51ufFUJJ73LReviewed by Claudia Robinson

Primitive, by Mark Nykanen has one mission, one goal – inform the public about its abuse and consequent destruction of our planet. Using Sonya Adams, an aging model, intimately familiar with fame, fortune and luxury and her activist daughter, Darcy to tell the tale, Mark takes his readers on a journey that will instill one of two emotions upon completion – guilt or denial.

Sonya takes a modeling assignment that results in her kidnapping at the hands of a neo-primitive cult. Abducted and brought to their ‘slice of heaven’, called Terra Firma, she (her fame) is used by the cult to gain media and world attention. Humans are destroying the earth, raping, pillaging and killing it. By keeping Sonya prisoner and broadcasting daily updates of her plight along with their urgent ‘save the world’ message, the cult hopes to portray the earth’s demise to millions and disclose the government’s role in it.

While outraged at her situation, Sonya eventually finds her loyalties in question. Exposed to a purer and simpler way of life, despite the extreme measures used by the cult, she begins to understand the severity of humankind’s actions and her role in it all. Torn between wanting to be rescued, seeing her daughter again to make amends, and delving deeper in to Terra Firma’s secrets, Sonya alternates between gaining and losing cult member trust.

Meanwhile, her daughter Darcy is on a mission to save her mother. With the aide of some ‘connected’ friends, Darcy faces her own demons and dangers while hiding from the very people her mother is waiting to rescue her. Who is the bad guy? Who can be trusted?

The story reads like a fable, and while the pace varied, starting off slow, tentative and cliché, (I think writing from a female perspective proved harder for the author than he may have anticipated) Mark manages to pull it together in the end, gifting his readers with a sexy, entertaining and provocative tale of hope, redemption and the true essence of humanity, in all it’s forms.

Rating: ★★★½☆ 

Claudia lives on beautiful Cape Cod with her husband and two children.

Review copy was provided free of any obligation by Bell Bridge Books. No monetary or any other form of compensation was received.