Comparing Scars is the second book of the Dark Retribution Quartet. If the first book, Wrath and Remembrance, hadn't been as good as it was, I would say that author John Walker hit his stride in book 2. The writing is even more lucid and fluid. Again the narrative is in the first person and told by a protagonist. Again we hear the authentic voice of a working class Geordie of Newcastle in Northeast England and we see the culture in which he develops. However, Jake Callan, like Jack Parrish in book 1, also has an artistic temperament, reads widely, writes stories, loves movies and music and develops a rare insight into the psyches of himself and others.
Callan is six or seven years younger than Parrish, but the two have three significant interactions in the course of book 2. Nevertheless, this is Callan's book. Like Parrish, Callan knows love, loss and suffering and like Parrish he finds a sort of redemption. Again this is religious fiction, but it is created with a deft hand. While it is key to the action, it doesn't overwhelm the story. Walker is weaving a rich tapestry. I look forward to seeing how what new threads he adds in books 3 and 4 and how they come together. It is clear that they will.