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368 pages
Aug 2007
Howard Books

A Hideous Beauty (Kingdom Wars Series #1)

by Jack Cavanaugh

Review  |   Author Bio  |  Read an Excerpt


Before I read Jack Cavanaugh’s A Hideous Beauty, I had never “met” a protagonist I could even begin to compare with his Grant Austin. By the end of the first page, I hated Austin’s egotistical personality. By the end of the book, however, I found myself rooting wholeheartedly for Austin and his newfound purpose, seeing him in an entirely new light. Austin is a very well-done work of dynamics, as is the rest of this novel in general.

Grant Austin believes that the world should, or perhaps does, revolve around him and his Pulitzer-winning career. Paying a visit to an old rival to gloat, however, brings Austin in touch with a different side of reality and the revelation that his success isn’t due to his own achievement. Rather, it was orchestrated by an outside source that is plotting the assassination of the President. Despite Austin’s disbelief, he must recognize that something irregular is happening. As his faith slowly builds, with help from good friends and the transcribed first-person narrative of an angel, Austin discovers that his purpose is greater than he knew, and that he, himself, may not be exactly what he supposed.

This book is well-written for both dialogue and dramatic content. The development of the characters is easily followed. When the point of view shifts, the voice of the speaker changes clearly and effectively between third person and first person. Seasoned readers of supernatural thrillers may find some of Austin’s thought processes tedious, since it’s necessary to persuade him as a character, but the processes are believable and true to his character.

In circles of Christian fiction, supernatural thrillers can often seem trite or overdone. Although this book contains some predictable elements of the type of fiction that deals with the invisible spiritual world, Cavanaugh’s description of supernatural events and beings has a fresh, well thought-out feel to it that drew me in and left me anticipating the next book in the series. -- Lyndi Markus,

Book Jacket:

Every day they slip across our borders to infiltrate our government, our schools, our neighborhoods.

Homeland security can't stop them.

The armed forces are no threat to them.

Powerful and unseen, they cannot be stopped.

They have been doing this for millennia.

On what should have been the best day of his life, Pulitzer Prize-winning author Grant Austin learns of a plan to assassinate the president of the United States. Every attempt to sound the alarm is thwarted, and Grant soon finds himself at the center of an even greater battle that predates time as he stands alone against ancient powers and unspeakable evil -- evil that can only be described as a hideous beauty.