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Showing 1-10 of 157 reviews(Verified Purchases). See all 349 reviews
on August 3, 2017
Also, don't cross the beams.

So I'm left not sure what I think about this book, but that's a solid point in it's favor -- many books, the only thing you are left thinking about after you'e finished it is, "So, what else is on?"

This is a book that takes a while to gel. Not in a good way; I came close to giving up on it over the first dozen chapters. There's so much about the science that seems wrong or wonky. The explanation, when it finally comes, does much to answer those questions. Answer them for the reader, at least; the question remains how the rest of the world, particularly the scientific establishment, isn't going to see just how "off" the whole thing was. It's rather a wash in the end; it works for the story but isn't the depiction of Big Science I might have liked to read. And, yes, some of the science is just stupidly wrong (and not anything that advanced, either!) It makes it all the more strange when in later chapters he seems to up his game.

The philosophy is amusing and moderately engaging. The evangelical/millennialist stuff rings true enough but then this is already familiar to me after a few decades of following various science blogs around the fringes of the culture wars (especially the Creationists). I can imagine that a reader more familiar, or less familiar, with this material would react differently. For me, it was familiar enough I was practically skimming those pages.

As usual with Douglas Preston the New Mexico stuff is wonderful, but for that I strongly recommend his non-fiction "Cities of Gold." However, in the early chapters it too felt paint-by-numbers, adding to the impression of a thinly researched, rushed, phoned-in book. It gets better, much better, but still doesn't quite rise to the potential of the material.

Lastly, the novel itself hangs on the unveiling and the eventual understanding of the central event. This is a distinct problem for the reviewer. It can't be discussed in depth without a big spoiler, and once that spoiler is made, there's hardly a point in reading the book. The surrounding action is amusing, but insufficient to take the place of having that mystery.

Oh, and I don't get Wyman Ford. He carries around a big "I'm the protagonist" sign with him but I still can't tell what it is about him, what drives him, what makes him interesting, why I am supposed to care. He's engaging enough company but he, too, feels like you are only getting the first couple of chapters. Only for him, there is (as yet) no rest of the book.
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on July 19, 2017
The book had nothing in it that matched the true definition of blasphemy. At first I did not want to read the book due to the definition of blasphemy: “the act or offense of speaking sacrilegiously about God or sacred things; profane talk.” I don’t care to read that kind of stuff. But after further investigation I decided to read it. And the main character Wyman Ford (who was a monk for a short time) was not portrayed as a deeply religious monk, more like a regular guy. The book had a lot about God and religion, but the book had a fair balance between the world’s major religions and science as a religion. The book was written with similar writing style as all the other Preston/Child books. The story and theme are bizarre, but became seemingly real as the book progressed.
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on June 1, 2017
Terrible. The basic plot was okay, if a bit cliche'. But I bought the book on the hook that the main character had spent two years in a monastery after his wife died. Perhaps this would be a reasoned, thoughtful exploration of how belief in God and science intersect. NOPE. He must have done his character research on Christians at one of those over the top atheist websites. Christians are stupid. Hateful. Liars. Murderers! And I'm not talking one or two. I'm talking hundreds of them! All terrible, horrible people. Cringe-worthy stuff. I finished the book, but I skimmed the last third of it.
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on January 1, 2015
Another great story by Douglas Preston! This book tells a compelling story about the quest for understanding of our history through science and the conflicts and passion when that is mixed with religion. The greatest thing about the stories Preston (and many of the Preston-Child books) is that the story is mostly believable which is a big reason why I get sucked in to the stories.

If you like books with drama and science-fiction with the classic Preston plot twist then this is the book for you. Another reviewer complained about the character profiles being stereo typical that didn't really occur to me while reading this book. I felt everyone was well placed and thought out.

I bounced between reading this on my Kindle and listening to the audiobook. At the end of the audiobook is a 20 minute interview with the author that provides some background about how he wrote the book and some of the research he did. I found it very interesting and wish they did that on more audiobooks.
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on September 21, 2016
I read a lot of reviews about this book prior to purchasing. Many were concerned about the religious implications. But I decided that as a devout believer in Jesus, that I would read the book as I know it is just fiction. I found the book to be very interesting. I thought the characters were well developed and that the plot was good. I was surprised at the ending. Overall I found it an enjoyable read as I always do a Douglas Preston novel. I would recommend this book to anyone.
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on March 22, 2017
Liked this story and finished it in record time. A bit too long maybe....Wyman Ford is an interesting protagonist. Will continue with the next one.
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on September 26, 2009
Writing is a lonely endeavor, yet Preston is one of those rare writers who thrive in collaboration but straggle when writing alone. When writing in tandem with Lincoln Child more often than not lightening strikes (THE RELIC, THE RELIQUARY, THE ICE LIMIT to name a few). In contrast, his previous solo efforts (THE CODEX, TYRANNOSAUR CANYON) fall just short of their mark. BLASPHEMY goes a bit further.

Isabella is the supercollider that American particle and high-energy physicists dreamed about (but Congress killed in 1993 - why waste money on Science when we will be going at war to help our oil companies make even more billions, right? ). Anyway, in this novel it is actually built, not in Texas but in Arizona. In an abandoned coal mine, under a Native American burial grounds. And if these were not ominous enough, when it is run at full power, all heavens seem to break loose.

Navajo medicine men and frothing tele-evangelists; a lonely pastor driven over the edge and a cynic ex-monk turned deniable-PI for the government; a president risking riots only to protect his legacy and a Nobel-prize winner scientist with a severe Messianic fixation. The science may be half-baked and the characters underdeveloped and monochromatic but the story will keep you turning pages well into the night.

A particle beam worth a ride.

RECOMMENDED.
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on February 23, 2008
With all the hype about this story I was really ready for a great read. It just didn't have the suspense and excitement Preston's books usually have (especially when he partners with Douglas.) The words "God" spoke weren't nearly as earth-shattering or enlightening the top as I was led to believe they might be. And the "bad guy" became obvious about 2/3 into the story. No shocking ending, no real suspense, just an interesting plot that keeps you reading for the heck of it.
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on January 15, 2014
What a great book! You will be exposed to the ignorance that blind faith can produce. The kind of ignorance that we were warned about in the Torah and the Bible and what the world experienced when Hitler rose to lead Germany into killing millions of people that were not perfect Germans. I give you a view into the ignorance that is alive today by the extremists that kill in the name of perception that they are brain washed to believe. This would make a great book for sociologists to use on how leaders and their followers get misdirected and how power is granted to them to think for the masses.
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VINE VOICEon August 14, 2014
Physics against religion is what it boils down to.A huge supercollider in the Arizona mountains is drawing unwanted attentions and dire predictions from a black hole that will doom the Earth to a Satanically inspired machine out to disprove the Bible.

Wyman Ford, an ex-monk, now CIA, is sent by the government to figure out what's going on in those mountains, what the real secret is.

Douglas Preston, whether solo or with his partner Lincoln Child knows how to write a gripping thriller
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