I am a sucker for a good cover and the cover for Patricia Cori's novel, "The Emissary," immediately caught my attention. I often think that cover art is a lost element of many books with the increasing popularity of ebooks but the cover of this novel just made me feel compelled to give it a try. I started the novel with the hope that the story would live up to the promise of the cover.
A global disaster seems certain when three ecological disasters strike within minutes of each other. In Los Angeles, hundreds of blackbirds fall from the sky while the beaches of Maine are covered with fish that have washed up from the ocean. Most striking is the mass beaching of 150 whales and dolphins in New Zealand. Jamie Hastings is in New Zealand when the disaster strikes and rushes to the beach to try and save the marine mammals. Jamie is a renowned psychic researcher and telepath and she develops a disturbing connection with the whales that she is trying to save. She is still troubled by the events when she accepts the invitation of a global oil company, USOIL, to use her psychic powers to search for oil in the Pacific Ocean in an environmentally friendly manner.
Jamie soon finds herself on a boat in the Pacific Ocean when she discovers that there is something much more sinister at play. USOIL is not what it seems and Jamie finds herself drawn into a situation that could lead to the end of the world. Jamie is connected to something greater than her wildest dream and she must work to stop a doomsday weapon that is ready to be unleashed on the Earth. Jamie is the only one who can truly understand what is happening and becomes the sole avenue of communication between the destructive force and the people who have been misusing the planet. Jamie has become the emissary between the forces of man and the almost infinite power of the ocean and only she can save the world.
"The Emissary" could be categorized as an environmental novel but it is much more than that. It is a kind of science fiction or modern fantasy novel about the destruction of the environment and one woman's psychic connection to the environment that can lead to ultimate salvation of civilization. It is a fast-paced novel that captures the reader not only for its action but also for the message that it conveys about the necessity of finding a balance between technology and nature. Jamie is a woman who is torn between the modern world and the natural world and is frantically searching for that balance before it is too late. This is a thriller of the highest level but also a novel that will make the reader step back and reflect on the state of the world. Cori is able to handle these two aspects of the novel in a very strong manner and she makes the novel much more than a simple thriller.
"The Emissary" is Cori's first novel and it displays her talent the promises of a bright future for her and her fans. It is obvious that Cori has a passion for her writing and her subject matter that makes "The Emissary" a compelling novel. I was happy to spend a couple hours in the world that she creates and found myself cheering for the characters in the novel in a way that I find missing in many books. "The Emissary" is a very strong novel for an adult audience but it is also suitable for a younger audience with a message the resonates for any reader who is concerned with the state of the world. There are elements of several genres in the novel that makes it easily accessible for fans of various types of fiction and that ensure that it is an enjoyable book for a wide range of readers. "The Emissary" is a very enjoyable novel and I look forward to reading more from Cori in the future.
I would like to thank North Atlantic Books and Edelweiss for this review copy. "The Emissary" is available now.