Garfield Whyte's Reviews > To Conquer Heaven

To Conquer Heaven by Felix Long
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it was amazing

Felix Long’s did a good job of allowing my interest level to keep rising throughout this book. At first I thought it was going to be similar to “The City of God” by Brett Stadelmann, but I was guessing by just looking at the title. Anyone who read any of my 3 books, will realise that I love poetry and quotations and the first thing I did was to read all the Tao quotations he included. These opened up the chapters but I was anxious to rationalise the link with the animals, the teachings of Taoism and the title of the book.
“The Tao is like an empty container. It can never be emptied and can never be filled. Indefinitely deep, it is the source of all things. It is dulls the sharp, unties the knotted. Shades the illuminated and unites all of Creation with Dust. It is hidden but always present. I don’t know who gave birth to it. It is older than the concept of God.”
I wondered if I should have asked the author why that name for a title. In some ways a quote as that one helps to grasp the essence of the story but I didn’t quite grasp the implication of all the Tao quotes, but I guess the author may have thought they would be complimentary to his Chinese story. So, I googled Tao to get the exact definition although my first guess was that it was some form of “philosophical teaching” from ancient China. Tao means “the path” or “the way”, so I knew I was now in for an adventure leading up to something.
What better pair for this suspense than two college friends with a history (Jeremy and Brett) who had their own adventurous days back in college. Now they are in China to embark on a different mission… mystery mission of finding the lost tomb of China’s first emperor.
But, I was in for more than a “path” to an adventure, as the imagery and descriptive writing were a whole new ball game that bolstered my appreciation of the story and writing in itself. “The tiny sculptures revelled in the demolition of their celestial peers soaking up the limelight of human attention after an eon of slumber. Woken from their torpor by the one thing that all art desires; an audience.”
Another one that I had to mark for reference; “The two seasons; deepest winter from above and nascent spring from below, created a juxtaposition that drew the scene into the land of legend sitting only a heartbeat away behind a translucent river of time.” Nothing technical here about the writing… just brilliance… LITERARY BRILIANCE. Skakespeare and Thomas Hardy arise and take a peek at “To Conquer Heaven”. (Although in high school I didn’t really like Thomas hardy, was too much for me at age 17)
The author’s bio states that he is a Technical Writer by day, but as I said there is nothing technical about his writing acumen. The superior writing and imagery for this thriller/action/suspense novel is crisp, clear and flows lawlessly right throughout.
It was thoughtful for the author to put in italics at times to get his writing across eg . “Tattoo inks contain oxide” or “These must be the small scale models” or “The bamboo is flowering.”
The end was cute… BUT flat when taking into account the way the book was written so eloquently on a whole, YET still not warranting me taking off a star.
I bought the Kindle version but once a paper copy is available I will be making that as well. This should be on my book shelf. If I could give 6 stars, I would. YEP!
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Reading Progress

January 13, 2017 – Started Reading
January 13, 2017 – Shelved
January 13, 2017 – Shelved as: to-read
January 15, 2017 – Finished Reading

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