Brilliance is a thriller with a dash of sci-fi and a whole lotta political intrigue. The main story line sets the country up into two factions-the gifBrilliance is a thriller with a dash of sci-fi and a whole lotta political intrigue. The main story line sets the country up into two factions-the gifted and the normal. Gifted people are NOT those who excel in calculus and physics. They are brilliant, hence the title, with almost supernatural powers. For example, the main character Nick Cooper, can zero in on one's body language and determine exactly what he/she will do. His daughter can organize just about anything into intricate patterns. The richest man in the world who bought the state of Wyoming can figure out algorithms within the stock market and make tons of money. There are no limits to what the gifted can learn let alone do. These gifted types are identified and then put in a special school where they are pitted against each other. The friction is intentionally part of the government's curriculum. Big brother is really threatened. If they all get along, then everyone else would be screwed. The world still allows the gifted to work with the normals at many jobs such as government agencies which is where Nick Cooper comes in. He is an a DAR agent. This agency is like Homeland Security. He and his colleagues are on a mission to catch a terrorist, John Smith. Smith has been the patsy for several bombings. He has a following of other gifted people who want him to overthrow the government. He is connected to the richest man in the world who owns Wyoming, a place where the gifted can leave the regular world and be with their own kind. Without giving too much away, Cooper soon learns he has been played.
My Review: This story touches on so many themes of paranoia within the government. Is art imitating life or life imitating art? The American media and politicians are constantly pumping up citizens to tear each other apart instead of trying to get along. Not to get too political, but I think we all know specifically what I'm talking about. Sakey uses the differences between humans instead of the commonalities for his novel. Are we threatened of groups of people with too much power? Whether it's intellect, money, or power, I think he's more than fair in pointing this out. It's human nature to want to keep what you believe is yours. The government could easily get toppled by a handful of people who are smarter, more talented, and more creative if they all managed to unite. Without spoiling anything, the end of the book is left open. Will Nick Cooper blow the lid off of corruption in anger or will he wait until the time is right? Will he bury the government's secrets in the name of peace? Will he and Shannon wind up a couple? Will he get back together with his wife? So many questions! I loved this book and will eventually get around to buying the next installment. Sakey writes with clarity, a sense of humor, and suspense. The characters were believable and likable. I loved the settings, especially China Town in Chicago. It has always been one of my favorite places to visit. I loved how he separated the country into two groups of people. The gifted were treated like the Jews under Hitler's rule. Great stuff, Marcus! 5 out of 5 Stars....more
Nazis and the Occult by Paul Roland is a nonfiction book about the major influence the dark arts played throughout Hitler's regime. Hitler was not theNazis and the Occult by Paul Roland is a nonfiction book about the major influence the dark arts played throughout Hitler's regime. Hitler was not the only one who dabbled spirits, astrology, ancient relics, seances, and the paranormal. He filled his party with plenty of like-minded individuals such as Himmler, Bormann, Goebbels, Goering, and Hess.
Roland started at the beginning, not Hitler's beginning, but the beginning of the modern day notion that the Aryan race was the superior race of the world. Guido von List (1848-1919) kicked it off by claiming to be a descendant of a Nordic warrior with blonde hair and blue eyes who drove the Romans out of Germany. His faith lied in the Wotan religion, a pagan religion. He eventually incorporated God into this religion by claiming that the Aryan race was ordained to rule. List also claimed he channelled wisdom from the ancients through the Akashic Records (an invisible matrix of mental energy). List was a scam artist. He misused the "von" in his name to give off the illusion of aristocracy, but was a son of a tradesman. List and then Madame Blavatsky played their parts in creating the Theosophical Society. Another phony aristocrat, Baron Rudolf von Sebottendorf, helped shape Nazi ideology as well. He made Germans prove their purity by tracing their ancestry three generations and then even measured their skulls. He organized a study for the lost continent of Thule which was thought of a the Nordic Atlantis. One of the most interesting parts of the book was Hitler's obsession with ancient relics. He came into possession of the Spear of Destiny (the spear that punctured Jesus at the cross by the guard). The Spear was on display in an Austrian museum. Once Hitler rose to power, he seized the Spear, believing it gave the owner power.
