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Robert Dawes is success incarnate. Three months before the start of the story, he was named the Director of Client Acquisitions for Piedmont Capital. With such a high promotion, his family – a beautiful wife and two young kids who love him as much as he loves them – can live in an upscale neighborhood with no monetary concerns whatsoever.
You see, Robert is a hard man to say no to. It’s this very trait, along with his kind heart, that makes him excel as a salesman, father, and husband.
One day he takes Matthew, his son, to a park and notices a man who seems to have appeared from nowhere sitting on a bench. Because he can’t match the man with any of the kids in the park, he automatically fears the mystery man is a creep. Just as he rushes Matthew away and decides to warn the other parents, the man seemingly disappears as quickly as he appeared.
Robert’s life becomes considerably more weird and out-of-control. The more he sees the man that no one else can see, the more he starts to think something is wrong with his mind. It’s not until he finally sits down with the mystery man (after much resistance) that he learns for certain that nothing is wrong with his mind, per se, but his mind can do what the average individual’s cannot.
You see, there is more to Robert’s “hard man to say no to” attributes, and it’s not just because he is charismatic and hardworking. He has the power to manipulate and listen in on people’s thoughts.
At first, Robert thinks this ability is cool, and it is pretty cool, but there are definitely people who use that power for wrongdoing. With the ability to manipulate thoughts, it’s very easy to make a person murder or rape someone for your own gain. Martin Nance, a powerful Level One, is a master at ruthless manipulation for his own gain. If Martin reaches the most powerful state, Level Zero, his power could reach that of a god’s.
That’s where Robert comes in. In the end, it’s up to him to master his quickly advancing power and protect his family by eliminating Martin. After all, he may be the only one capable of Level Zero.
So, just to get the spazzfest out of the way, I really liked this story. I mean, I really liked this story. It is very well-written. The characters and their motivations, especially that of Robert’s, are realistic. Apart from the occasional typo (I have an ARC copy, so that’s honestly no surprise. Typos tend to sneak past in ARC copies of books), nothing took me out of this story. The editor in me didn’t find it necessary to comment on the romance, setting, characterization or conflict. I remained a reader all the way through.
Usually, when I’m reading a story where the beginning starts off so perfectly (as in, the main character is very successful and happy), I can’t wait for everything to fall apart because that’s when the story will really begin. In Subliminal, everything didn’t fall apart (though enough fell apart to make for an interesting conflict), but I found I didn’t want everything to anyway. Call me a sap, but I just couldn’t get enough of how true everyone’s love was for each other. It’s been a while since I read a story where I so genuinely wanted everyone’s love to last.
In spite of the awesome fight scenes that mainly consisted of mind manipulation, the interesting peaks into other people’s minds, and the goal to take out Martin, this story is really about the power of love and how love leads to true success and happiness.
Subliminal is a five star, at least in my opinion. I hope author Brian Blocker will be writing many more books in the future.