Wayward Son is a spectacular Novel by Tom Pollack.
I borrowed my girlfriends Kindle this weekend and we went to Las Vegas.
So yesterday I am sitting by the pool at the Bellagio Hotel hoping for warmer weather and thumbing through her library when I spot this book and start reading. It begins like a really great junk read with a beautiful (well I think she is because she surfs in Malibu) heroine named Amanda James in her late 20's who actually reads old dusty scrolls at the Getty Museum in Los Angeles. COOL! I wish I could do that! She’s an Archaeologist in the research lab at the Getty Museum.
In Chapter 1, Amanda gets a call from an old college flame named Juan Carlos begging her to travel to Italy to a new dig site and open a set of 1st century bronze doors inscribed in ancient languages like Chinese and Egyptian. The buried building is from the time of Roman Empire and buried under a hundred feet of ash from the explosion of Mount Vesuvius in 79 AD.
Once she gets inside, like a curious cat she mistakenly touches this odd looking relic stained with what we learn is the blood of Jesus. The rooms melts away and she is transported back in time where she encounters an early human just after he has killed his own brother. The man is running away from the scene of the crime and is covered in thorns, bleeding profusely from the struggle. Okay, so this book is no longer just a junk read, but I am super intrigued at where it is going! It’s like a great contemporary fiction read mixed with history and draws actual characters out of the Bible but not in any preachy kind of way. It’s like Ben Hur meets Indiana Jones.
The author does a great job giving me just enough history but keeps it moving with a dual story line that jumps from modern day to the past and back seemingly every other chapter.
Anyway, soon the devil shows up as a voice in the man’s head and starts to tell the main character it was okay to kill his brother as he deserved it. The devil in this book is very sinister and calculating vs. typical supernatural books where he sends demons and such to do his bidding. Slowly the reader learns the male lead in this story is actually immortal; although he himself does not 100% know why. The man has no special powers other than his body completely heals in just a few days from normal wounds like scrapes and broken bones. Thus he always appears to ordinary mortals like his is mid 20's when in actuality he is thousands of years old. Sound pretty good to me so far- so what's his problem? Well think about it, if you were immortal and everyone around you got old and died off due to old age, how would you explain yourself?
The man (who shall remain nameless else it is a total spoiler) is like a rock on the outside, but very lonely on the inside as he can’t tell people who he really is. He has to either move on or wear an elaborate disguise to pretend that his is getting older. He becomes an outcast moving from place to place to cover his secret.
He marries several intriguing women in the novel whose characters are flushed out quite nicely, but loses them as they fall prey to diseases; old age or he simply abandons them as they sense he is not aging like a normal mortal man. The man sees history unfold in beautifully written vignettes and actually has a hand in shaping part of it. Like a moth to flame, he is drawn to pharaohs and kings that have a nasty habit of turning the tables on him.
With a totally muscled body and a now perfect memory given to him by a god who has cursed him so he never forgets killing his brother down the road, this "killer" lays low trying to avoid detection. But he can't as he always sticks his nose into things and gets into trouble. Slowly over time, he becomes a changed man but not before giving this reader a great show. The author even destroys the world in this huge flood and the mysterious man has to get off this big huge boat and wander around the world in search of other people. (now this ancient guy should be on the TV show Survivor and beat Boston Rob at his own game!) The man finds no humans and thinks he is the sole survivor of the human race. He begins to think suicide. He has managed to plant himself in a huge oasis in the middle of the Sahara desert while unbeknownst to him, civilizations around him arise. The reader learns the man actually measures time by the passage of Haley's comet every 76 years- which he sees hundreds-perhaps thousands of time! How old is this guy??
Enough said- Wayward Son has the best ending of any book I have read lately. The final chapter has a surprising twist as to who the devil is and the life altering choice Amanda must make to save her life- Does she do a deal with the devil or not? There better be a sequel!
I like how this novel portrays a modern educated woman, not a man, who has to make a choice of a deal with the devil to save her life. I remember hunky Keanu Reeves in that movie "The Devil's Advocate" where Al Pacino plays the sinister, but obviously devilish character.
My girlfriend told me to get a Goodreads account and share my review-- so here it is. I love this Kindle and am donating my dog eared paperbacks when i get home. Thank you Jeff Bezos at Amazon!
This is Tiffany at the Bellagio pool signing off. Go ahead and buy this wonderful book and take the plunge!