My Review: This was a fascinating read. The author admits he doesn't have 'hard' proof of some of the accusations, but does have witness accounts and plenty of research to suggest that the book is true. Not sure if I believe every word, but enjoyed reading it. It is hard to believe that a handful of insane people could manage to believe in all of this Woton/pagan stuff. I learned a great deal of the craziness that was going on behind the scenes. Hitler and his cronies seemed to pattern their Nazi regime off of Freemason pageantry and regalia. The theosophy link was especially interesting. I used to live right by a Theosophy Society in Wheaton, Illinois and always wondered what went on there. Apparently this 'religion' is still thriving. There website had something about reading tarot cards.
I highly recommend this book to history lovers fascinated with Hitler. It was well-written, organized, and filled with history and conspiracy. Loved it!...more
The Virgin of the Wind Rose is set up with two story lines that eventually merge. The first story line is about a boy Pero from 15th century Portugal.The Virgin of the Wind Rose is set up with two story lines that eventually merge. The first story line is about a boy Pero from 15th century Portugal. He and two other boys get caught up with a Templar-esque secret society. The boys have different talents and learn the ways of sea navigation. Cristobal Colon or Christopher Columbus enters the story at the end. Without giving anything away, the author writes about how Queen Isabella tries to usher in the Apocalypse herself so that she can meet Jesus.
The second story line's main character Jaq Quartermane works for the state department. Her fiance Paul is killed in Lalibela for sketchy reasons. She takes matters into her own hands, and finds out Paul wasn't telling her the whole truth about why he was even in Lalibela. Jaq visits the place for answers and then gets swept up into a mystery involving the Ark of the Covenant while meeting Elymas, a Jewish treasure hunter. Their travels take them around the world. My Review: Glen's tale has a lot to do with the SATOR square. The square spells SATOR, ROTAS, AREPO, OPERA, and TENET. Glen spoon feeds the reader about the significance of the square which is really a puzzle or hidden message. S A T O R A R E P O T E N E T O P E R A R O T A S
The square is believed to be the key to finding ancient treasures such as the Ark of the Covenant around the world. How Glen took this square and created an amazing historical mystery out of it is an amazing feat. But he doesn't stop there. Conspiracies and theories about the Templars, Freemasons, Oak Island, Islamic Mehti, Notre Dame churches, Lalibela, Christopher Columbus, star constellations, and much, much more are weaved into the plot. The characters are realistic as they find clues and unravel the many details to this intricate story.
It's just about impossible to not compare Glen to Dan Brown's DaVinci Code and Angels and Demons. He's got a similar style of a fast paced mystery that is jam-packed with research. Throughout the book, I kept Googling all of the places and things Glen writes. learning more with each chapter. This is a must read for history fans who are sure to learn something new. I loved this book and am an instant fan of Glen Craney. 5/5 Star No-Brainer! https://dinaraeswritestuff.blogspot.com/ ...more
Koolura and the Mayans is the third book in the Koolura series from author Michael Thal. The reader doesn't need to have read the first two books to fKoolura and the Mayans is the third book in the Koolura series from author Michael Thal. The reader doesn't need to have read the first two books to follow what has already happened in previous novels. The story stands alone. Koolura's dad is getting married in Mexico City. She and her best friend Leila, a deaf girl, go with Koolura's family for the wedding. Koolura has many magical powers such as time traveling. She and Leila go back in time to when the Mayans ruled Mexico. She and Leila are not the only ones brought back in time. Aliens have set up camp and plan on changing history. Maya and Leila try to stop them, but have many obstacles to overcome.
https://www.amazon.com/Koolura-Mayans... My Review: This is a Y.A. thriller/adventure story, a genre that I don't usually read. It was a joy ride to another era along with being an entertaining novel. I especially liked Koolura and Leila. Native American heroines and deaf side kicks are very unusual. I liked the originality. I think this would be a wonderful read for YA lovers of all ages. Thal has managed to teach something about history while keeping the reader glued to the pages of the book. Well done! I am an instant fan! 5/5 Stars....more