Book Review – The Eagle and the Child

by S. Khubiar

Average rating (all reviews) :

 

2 Blogger Reviews

Julia Wilson
Christian Bookaholic
 Joni Dee
BookGobbler Admin

 


Reviewed by Julia Wilson

My Father’s Gift

The Eagle And The Child by S.Khubiar is a contemporary political thriller that marries political espionage with an ordinary life. It is an epic read that will have you chewing your finger nails and your emotions ebbing and flowing.

The novel is about identity. Who are we? The leading lady is a complex mix of incredibly strong and unbelievably vulnerable. Her strength of body lies with her strength of mind. Her vulnerability is what endears her to the reader.

There are many instances of racism and prejudice within the novel. People receive racial slurs merely because of their looks. We need to be “seeing others as human beings, not objects.”

The mob reaction is frightening. People get whipped up into a frenzy of hate by others, and carried along with the mob. The novel shows “it’s never okay to target someone for being Jewish or Asian or Black or Arab.” There is just one race – the human race.

Judaism is a focus within the novel. The reader is educated in the Jewish way of life and the role of women.

Anti Semitism raises its head within the novel. “Anti-semitism is a human disease with no known cure.” It happens because of ignorance and intolerance by others. We must see beyond looks and appearance. We must see people.

Political espionage takes up a huge chunk of the story. The reader ‘experiences’ the Arab/Israeli conflict, homeland security, brutal assassinations and torture. It does not make for comfortable reading.

In contrast we see that even assassins have a peaceful homemaker side. They are a complex mix of character.

God is a God of restoration and miracles. His miraculous powers bring a lump to the reader’s throat.

Prayer is important. There are prayers in both English and Hebrew throughout. Sometimes all we can do is “pray… it’s the only thing we have left.”

The Eagle And The Child was a huge read, full of small details enabling the reader to get to know the main character intimately. It is both exciting and horrifying. It took me a while to get into the novel but I was glad I stuck with it as the end was definitely heart and pulse racing action.

An epic read.

I received this book for free from The Book Gobbler. A favourable review was not required and all views expressed are my own.

Originaly Posted on the Christian Bookaholic

 


Book Review by Joni Dee

S Khubiar writes an action-full alternative ‘spooks’ universe

I was excited to discover a spy thriller which is not really a spy thriller in the ‘traditional’ sense, and went straight to the task of reading the 346 pages long “Eagle and the Child: The Child”, S. Khubiar’s debut thriller, which opens the Eagle and the Child trilogy.

Shahla Markow, is an American/Israeli of Persian (Iranian) ethnicity, who works for the Federal Bureau of Prisons as a self-defence instructor. After suffering a shoulder injury from a prisoner attack (which she eliminated) she meets up with Dr. Philip Sherrod, who treats her, becomes her confidant and eventually her partner. However, Shahla is not just a government employee, she is also an ex Israeli Mossad agent with many skeletons in the closet, which will soon come back knocking.
In the heart of the story, the cultural difference between Orthodox-Jew oriented Shahla and atheist womaniser Philip. The relationship has its ups and downs, while slowly Philip, and us, discover new details of Shahla’s past. It seems that the more we learn, the more the skeletons of her past come back to life, until they catch up with Shahla in an explosive ending.

I started off loving “the Eagle and the Child: the Child”, then as I kept reading some intense-sexual scenes, we fell out. At the peak of the story we made up and I loved it again, only to dislike the last chapters and somewhat-cliffhanger ending. If nothing else I had an intense love-hate relationship with the plot-line, and it brought out a lot of emotions from me.

Having said the above I absolutely loved S. Khubiar’s writing. She paints the story with vivid and rich language which undeniably contributes the the story. Being from Israeli background I found the Hebrew words amusing to encounter, although I am not sure they will appeal to Anglo-American readers.

The one thing that I liked less about this novel is its length. While the ‘blurb’ describes the family Passover dinner as the climax of the story, it is only one of three or four pivotal points in the plot (occurring less than two thirds into the story which can hardly count as the climax in my opinion). Don’t get me wrong, it’s nice to get a glimpse of three years of Shahla’s life, but it’s emotionally exhausting. The woman goes through too many random (and not so random) ordeals, which made me wonder why the author needed some of them as the novel was strong enough as it is. It’s a bit like John McClain says in ‘Die Hard 2’ “How can the same shit happen to the same guy twice?” and three times and more, in Shahla’s case (and that’s on top of her past coming back to haunt her).

S. Khubiar is a retired federal law enforcement officer. She obviously uses her Persian-Israeli background as an autobiographical source for Shahla’s character. She intrigues me, and I want to see what will come of Shahla, Philip and Shai. I especially like how S. Khubiar’s apparent religious observance and Persian cultural background contributed to the story. These were sides which I enjoyed discovering along with Philip.

This is a strong new voice, and while I don’t think “the Eagle and the Child” would be every thriller lover’s cuppa, it will definitely make you think and learn new things.