Black Scorpion: The Tyrant Reborn (Michael Tiranno The Tyrant) by Jon Land (Author) and Fabrizio Boccardi (Creator)

Black Scorpion

Reviewed by Russell Ilg

I don’t know how he does it. Jon Land’s latest novel Black Scorpion: The Tyrant Reborn is just more proof of his ability to take the reader on the greatest ride of his or her literary life. The depth and complex nature of the characters takes you well beyond fiction to the point that you are carried into a world that is so real you become part of the book in every sense.

It’s been five years since the book’s hero Michael Tiranno, aka “the Tyrant,” saved Las Vegas from terrorists in the blockbuster The Seven Sins. Now he, along with the entire country and world, are facing an even greater enemy in the form of Black Scorpion, an international criminal organization that fancies human trafficking above all else. When Michael’s girl friend Scarlet Swan runs afoul of them while on an archaeological dig in Romania, Michael drops everything to embark on a mission that will ultimately define who and what he is. Black Scorpion’s mysterious leader, Vladimir Dracu, is the yin to his yang. Opposite sides of the same coin, in more ways than one as it turns out.

Both men are obsessed with power and Michael alone seems every bit Dracu’s equal in dispensing good as opposed to evil. This is a much less ambiguous Tyrant than the one we met in The Seven Sins. We seem to have caught Michael in the middle of some kind of spiritual awakening, the physical journey he embarks on to rescue his one true love an apt metaphor for the metaphysical one that explains the book’s subtitle, The Tyrant Reborn. Indeed, Black Scorpion introduces us to a man in the midst of a metamorphosis that can come none too soon for either Scarlett or the world as a whole.

The action scenes that follow Michael’s and his deadly sidekick Alexander’s arrival in Transylvania of all places are staged with such fluidity and ferocity that they feel like movie set pieces spooling through our imaginations. You have to wonder if the Transylvanian setting wasn’t chosen specifically for its own connotations in folklore where monsters, like Dracu himself, are hatched. It’s also the perfect setting for Michael to confront some age-old truths about the mystical medallion handed down by his father that helps explain a quest he’s just beginning to grasp himself. Scarlet, it turns out, was on the trail of that medallion’s mysterious origins and its existence explains Dracu’s massacre of the rest of her archaeological team.

Michael seems the only one poised to stop him and the crazed plot he’s hatched in concert with a Hedge Fund billionaire who’s even more villainous than Black Scorpion in many ways. And the truth behind that billionaire’s legacy forms only one of a seemingly endless succession of jaw-dropping twists and turns. I read a lot of books during the year, close to 100-150. Most are in the mystery/suspense/thriller genre, so I’ve gotten to the point that no matter who the author is I have a good idea of where the story is going well before the end.. Not so here. This book stayed ahead of me at every turn in an ever-shifting tapestry where the landscape kept changing so fast I could barely keep up. Truly adrenaline-charged reading entertainment that saves its biggest and most powerful punch for last and left me craving the next installment in this off-the-charts series.

And that’s the thing. Black Scorpion is so ambitious, so broad and bracing, that it transcends genre in becoming a masterwork of storytelling prowess and structure. One of those rare books you experience more than read, a literary gut-smack that will leave you trying to find the breath it stole.

Click Here to Purchase Black Scorpion: The Tyrant Reborn (Michael Tiranno The Tyrant)

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