Phillips grew up with a reading disability. He did everything possible not to read. It wasn’t until he was in seventh grade that he finally read a book cover to cover. Now a voracious reader and prolific writer, Phillips uses his accomplishments as a motivational backdrop for speaking at school assemblies. Born and raised in Rochester, New York, Phillips has worked as a freelance journalist and currently works full time as an employment law paralegal. When he isn’t writing, Phillips plays guitar, is active at his church, coaches his children’s Little League teams, co-leads Ink Spots and Coffee Grounds—a creative writing group, and plots his next story. The Molech Prophecy is his first published Christian novel. Visit him online at his Shoutlife page & Myspace page.