Gorilla Review – THE BOOK OF THE DEAD by Douglas Preston and Lincoln Child

The Book of the Dead by Douglas Preston

This 619 page work brings back some familiar characters, FBI special agent Aloysius Pendergast, his ward Constance Greene, his sociopath brother Diogenes Pendergast, and Lieutenant Vincent D’Agosta of the NYPD, to mention a few. The characters are again well developed and sympathetic.

THE BOOK OF THE DEAD is book six in the Pendergast novels, and part of the Diogenes Trilogy. Aloysius is stuck in prison, framed by his evil brother, Diogenes, for murders he didn’t commit. With Aloysius out of commission Diogenes is free to bring his greatest crime to fruition. He nearly succeeds.

While it was well written, we just didn’t think THE BOOK OF THE DEAD developed as quickly or as powerfully as the first novel, RELIC. But don’t let us turn you off. True Pendergast fans will enjoy this book, we unfortunately didn’t like the wait, although we must admit the payoff was well worth the price of admission!

By our count Douglas Preston has written at least 12 solo novels and Lincoln Child is equally as prolithic.  Check out the official PrestonChild website.  You can’t go wrong with their books.

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GORILLA REVIEW – Introduction To The Armageddon

Rather than put together a traditional synopsis we like to introduce novels by quoting their prologue. What follows is the prologue to the novel, The Armageddon. This is Book 1 of the Continuum Series (preceeded by the prologue to the Continuum, “The Diva Incident.”  If you like old fashioned SciFi combined with cutting edge science, The Armageddon is for you.

All rights reserved. No part of this publication may be reproduced, stored in a retrieval system, or transmitted in any form or by any means, digital, electronic, mechanical, photocopying, recording, or otherwise, or conveyed via the internet or a Web site without prior written permission of the publisher, except in the case of brief quotations embodied in critical articles and reviews.

 

FLEET NOTES:

Most major technological breakthroughs can be divided into two distinct events, the development of theory and the actual engineering of the invention. Typically, the lag time between theory and implementation is large and the development of superlight drive systems has been no exception. Although the basic theories were finalized by the beginning of the 25th century, it took more than 100 years to develop a fully working superlight drive.

The onset of the “Second Dark Ages,” as well as a failure to find a workable solution to refueling problems, restricted human planetary migrations to minor leap-frog movements between galaxies.

The recent acquisition of portions of the Hykonian historical record known as the Kojiki tells us they faced technological limitations and sociological set-backs similar to those experienced by humans. As a result, both races were effectively bottled up within the system of galaxies known as the Local Group.

Although the Local Group occupies a rather large area of space it contains a finite number of habitable planets and a meeting of the races was a virtual certainty. In 6700 A.D., this certainty became a reality when the competing races finally encountered each other on a small planet within the Andromeda Spiral.

Xenophobia and competing planetary requirements have been ascribed as the primary causative factors responsible for the resulting galactic war.

For those who are interested, the particulars of the initial Andromeda meeting are contained in an obscure volume, entitled, The Diva Incident, stored in the Archaic Section of the Fleet Command library.

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The Diva Incident is available at
“The Imagination is Limitless”

GORILLA REVIEW – Introduction To The Diva Incident

Rather than put together a traditional synopsis we like to introduce novels by quoting their prologue. What follows is the prologue to the novel, The Diva IncidentThis is book one of the Continuum Series.  If you like old fashioned SciFi combined with cutting edge science, The Diva Incident is for you.

All rights reserved. No part of this publication may be reproduced, stored in a retrieval system, or transmitted in any form or by any means, digital, electronic, mechanical, photocopying, recording, or otherwise, or conveyed via the internet or a Web site without prior written permission of the publisher, except in the case of brief quotations embodied in critical articles and reviews.

FLEET NOTES (An Historical Perspective):

To fully understand the historical significance of the Diva Incident it is necessary to gain an appreciation of the unique time in which it occurred. As we now know, projections of the rate of scientific advancement rendered in the 21st century were outrageously optimistic. The resulting unrealistic goals and expectations played a pivotal role in human history by setting mankind up psychologically to fail. Fleet sociologists are in agreement that the critical error in these projections was their reliance upon an extremely unique historical period as an experience base.

For example, in the year 1645 A.D. Miyamoto Musashi was fighting sword duels in feudal Japan, the Turks were at war with Venice, and Oliver Cromwell’s army fought its decisive battle with Charles I, at Naseby, Northhampton. The earth was a violent, ignorant place. It was a place where even the most modest advances, such as the use of electricity and the internal combustion engine, were yet to come. Medicine barely qualified as a science, and English scientists were forced to hold their meetings of the “Invisible College” in secret.

