The Leviathan Trial by Oliver Madison
Reviewed by Cathy Smith
In his novel, The Leviathan Trial, Oliver Madison takes readers on a journey into the lives of 12 siblings by adoption. When their father unexpectedly dies, the brothers and sisters soon learn that only one can inherit the family fortune. However, the conditions to walk away with the inheritance are as eccentric and twisted as their father. Locked in the family mansion, the youths are told there can only be one survivor that will hold the keys to their freedom, and by only using their special talents and skills can they become the victor.
Trapped in their individual prisons of psychological horror, each sibling soon discovers their true natures and just how far they will go to end the nightmare in which they have been forced to participate. As the mystery unfolds, more and more family secrets and surprises are unveiled, adding to the conflict and tragedy that becomes a very real part of the characters’ lives. Although the story is fictional, the struggles each child faced can easily be reflective of real-life issues challenging children in today’s world.
Madison has done an excellent job weaving together a mystery that keeps readers on edge as they experience the stories of each sibling, discovering their strengths, and realizing the darkest sides of their hidden natures. The basic human needs of survival of the fittest, and flight versus fight push the mystery through to the end, keeping readers on edge wondering, “What could possibly happen next?”