From the first page, Hands Across The Sky draws the reader into an intoxicating tale of mystery and hope, beautifully told.
When Ezra Quinn, a San Francisco techie, gets a call one Saturday morning, he has no idea that his life is about to change beyond his wildest imaginings. Quinn is offered a lucrative position in the Middle East in his field of wearable tech. A week later, he’s on a flight to Dubai.
In Dubai, Quinn meets beautiful, cosmopolitan Leila, who orients him both to his work and to the political complexities in the region. Though the Middle East is on fire, Leila drops a hint that there is another way … the way of the Open Hand.
Leila accompanies Quinn to Cairo, where he meets Alif Zahir, the passionate, intelligent official at the center of the operation. As Quinn begins working on the project, he starts to become suspicious. Is Alif Zahir really who he says he is? And is the project truly aimed at peace? Soon events will spiral out of control, and Ezra Quinn will find himself caught up in a web of violence and treason from which there seems no escape.
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About the Author:
Andrew John Schmitz is an author and poet living in the San Francisco Bay Area. After dreams of becoming a spy, he spent three years vagabonding across four continents. He now spends his time between writing inspiring novels and working in the tech industry. He releases one book a year not only for entertaining purposes, but to add value by incorporating subtle themes, philosophical musings, and inspirational messages. He is the author of Hands Across the Sky and the more recently published Mediums of the Heart. What he cares about most is using his words to a leave a mark on his readers' imaginations.
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***** 5 out of 5 stars
From the very first sentence, I was hooked. I am going to attempt to be as objective as possible in this review, but you'll have to excuse me if I gush. I do not give 5 stars lightly, and I tried so many times to find something, anything that would knock this read to a 4 (because I'm cynical like that). But, alas, I couldn't in good conscience justify knocking off that fifth star. And here's why (1 point for each star):
1. The author has a way with words. It's the kind of writing that's so smooth, you want to go home with it after a really sexy night out. I mean, the metaphors and subtle imagery were enough to have me swooning like a princess just rescued by Mr. Right. It was pretty, like reading a literary novel, but didn't make me want to fall asleep halfway through.
2. The plot was gorgeous. Intricate without bogging you down in details, culturally intriguing, scenic, mysterious, thrilling....I could go on and on. I immediately thought of Dan Brown, but then I had to toss that out because I honestly thought it was better. There wasn't any point I doubted the main character Ezra or the world Schmitz transported me to.
3. The book has James Bond sex appeal and Jason Bourne grit. There's a love story that actually makes sense and drives the plot forward, instead of being distracting and haphazardly thrown in. Schmitz keeps you guessing and biting your nails - I found myself suspicious of everyone at one point or other. I could absolutely picture this novel becoming a movie, not only because Schmitz does such a fabulous job with the imagery, but because it has the suspense of a fast-paced spy thriller.
4. If Schmitz hasn't been to the Middle East and Egypt, I'd be shocked. The detail and descriptions of the customs, food, people, culture and geography were well executed and inspired me to look at the region in a different light. As I mentioned, I can be pretty cynical when it comes to reading, so I thought for sure he was going to run with some stereotypical, Middle Eastern terrorist plot...wrong! Best of all, I actually learned some things - who would have thought?
5. I would read it again. That's how I know if I've read a 5 star book. I would pick this back up in a heart beat, just to see if I could catch some more nuance and see things I was too absorbed to see before. Plus, back to point #1 - the writing was seriously a turn on for me...as far as books go, that is!
I don't want to get too far into the plot or the characters; half of what made this read so great was the mystery. Schmitz unfolds the story purposefully, and I refuse to ruin that for any prospective readers. I went in completely blind, and it was the best way to do it. Just take my word for it! If you love reading thrillers, mysteries, suspense or anything along those lines, GRAB THIS BOOK!
~I received a free copy of this book in exchange for an honest review. All opinions are honest and my own.~