Title: Placebo
Series: The Jevin Banks Experience
Author: Steven James
Publisher: Revell
Published: November 1, 2012
Pages: 416


Jevin Banks has made a living doing illusions and knows all the tricks. He now makes a living doing exposé films investigating scams and how they do them. His new assignment is a controversial neurological research program that tests whether or not people are connected in more ways than physically. Naturally, Jevin is skeptical and wants to prove this is just another fake, but he begins to wider if he’ll be able to.

When Jevin and his partner, Charlene, find themselves entangled in a conspiracy involving murder, arson, and a web of deception and lies so tangled the people involved will do anything to keep their secrets hidden. Jevin and his team must now try and find answers for the questionable mind-to-mind communication program and go up against one of the world’s largest pharmaceutical companies. All while recovering from a horrifying family tragedy.

The more they dig deeper searching for answers the more confused they become and they start to question whether they will be able to untangle the truth from the lies before they are able to hurt or kill someone else. With a team of a computer hacker, tech geek, and his former magic assistant, Jevin is determined to find the answers to questions he was forced to ask.

Will Jevin and his team be able to find out the answers or will the secrets continue to be that? Will Jevin be able to move on from the horrifying details of his family tragedy? Will Jevin be able to prove mind-to-mind communication a fake or is it possible that we can communicate with just our minds? Will Jevin be able to stop these people before they fulfill their true plan or will he be to late figuring out this long complicated puzzle?

I was able to read The Pawn by Steven James and became a fan, unfortunately I was unable to read the other books in the series but I hope to someday. I looked forward to reading this book and was really excited to read this book. This wasn’t what I expected, though. It had a science twist that was the main storyline. The author even threw in some quantum physics into the mix and solidified the science story.

The storyline is actually pretty good, despite the fact that at certain parts where the science got pretty thick, I got a little lost. The idea that humans can communicate, help, or hurt others just by our thoughts is kind of scary and intriguing as well. Also, the fact that the main character is an illusionist brings another aspect to the storyline and makes it even more interesting. However, the storyline did lag a bit in parts and made it hard to continue reading. But when the story was action packed it was action packed and definitely enjoyable.

This book was more of a thriller instead of a suspense, so it really didn’t have any mystery of who is doing the crimes, it’s more a why factor. Normally, I dislike that, but because it’s more of a thriller than a suspense and it was done so well, I actually really enjoyed the way this book was set up as far the action/ thriller part is concerned. There is one mystery, though. The mystery is who one man is, a man that is somehow associated to the pharmaceutical company. You do find out at the end who he is, but I can guarantee you probably won’t guess who he is correctly. That aspect completely made this thriller even better.

The author added a little romance the story as well. But in typical male suspense/thriller fashion it really wasn’t one that makes your heart flutter and really wasn’t supposed to. I can’t really decide if I like this romance or feel like the author should’ve left it out completely. I think I’m leaning towards like it, though. There was something about this romance that was nice. I think it’s because it fit into the storyline perfectly. There wasn’t anything forced about it and it seemed like a natural part of the story. This was a huge boost to the storyline.

This author captured me with The Pawn and because of that I jumped at the chance to read his book. Though, I don’t feel like this is a great example of what he can do, I feel like fans of this author will enjoy this book or at least it won’t ruin chances of them picking up another one of his books. I do plan on reading the rest of this series and more from him, but I feel this book is more suited to people who like more unique thrillers.

Overall, this book was a nice change from the norm and was definitely different, but it lagged in parts and wasn’t the best from this author. This book is great for lovers of science and/or thrillers. I give this book a three and a half out of five.

*I received a complimentary copy of this book from Revell in exchange for this review. All opinions expressed are my own.*