The Tears of Nero is written by Jason Brannon and features a story reminiscent of SAW and featuring Christianity and beliefs in angels and the apocalypse.
When describing this book, I most commonly refer to it as “The Dark Religious Saw” book. It features religious zealotry for personal gain at its finest. There are a plethora of Old Testament religious names and ideas that occur within this novel. However, do not let the religious aspect cause you to shy away from this book. As someone who will usually pass up overly religious fiction, this was a thrilling read. It was definitely worth the read and the religion was the driving force for sides both “good” and “evil.”
I had many conspiracy theories about characters throughout the book and can admit slight disappointment at none of them coming to pass as huge twists in the story, but it was still a very good suspense read.
The book opens in a man having a possible psychotic break when he is visited by a dark angel after having lost his mother to cancer which makes him question his faith and belief in God. The question that pervades his mind and remains a theme throughout the story is “Why do bad things happen to good people?” At this time he is reminded of and envisions the historical Roman emperor Nero who massacred Christians during his reign.
Five people awaken after having been drugged at a party on what they think is a deserted island. Quickly, they realize that they are instead about to play a game that may cost them their lives. They are faced with experiences that will make them question their faith, and everything they know about people and life in order to entertain the curiosity of a madman. Each of them has something in common in one way or another, but can they figure it out in time?
Brannon did an excellent job of creating realistic characters and breathing into them life. The surroundings were described well and you could feel the ominous tones of the book. My main complaints are there were a few typos peppered here and there throughout the story and that I wanted it to have more twists to totally blow away any notions of solving the mystery.
Overall this was an entertaining read that is well deserving of 4/5 stars. I would definitely be interested in reading more of Brannon’s work and I highly recommend this novel. If you are into anything from suspense to religion to fiction in general, you will enjoy this book.
*I received a copy of this book in exchange for a fair and honest review.