Addison's Mark. The hook was fantastic. It was clearly going to be a novel full of adventure and intrigue with great male reader appeal.
Here's the gist of what hooked me: Sam Addison is getting over the tragic deaths of both of his parents. Now orphaned, and dealing with the economic collapse of the country, Sam is merely existing until he befriends Ashlin Ammon, daughter of the next up-coming presidential candidate. While getting swept into the political fervor of a presidential campaign, Sam is visited by supernatural beings. He is even more perplexed by their presence when he wakens from one vision with a clear physical mark etched into his arm. Is he losing his mind? What do these supernatural beings want from him?
Great premise for a book. Great potential for a riveting story. It did indeed provide a story sure to appeal to male readers. It had a beautiful girl, supernatural elements, adventure, and intrigue. Still, it wasn't without some weaknesses. The story didn't get around to the heart of the hook until page 64. I don't believe I ever figured out why the mark was necessary in the first place or what the beings wanted from Sam, since he was pretty much a casual observer of the battles playing out between good and evil.
For me, the greatest weakness in the writing was the overuse of comparisons in an attempt to enhance the story for the reader. In a book of over two hundred pages, there were probably two or three similes or metaphors per page. Sometimes they were apt comparisons, but often they felt forced and disruptive to the story. For example: "She scratched below her chin like an old philosopher with a beard." For a free book, it wasn't a bad read. Sadly, I don't think I'll be looking for the sequel.