June 4, 2016 - The GreenSeed Conspiracy won Honorable Mention in the 2016 New York Book Festival.
The GreenSeed Conspiracy
The GreenSeed Conspiracy by Philip Benz gets to the heart of government corruption, as seen through the eyes of government contract-killer Duncan Jones. He’s done the dirty work for government agencies and then gets the job of his life. This time he’s not sure sure he’s getting rid of people who deserve it, and instead may be in the middle of a massive cover-up of human genetic experiments, and he may now be a new target.
Though the novel focuses on Stone, the story is told from several characters’ point of view, which works both for and against the book. The main trouble is that Stone is the most interesting character in the novel, so the other sequences feel somewhat like biding time before Stone makes another appearance. Additionally, each chapter doesn’t seamlessly service the story, and at times feels like a series of introductions to the overall plot.
The good news is that Benz is sharp observer of both character and place, so the detail he provides is engaging on its own. The conspiracy at the heart of the novel is exciting and unique, with a high body count, and the action scenes are particularly well-drawn. The book just needs some tightening as some chapters are long, while others are very short, making for a slightly choppy read. Overall, the book works for the strength of Stone, and the intricacies of the conspiracy, blowing the lid off of government corruption in a realistic way. The GreenSeed Conspiracy is a multi-faceted conspiracy thriller with a gruff but likable action hero at the center.
The GreenSeed Conspiracy
Reviewed by B. Smart - www.mcwpub.blogspot.com
Duncan Stone is the perfect soldier. He’s a straight shooter and a team player—one of the good guys. Stone works for the government and does everything he’s told—until one day when he fails a critical mission which results in him getting stuck with guard duty at an old warehouse. Later, he’s given the chance to prove himself in order to get back in the ring. However, after discovering the unscrupulousness of the side he’s on, Stone decides to go up against the one body he swore he’d protect. The GreenSeed Conspiracy is about one man’s uphill battle against a powerful, corrupt government that negotiates with ruthless gangs to fight terrorism at any cost.
Author Philip Benz makes the reader feel as though they are a part of a real live action movie; his prose is gripping, visceral, and tantalizing. The novel has an exceptional storyline and fascinating characters that struggle with obeying morally questionable orders from their superiors and listening to what their guts tell them. Benz makes the reader question the lengths the characters go to complete their missions and follow commands, leaving the reader to imagine real-world implications. The novel suggests that choosing between one’s country and one’s principles is never an easy or a simple choice.
The GreenSeed Conspiracy, while engaging and stimulating, weakens in momentum near the second half. It has a lot of potential, but loses the reader due to the excessive third person point of view jumping. As a result, the reader forgoes attachment to several key characters and is indifferent to their respective fates. Furthermore, the novel is over loaded with military jargon and exhaustive detail about the weapons used which may be unappealing to some readers. Horrifyingly grisly at some points and extremely explicit, this novel is not for the faint of heart.
Nevertheless, it’s an enjoyable read with an interesting enough plot. Fans of The Running Man or Brave New World will love this novel. I give “The GreenSeed Conspiracy” 3 out of 5 stars.