The Sounding - Carrie Salo
"And the seven angels, who had the seven trumpets, prepared themselves to sound the trumpet." - Douay-Rheims Bible

the Hetairia Melchizedek is a secret society within the Catholic Church whose members are scattered all over the globe. they have been studying Biblical omens for centuries. at the behest of his superior, Father Chris Mognahan leaves his small parish to investigate a murder in a college campus. at Ashton College, he meets Elise Moore who bears a strong resemblance to a statue of an angel - the seventh trumpeter whose sounding of the trumpet signals the final woe for mankind.
Carrie Salo's debut novel is dark and filled with Biblical prophecies, apocalyptic visions, angelic visitations, demonic encounters and intrigues. it takes the reader from New York to the Vatican and finally to Israel where the fate of the whole world would be decided.
Catholicism is featured heavily in this book but the practices and other facts about the Catholic religion did not sound preachy at all. they only served as a background and provided information which fueled the writer's creativity.
as a Catholic, the only thing which did not sit well with me was not the descriptions of the growing attraction between Father Chris and Elise but the idea of the Pope and the College of Cardinals approving the murder of one person to save humanity.
the concept of free will, God's intervention and their bearing on the end times are also explored here. i have to admit that i found these elements (as used in the story) a bit heavy and confusing at times but i could not stop myself from reading until the last page.
overall, this novel is an ambitious and compelling read. it is well-written, entertaining and comes highly recommended.

Disclosure of Material Connection: i received a copy of The Sounding from the author herself. i did not receive any payment in exchange for this review nor was i obligated to write a positive one. all opinions expressed here are entirely my own and may not necessarily agree with those of the author, the book's publisher and publicist or the readers of this review. this disclosure is in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission's 16 CFR, Part 255, Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising.