Wednesday, March 25, 2009

Veritas series book review part 1

Several days ago I read book #1 & #2 of the Veritas series, Hangman's Curse and Nightmare Academy. Although I had heard of Hangman's Curse before, I had only briefly considered reading it. However, since I was currently out of interesting novels in the action/adventure/thriller genre to read, my library had them on the shelf, and I had read some of Peretti's novels before, I decided to give them a try and see if they were as interesting as their covers indicated. Here's my take on the first.

Hangman's Curse begins the series of adventures with twins Elijah and Elisha who are about 16 years old (Elisha is a girl, and her name is pronounced "el-ee-sha") and their parents.
They are the Veritas team, investigators commissioned by the President to find the facts about various occurrences, many which appear to be supernatural in nature. This first book has the Veritas Project team delving into the mystery of a high school that has already had several victims. All of the stricken students show the same symptoms: loss of coordination, paranoia, and constant repeating of the words, "Abel Frye." There are rumors running around at the school of a ghost named Abel Frye, because of a student who was supposed to have hanged himself in a hallway in the school in the '30s.
Well, I won't spoil the story for you, so go and read it yourself. It's very good.
The point is elaborated on a bit more in the second book, but a theme that runs through the first book also is that there is definitive Truth, and truth isn't defined by the individual (i.e. "there's your truth and my truth; there's no right or wrong, just what feels right to the person doing something"). This is an important point, because as stated in the second book, if there's no right or wrong, and"might is right," he who is the strongest wins. And since the strongest often only have their own interests at heart, that way of looking at things is very, very dangerous. You can see another example of what happens when there isn't anybody to say what's right or what's wrong and where people just do what they feel like in William Goldman's novel, Lord of the Flies.

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