Less than 21 years later, Isaac Newton developed integral calculus and the “Invisible College” became the “Royal Society”. As if suddenly awakened, the human race accelerated through the early landmarks of science. The laws of planetary motion and gravitation passed in the blink of an eye. Group theory, the Special Theory of Relativity, the General Theory of Relativity and the Uncertainty Principle flickered past on the ever quickening pages of history. Barely 317 years after Mushashi sat in his cave and wrote Go Rin No Sho, Sputnik 1 roared skyward and orbited the earth.

Between 1645 and 1957, homo sapiens advanced further than in all of the preceding years, and it was just beginning. In the next hundred years, the pace doubled. Vostok 1, Surveyor 1, Mariner 4, the Eagle, Salyut, Apollo and Venera took their place in history, all within a span of 14 years. Viking, the Voyagers, the Pioneers, Mir station and the Hubble space telescope followed suit in the less than a decade.

In 2010 A.D., the pace quickened again with the launch of Surveyor AC, the first antimatter-fueled rocket to reach Alpha Centauri and return. In this context it is no wonder our ancestors believed in a golden future of possibilities without end. The apex was finally reached with the creation of the first functioning superlight drive. After this high point, the rate of advancement fell off drastically.

By 2520 A.D., the human race found itself unfulfilled and searching frantically for new mountains to climb. The quest for alien life was a dismal failure, and what was once perceived to be a wondrous age of expansion rapidly became a commonplace grueling business. In essence, we were robbed of our dreams.

Without external challenge, we turned upon ourselves, and in so doing were cast adrift without compass or sextant. Frustrated in our efforts to find other sentient life forms, and failed in our dreams to make liaison with God, we became lost. With our present science, the cause of the malaise was predictable. Humankind, although a complex organism, is still an infant in the cosmic life cycle. Genetically speaking, our species is very new. We have not been around long enough to dilute the various competitive qualities that were originally necessary to the survival of our kind. Without a ready vent for our creative and competitive urges the base instincts begin to run unchecked.

2700 A.D. marked the beginning of the Second Dark Ages. Colonized systems fractured along political lines. The great democracies failed like stuttering engines run out of fuel. The next 300 years saw the revival of feudal lords on a planetary scale. Internecine warfare followed as the major powers consolidated their holdings. In 3500 A.D., Sarkan of Alpha Centauri became the first human to slaughter the entire population of a world. In the same year, the Marhad a’ Ded began their 400 year Jihad against the Tau Ceti, Zephron sect.

And so it went, until 4545 A.D., when the unspeakable occurred and we obliterated our birth planet. The total destruction of Earth struck the collective mind and heart of man with such profound impact that we finally laid down our weapons. Now, truly an orphan in the cosmos, humankind drifted in fear of itself, without solid social structure or any advancement of significance. 6700 A.D. found the human race lost in stagnation waiting out its allotted time.

Yet, there were still a few humans in whom the primitive flame of adventure burned. Like their ancient seafaring ancestors, the miners sailed the uncharted waters of their time. A rough, crude lot, governed only by the dictates of their Union, they lived their lives aboard superminers in perpetual search of precious semi-metallics. The miners have often been described as the gypsies of their time. They have also been pointed to as the last repository of a pioneering spirit gone quiescent in the general populace. However characterized, one thing is certain; the miners did not suffer from the malaise that had permeated the rest of the human race.

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The Diva Incident is available at
“The Imagination is Limitless”

GORILLA REVIEW – Table of Contents

“The imagination is limitless”

I. PREFACE

Created in 2005, the Gorilla Review was originally intended to provide a forum for our book reviews, but since that time the work has expanded to include Introductions and Interviews.

This Table of Contents is hyperlinked into “Posts” which are stored somewhere on the internet as individual chapters, creating a virtual work which can be viewed from anywhere in the world as if its parts were all located on a single website.  If you see something you want to read just click on the hyperlink and you will be transported to the item.

Since nothing is ever completely finished this Table of Contents will change without notice to reflect additions and deletions to the body of work.  So check it periodically to see if anything has changed.

II.  eBOOKS – iBOOKS

eBooks/iBooks have definitely arrived and are rapidly gaining popularity.  While they won’t be putting the printed word completely out of business any time soon, the handwritting is on the wall.

This section contains a couple of Posts on the subject of eReaders and eBooks which will hopefully help you understand this exciting variation on the printed word.

1. eReaders and eBooks/iBooks – An Introduction

2. eBooks/iBooks – Useful References

III. BOOK INTRODUCTIONS

Rather than putting together a traditional synopsis, for some works where we have obtained permission of the author we like to introduce the novel by quoting the entirety of the Prologue. Gorilla Review Introductions should provide an interesting change of pace from the standard Book Review format.  We believe this type of approach was first adopted by Google books.

