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Chasing Benevolence, #1Chasing Benevolence, #1 by RaNnae Dawn Goulart
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

A lifelong quest of one to shine light where humanity has failed to see...

Author RaNnae Dawn Goulart weaves an exceptional dark fantasy that will captivate the reader’s attention from the beginning. The author paints a compelling and intriguing story involving artificial intelligence and the awakening of a robotic beast in a very vivid and convincing way. In addition, the characters are drawn with great credibility and conviction. It’s a relatively fast paced novel that will keep you engaged from the first page to the last. It’s a very absorbing read containing messages at a deeper level that will challenge your mind.

The book description gives a sneak preview: ‘Hidden Darkness. This is what Joel Contello was beginning to suspect, forcing him to challenge the secrecy of his six-year role involving infants and microchip implants. When hiring promises fail to deliver and his questions are ignored, the suspicion of conspiracy grows. At the same time, Officer Graham becomes overwhelmed with a separate darkness. One that quickly changes the rookie deputy and pushes him close to ending his dream career.

Over a few days, a series of events begin to take shape, when the Citizen Defense Acceleration Center (CDAC) implements a new policy initiative involving artificial intelligence and the awakening of a robotic beast. These events bring the two men together as the policy change directly impacts both of their current roles within society, and their assigned unknown roles from three decades before. Joel realizes there may be a link between his infant research and the robotic beast. Will Joel and Officer Graham embrace the hidden darkness? It may be just enough to continue the lifelong quest of one to shine light where humanity has failed to see.’

Now, if that’s not enough to grab your attention, I don’t know what will. But if you want to find out what happens, you’ll just have to turn the pages for yourself! However, I will say it was well worth the read. It’s my first time reading this author and I must say I was very impressed.

The contrast between tone and content is a characteristic talent of only a few authors. Goulart pays as much attention to her sentences as she does to her plots, shifting or consolidating meaning with the use of a single word. Her writing is impeccably honed, full of juxtapositions and qualifications that helps to create a dark atmosphere that will leave you wanting more.

I enjoyed the story, character development, and dialogue. There were plenty of plot twists that I didn’t see coming and that added to the book’s mystique. When I stopped reading to work, I found myself wondering what happened in the book, and replaying parts of the novel in my head to see if I could figure more out. It has been a while since I enjoyed a book this much. It’s a first-class dark fantasy with perfect pacing.

Chasing Benevolence had every element a good story should have. An interesting plot, attention to detail, but best of all fleshed out, well-written and well-rounded character development. There’s an abundance of well-illustrated scenes that make you feel like you are right there in the story, and that’s something I really look for in a good book. It’s one of those stories that come along once in a while that makes you want to read it non-stop until you get to the end. I’m giving nothing further away here. And this, I hope, will only add to the mystery and enjoyment for the reader.

I’ll be looking forward to reading more from RaNnae Dawn Goulart in the future. I would highly recommend this book. A well-deserved five stars from me.

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