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Thanks to NetGalley and St. Martin’s Press for providing an eARC in exchange for an honest review.

Release Date: Available Now

352 Pages

Synopsis: LucentB is a retrovirus that’s inevitable, unstoppable, and utterly catastrophic for humanity. The US government believes the only person who can find the cure is the geneticist who tried to warn them and then disappeared: James Hakari. They assign the task of finding him to his former student Anna Asher, who in turn recruits paleographer and religious studies scholar Dr. Martin Nadai.

The brilliant but insane geneticist is leaving clues for Anna and Martin to follow, showing he’s truly earned his students’ nickname for him: the Maze Master. The search takes Anna and Martin around the world and into a warzone they never imagined.

Maze Master’s LucentB is based off of the real retrovirus HERV-K, which has caused several plagues over the past 75,000 years, almost wiping out the Neanderthals 50,000 years ago, and maybe 30,000 years ago. Modern geneticists consider HERV-K not to be extinct, but rather waiting for some trigger to come alive again.

With it scientific and archaeological authenticity and suspenseful clues, Maze Master will have readers rushing through its intricate maze to find out the fate of the world in this thrilling adventure.

I do like a good apocalyptic thriller and while Maze Master had a couple of issues, it was an engaging and quick read. 

While the premise isn’t exactly original, Gear proves why she’s a bestselling author by turning this into a thrilling treasure hunt. Clues are sprinkled throughout the tale and tantalizing secrets are revealed, but I was still kept guessing for most of the book. 

The biggest issue I had was with the characters. I found them dry and their personalities not developed enough. However, the mystery and action made this less of a problem than it ordinarily would have been. 

Overall, Maze Master is an exciting story that I think fans of Michael Crichton and Dan Brown will enjoy. As always, I’m looking forward to seeing what Kathleen O’Neal Gear comes up with next.