Divine Scream takes place in one day, the day that Jared Kare finds out that he is supposed to die. While waiting for a doctor's appointment (one in which Jared is going to be given the bad news) a banshee who is supposed to be the herald for his death intervenes. She has been following Jared for his whole life and knows every detail about him. She is defying all the laws of the universe in intervening in his death because he is destined to be a gift to the Assembly, a group of beings who operate in a hive mentality sharing each other's thoughts and consciousness. They serve a purpose in the order of the universe but are also psychopathic and depraved. Their plan is to torture Jared in the most creative manner until Jared is used up, and they discard him.
I found the universe that Benjamin Kane Ethridge created in this novel to be utterly fascinating. It was such a cool concept and Ethridge built layers and nuance into it. It was also orderly and well-conceived with many rules that flowed in a logical manner. This novel moves at a lightning fast pace with all of the action taking place within a few hours of story time. The Assembly is constantly coming at Jared, and the Banshee does everything in her power to keep him from becoming their gift. This mostly consists of various screams, which can bend the world around them. I liked the creativity that can be found in the variety of screams. About my only criticism is that Jared isn't a very strong character. He doesn't have many skills and relies on people around him to do things for him. I would prefer a stronger and more assertive main character. He does, however, experience change during the course of the novel, so he does evolve in the process and by the end isn't quite so weak. This is a really cool novel that I would certainly recommend.
Carl Alves - author of Blood Street