The Black Conspiracy

The Black ConspiracyThe Black Conspiracy is book 2 in the series and picks up the story exactly where book 1, Dark Tidings, left off.

Two time travelers have brought ancient magic to the twenty-first century and, with the help of a computer whizz-kid, have infected the Internet with it. The magic has unbalanced the world’s civilizations and the only people who can fix things are the idiots who messed it all up in the first place.

But that’s not the biggest threat to mankind. Two evil wizards have also travelled through time and are determined to track down our heroes and steal their magic. How? Their plan is to take over the Occultus Populous, a secret organization so powerful it can manipulate major world events for its own greedy ends. The climax of this power struggle was worth the wait in this brisk, page turning novel.

The Black Conspiracy is an action packed, funny thriller. The underlying conspiracy is very relevant to modern day life… do big banks cause global disasters, like the recent economic collapse, so they can become even richer?

As to nitpicks, I found the first few chapters a bit perfunctory. Between the catch-the-reader-up recaps, and the summary nature of the writing, and a perverse cameo from the Universe as a conscious entity, I was a bit thrown off. But by chapter four the book was running on a full tank of gas, and the fun and clever turns I’d come to expect from the first book were back in force. Not sure as many of the jokes land in this installment as the first, but that still leaves a damn funny novel. And if anything, the depiction of the idiot wizard is even more uproarious and endearing than in the first installment; so all in all, a good tradeoff. I was still not sure that the storyline with the Universe, Fate, and Luck making periodic appearances was all that necessary to the overall story, or that it even added anything. But it certainly didn’t deter from the fun and games. And now that I’m into book three, I get it now, and I see the clever addition to the storyline for what it is.

This installment has more story threads than the first book. This is always a riskier thing for a writer as he risks some of his readers getting attached to some of the story threads more than others. But the author does a masterful job keeping each story thread equally engaging, and this is one of the elements that helps take this installment to the next level, plotting-wise, from the prior book. Even without being wrapped quite as tightly as the first novel, to my thinking, with the other improvements to compensate, I came out with a solid four stars for this one.