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"The Extraordinary Life of Sam Hell" by Robert Dugoni
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The author knows how to hook the reader from the start and build suspense and mystery. The beginning of human life as we know it in this book began over 30,000 years ago in Dar Salaam, Tanzania ... in "The Cave of the Red Serpent". It is in this cave that a genetic mutation occured which effectively increased the size of the human brain. This one mutation on the gene labelled ASPM (abnormal spindle-like microcephaly) allowed humans to migrate and spread human life over many parts of the earth. It gave humans an advantage, the ability to deal with multiple seasons and environments and overcome the odds ...
Moving up to modern times, it was Dr. Myla de Nucci, a beautiful and intelligent scientist whose specialty was genetic research who had first identfied the ASPM gene. She and the author Angelica Jones had written a scientific article which claimed the original Adam and Eve had lived in Africa about 30,000 years ago. She also had some other interesting theories which she was researching. About the same time, in Texas, Dr. Gideon Law, an archealogist who specialized in graphology, had received two red stones claimed to be from the "Cave of the Red Serpent" in Dar Salaam, Tanzania. The stones had markings of an unidentifiable language which he named "Hadamaic". Amazingly, Dr. Gideon Law was invited to Ethiopia to the Church where the Ark of the Covenant was kept. The priest there showed him another red stone, with the same unidentified language markings as on the previous ones he had. Gideon was led to believe there were twelve such stones and also a key stone. Gideon and a research associate traced the stones back to the Cave of the Red Serpent in Dar Salaam.
The author ties together the research of Dr. Myla de Nucci and Dr. Gideon Law when they meet at a world conference and compare notes, because they learn both their findings revolve around a cave in Africa. Dr. de Nucci concludes that modern D.N.A has some special messages encoded related to the Book of Revelations. Dr. Law translates the new language on all twelve stones and is surprised to learn that it also relates to the Book of Revelations. Angelica Jones, unknown to her friends, fulfills an unusual function from another realm. Besides the cave in Africa, strange activity has been reported to have occured, this time in a cave in Iran where villagers claim an angel has lived for over 6,000 years. Through some unexpected twists in the plot, the pharmaceutical company Genetek and its founder becomes involved in trying to stop Dr. Myla de Nucci and Dr. Gideon Law from revealing their scientific discoveries. The plot thickens as some important scientists die, after which Dr. de Nucci and Dr. Law become the main suspects. The three major religions of the world, Roman Catholicism (Christianity), Judaism, and Islam take a similar stand on certain issues brought to light by these two scientists. Certain predictions from the Book of Revelations are fulfilled and the reader who starts this book can not read fast enough or turn the pages fast enough to learn what happens next as these two scientists combine forces to discover where their research will finally end. This is a most highly recommended book. The author provides enough quotations from the Book of Revelations that no one has to rely on their memory, however, it is a prerequisite to at least be familiar with the intended meaning/contents. On the other hand, no has to believe in the passages from Revelations to appreciate and enjoy this book. Erika Borsos [pepper flower]
However, the tablets and their place of discovery, brim with not only mystery, but death and destruction for many who have the misfortune to encounter them.
We meet Doctor Law and Doctor Myla de Naci, who work together to find out the meaning of the writings on the stones. What they discover is mind-boggling as they uncover a genetic war between God and Satan.However, this couple does not know that their very lives are intertwined in the greatest war mankind has ever known.
And indeed they are key players in what is about to unfold.
I love Revelations and I totally enjoy reading works about the end-of-times, and I have to say that this author weaved a story that took us on this journey with a twist that you would never imagine. It is definitely good versus evil, but in this book author, James Rutledge, uses modern science to weave together the age old story that one day will play itself out. The twist he throws in this adventure is definitely something you would have never thought you'd encounter. I applaud this author for his use of DNA discovery in this read. Perhaps we are seeing a little tad of Quantum science being injected into the spiritual?
All in all, this book is one block-buster read. He forms the characters in the mind's eye with great description, giving us both physical and emotional attributes, that allow you to merge with them, and almost walk in their shoes, if you will. I loved this book and the ending I believe is merely the beginning of yet another story in the making. Very well done. Recommended.
Yes, you must set aside some expectations for reality when you read a work about the end of the world but the view inside the book must be consistent and interesting. I just found myself repeatedly bored by the multitude of characters and the discussions of archaeology, genetics and linguistics. There are some exciting moments throughout the book but with so many characters and so much bouncing around between events and people it was difficult to identify with any of them even to care.
This multitude narrows down to Gideon and Myla who are "forced" to work for Satan in his plan to extirpate the human species and replace it with his own model. That is where this novel raises even to earn 4 stars in my opinion. The idea of genetic engineering to create the antichrist isn't new, I recall even the Sci Fi channel had a movie on it, but this twist that you can replace an entire species is a terrifying idea though frankly not filled in very well.
Given that the book really isn't about the antichrist but all the planning to get him (why does it always need to be a him, huh?) the title and the back blurb don't match. I got the impression that the hope is this will become a series of books.