1. Introduction to Connect The Dots, A Glimpse Into The Middle East

2. Introduction to Kokoro

3. Introduction to The Diva Incident

4. Introduction to The Armageddon

5. Introduction to Shu

IV. BOOK REVIEWS

An eclectic collection of standard and/or not-so-standard book reviews. Usually book reviews amount to nothing more than teasors designed to either pan the work or to spark interest in it. Some of the Gorilla reviews fall within this description and others are closer to being a synopsis than a typical review. When we give you more than the standard amount of detail we will also give you a warning so we don’t ruin the story for you.  We personally hate it when someone tells us how the story ends.

1. Gorilla Review – BLOOD PRICE by Tanya Huff (very brief review)

2. Gorilla Review – THE BOOK OF THE DEAD by Douglas Preston & Lincoln Child

3. Gorilla Review – RENFIELD slave of dracula by Barbara Hambly

4. Gorilla Review – Preface To The Horus Heresy

5. Gorilla Review – Horus Rising – (Book One Of The Horus Heresy)

6. Gorilla Review – False Gods – (Book Two Of The Horus Heresy)

7. Gorilla Review – GENGHIS (Birth of an Empire) by Conn Iggulden

V. THE AUTHOR SPOTLIGHT

A. The backgrounds of selected authors with reference sites, if any, as well as descriptions of their body of work:

Wilbur Smith

B. Interviews with various authors and individuals of interest:

Francis Pennyworth, Jr.

1. Gorilla Review – Part 1, Francis Pennyworth, Jr. Interview

2. Gorilla Review – Part 2, Francis Pennyworth, Jr. Interview

3. Gorilla Review – Part 3, Francis Pennyworth, Jr. Interview

VI.  WEBSITES

1. ElectricRead  A site where various novels by Steven A. Hall (both eBook and trade print formats) can be purchased.  The eBooks or iBooks are presented in ePub formats compatible with iPhone, iPads, Tablets, Computer and Android operating systems.

2. Lulu A site where where authors can self publish books, calendars, photo albums etc.  Works can be ordered as printed books and/or eBooks in either ePub or PDF format.

3. Goodreads  A website for book readers and authors alike.  Goodreads claims a massive audience of 11 million users.

VII. BLOGS

1. MercurysPen

2. Digital Book Today

3. Jack Durish

4. The Masquerade Crew

5. Michael Rivers

6. The True Book Addict

7. Your Book Authors

8. Venture Galleries

VIII. SERIALIZED NOVELS

Connect The Dots, A Glimpse Into The Middle East

Chapter 1, A Darkness Of The Soul

Chapter 2, The Darkness Spreads

Chapter 3, Islam

Chapter 4, Iran – The Land Of The Aryans

Chapter 5, The Revolutionary Guard Corps  (Pasdaran), Iran’s Thought Police

Chapter 6, The Party Of God

Chapter 7, Syria

Chapter 8, Hamas

Chapter 9, The Ba’th Party

Chapter 10, The Fifth Republic Movement – The Darkness Continues To Spread

Chapter 11, Mahmoud Ahmadinejad – Mahdaviat

Chapter 12, Lebanon 2006 – 2007

Chapter 13, Two Frightening Concepts

Chapter 14, Trailing Dots

Chapter 15, Connecting The Dots

Glossary

Persons of Interest

Bibliography

Exhibit 1

End Notes

IX. OPINION ARTICLES

1.  Common Sense by Francis Pennyworth, Jr.

Gun control and how we are failing to address the important issues.

2.  I Stole It – Now It’s Mine by Francis Pennyworth, Jr.

A discussion of the issues surrounding gun control and how, in a number of ways, the current approach the current approach defies common sense.

3.  Other People’s Money by Francis Pennyworth, Jr.

An opinion piece taking a cold hard look at the national debt and the government’s failue to deal with it.

4. Sequestration? by Francis Pennyworth, Jr.

A discussion of the sequestration mandated by the Budget Control Act of 2011.

5.  The Sarah Palin Incident – Political Ends and Personal Destruction by Francis Pennyworth, Jr.

A brief history of Governor Palin’s notoriety and the associated emergence of a meaner, counter-productive politics of personal destruction.

X.  REFERENCE

1.  Twitter Hashtags for authors.

A collection of useful twitter hastags for authors and readers.

2. Author Blogs

This is a collection of author blogs, some of them serve to promote only the author’s works, while others are part of an overall author “platform” and serve wider functions related to writing in general.  At a minimum this post should be an interesting if not useful reference.

If you have anyone to add let us know by Comment or email us at ElectricRead@gmail.com  Prior to writing this post we used #AuthorBlogs.  If you don’t see what you’re looking for here you might find it in Twitter under that hashtag.

 

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Additions to the Gorilla Review body of work will be reflected in this Table of Contents as they are published.

The works of Steven A. Hall are available at

ElectricRead