Book Review: Mythical Heart of Stone by C.E. Martin

Mythical Heart of Stone
Author: C.E. Martin
Reading Level: YA
Genre: Science Fiction/Fantasy
Released: June 5th 2012
Review Source: Author
Available: Amazon

Summary: (from author) Recent High School grad Josie Winters and her friends are enjoying their summer vacation when they stumble across a mystery in the desert: a man left for dead, his heart ripped out, half his skull missing and his body burnt and turned to stone.

The mystery deepens when the man comes back to life, fully healed, without any memory of how he died or who killed him. With the help of Josie and her reluctant best friend Jimmy, the man slowly remembers he was once a soldier, part of a military team that fought supernatural threats.

The soldier accompanies Josie and Jimmy out of the desert, returning to their hometown to regain his memories and complete his last mission: stop a shapeshifter who kills by eating the hearts of victims and assuming their identities.

An elite soldier with super powers is dead in the Arizona desert. His lifeless body is found mutilated and burned by five friends that are enjoying a post high graduation vacation. After the friends leave the horrible scene, knowing there was nothing they could do to help and feeling more than a little freaked out, they head a few miles back to their camp.

What they soon learn is that the soldier (Mark Kenslir), is no stranger to dying. After stumbling in to the teenagers camp he completely regenerates his body with the help of water. Unfortunately he initially has no memory of anything beyond the year 1962. With the help of two of the teenagers, Josie and Jimmy, he starts the search for answers to who killed him and why.

Adjusting to the strangeness of Mark's return to the living, Josie and Jimmy will also be pulled into the world of magic, mind-readers and terrifying monsters. They also quickly learn that even the good guys might not be trustworthy allies. Mark isn't the only creature that is seemingly immortal as they battle a homicidal shape shifter that rips out the heart of it's victims and consumes it to absorb their powers. Mark needs Josie and Jimmy to help navigate the modern world while his memories slowly come back and Josie and Jimmy need Mark just to stay alive.

I am not usually a fan of straight sci-fi or short stories. Mythical Heart of Stone was both, but this was a quick enjoyable read for me. I liked the writing and was pulled into the action scenes. Mark and his unlikely team of teenage heroes were captivating characters. I would have really enjoyed more background information into all the characters though, especially Josie. C E Martin creatively wove together a story of super humans, other-worldly powers and the ever fascinating Greek mythology along with typical teenagers in to a thrilling story. The end leaves you hanging... in preparation for sequel?

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