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Basilisk by Rob Thurman
Review by Drew Bittner
Roc Paperback  ISBN/ITEM#: 9780451464149
Date: 02 August 2011 List Price $7.99 Amazon US / Amazon UK / Show Official Info /

Michael and Stefan Korsak are back in a new adventure. Three years after the events of Chimera, they are ready to make good on their promise to go back to the Institute and save the other children trapped there. Unfortunately, one of the youngest test subjects is only too happy to be a killing machine...

In Basilisk, Rob Thurman continues the story of Michael and Stefan Korsak. Michael is a genetically modified young man with a gift for killing. Stefan worked as a bodyguard and enforcer for the Russian mafia, quitting only when he found his brother in a very special Florida school. Together, they escaped the Institute where Michael was being trained to be a killer; now, they are happily isolated from their pasts in Oregon. However, the promise they made--to free the other kids back in Florida--is still unfulfilled.

More by Rob Thurman:
Korsak Brothers:
* Chimera
* Basilisk

The Trickster Novels:
* Trick of the Light
* The Grimrose Path

Cal Leandros Novels:
* Nightlife
* Moonshine
* Madhouse
* Deathwish
* Roadkill
* Blackout

Events conspire to kick the brothers into action. Soon enough, they find that their best intentions are no match for pure evil. However, Michael has been thinking about that very possibility and has come up with a plan.

The problem is, executing that plan is nearly impossible... and as people start turning up dead around them, it's back to life on the run, hunted by implacable enemies who know how Michael thinks. If he can trust his fellow chimera Ariel, he might stand a chance against the deadly duo of Peter and Wendy--but that's a mighty big if and even Stefan's called-in favors might not be enough to turn the tide.

At the end, Michael will have to put everything on the line--even his brother's life--if he wants to end the nightmare and redeem his soul.

Thurman has created another fast-paced and engaging tale in this volume. Unlike the author's other work, this is not an urban fantasy; it's near-future SF/thriller all the way through. This novel strays a little further into the "SF" part of the description, as the other chimeras manifest abilities that Michael never demonstrated previously. For one thing, one character has the ability to kill without physical contact (hence the name of the story); figuring out how to offset that advantage is one of Michael's biggest tactical problems.

Having been trained to kill, Michael now is reluctant to do that very thing. Likewise, his perspective, after working to become more human than the imitation he was supposed to be, has come around quite a bit. Thurman shows the thought process of a character to whom humanity is an acquired thing and highly prized, not taken for granted. Michael reaches his conclusions through a fascinating process, one that Thurman has clearly thought through carefully.

Fans of great thriller fiction will enjoy Basilisk and the previous novel Chimera quite a bit... and now we can look forward to the next adventure!

Recommended.


Our Readers Respond

From: cheryl detmer:
Basilisk by Rob Thurman is a great, fast-paced read. Loved it and love the brotherly love she brings us in her novels. I focus on friendships in my favorite books and she brings that to us. Chimera is great too. I hope for more in this series. Love the Cal Leandros series as well. She knows how to write a great and fun book.

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