Book of Secrets by RJ Scott


Book of Secrets by RJ Scott
Publisher: Silver Publishing
Genre: Contemporary, Paranormal
Length: Full Length (184 pgs)
Other: M/M
Rating: 3 stars
Review by: Cactus

Alex is trying to make things right when his past catches up with him. A Serbian ex-art thief blackmails him into stealing an ancient folio from Windsor Castle… Luke is kidnapped… and that’s just the beginning.

Alex is making good on his promise to put things right. Along with Griff and Chris, he retrieves items he had stolen with Edward and replaces them. It’s dangerous work, especially since he lost his most useful Oracle-given powers. When a replacement goes wrong and Alex ‘disappears’ he realizes that something has left a mark he can never rid himself of.

Meanwhile Luke is kidnapped to work on a manuscript that could hold the key to the secrets of alchemy and offer the reader eternal life. The Voynich manuscript is missing its cypher and it’s up to Alex to steal it for the Serbian ex-art thief. Only–it’s held in the private library at Windsor Castle.

Sometimes it takes a thief to help a thief. Alex is slowly returning the objects he once stole when he runs into an old adversary. Dragan is an ex-serbian mafia type that helped save Alex’s life and now he wants payment on that favor. It’ll take Luke, Alex’s lover, as well as their friends Chris and Griff and enormous amounts of luck, with a little magic, to make this heist work.

Book of Secrets is book two in the Oracle series by RJ Scott. For those readers new to this series, definitely start with book one before attempting this one. The action picks up after it left off in book one and we’re immediately thrown into Alex’s life. Right away he’s trying to replace a tricky item he stole from a museum, but this time without his magical Oracle-given powers. He’s determined to make the return anyway – and in the same manner he lifted it – but he runs into trouble. Here is the first big twist of the plot comes in with Alex’s ex-friend or rival, Dragan. Dragan manipulates Alex and puts Alex’s lover, Luke, in danger. From here the plot gets very complicated with magical deeds, ancient stories, mystical texts, and a long dead genius.

At times the plot seems to create more twists and turns than a maze. I’m not sure this is really needed but it’s not difficult to follow at least. There’s plenty of action and some nice moments between Luke and Alex – though no on page sex. I would have liked to seen more of Griff and Chris and their relationship but the pace is incredibly quick and action seems to happen constantly. Someone seems to be in danger constantly just as Alex and Luke are always getting headaches from their connection. The magical element is a bit too mysterious. It seems to drift in and out, which may be what the story was trying to show, I’m not sure.

The characters feel very undeveloped and one dimensional. There’s not a lot of depth beyond their actions. The alternating third person perspective between Luke and Alex tries to give insight into their thoughts and feelings but I found this distracting and confusing. Since Alex and Luke share their thoughts and emotions it was easy to forget whose perspective/head you were in and get confused.

Still, it’s a pretty fun story overall with a lot of quick action and a happy ending.

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