Legitimate Power

Legitimate Power
ISBN: 978098753369X, a thriller that presents mystery, history, national/international political intrigue, science at the cutting edge, speculation and murder all combined in an e-book by Stefan Vucak.

Plot: Cherber Shaken, an accountant working to enlarge his nagging wife Alisa’s garden in a suburban area of Palestine, unexpectedly breaks into an ancient burial site, discovers two ossuaries containing unusual skeletons and a ‘different’ crystal. He sells them to Acaph Yaron, a man with some knowledge of such artifacts who takes pictures and sends them to Dr. Ezrah Kutner, an academic at the Rockefeller Archaeological Museum. Ezrah is intrigued by the fact that the skeletons are similar to others discovered in the country, buys the bones and containers. He does not know what to make of the crystal, so Yaron takes it to Tel Aviv and sells it to Geffen, a gem dealer. Geffen discovers it has unusual properties and arranges an auction by contacting Lau Wei in Hong Kong, Vasily Drotenkov in Moscow, and Terrance Truscott in the U.S. for their acquaintance with ‘high rollers’ who might be interested. Dr. Kevin Morrison, a remarkably intelligent inventor of a pigment that can be applied to various surfaces to absorb solar rays to generate power, wins the crystal for a 400K bid. Meanwhile Kutner discovers that the bones DNA dates to 730 BCE and are similar to others found in Peru in 1928. He speaks with Israeli authorities who decide they would be interested in the Chrystal. By this time, however, it has been sold to Morrison who sends his trusted ‘enforcer’, former Navy Seal Nolan Trotman, to pick it up. Trotman does but is attacked by an oriental disguised as a Middle Easterner, a couple of other people are killed and the story accelerates as action piles up, International incidents occur and the reader is led into an ever widening web of intrigue that never stops until the perhaps somewhat unexpected, but certainly considered, logical ending.

Discussion/Conclusion: The author has produced a story including fascinating historical features, interesting technological concepts, authentic military details, fanciful but totally possible elements of political intrigue at both national and international levels, business affairs, intriguing conjectures with respect to technological applications of the quantum theory and just plain old murder. These elements he has captivatingly interwoven to provide the reader with a uniquely satisfying story. Admittedly, judicial editing of some of the ruminations and verbal interchanges by and between some of the political figures would have served to avoid a ‘slowing’ in the story’s otherwise smoothly advancing pace. Also, the protagonist is quite shallow and much could be done to develop some of the other characters. However, as a basically plot driven story it provides a quite captivating novel.

4* Captivating basically plot driven novel; 3* for reasons cited.

 

Constant Guests

Constant Guests
ISBN: 9789730209419, an e-book whose genre is difficult to delineate by Patricia Nedelea,

Plot: The story of Isa, a young woman’s quest for answers to questions originally searched for by her real mother, and to discover her real father. Her present mother, Victoria is the proper lady and her father, a crippled athlete but highly successful motivational speaker who ‘is never around’. Isa wants no part of refinement/education. Her fashion statement emphasizes the “rebel without a cause’ generational influence – green hair, ripped jeans, nondescript shoes and a T-shirt saying I am not a bitch, I am THE bitch. She has an abrasive personality, is constantly negative and disparaging those who provide help, has a brutal way of telling the truth, creates friendships which she drops for no reason and finally is left with no one to whom she can turn except Claude, a cyber guy. Then, she discovers that her most proper mother Victoria is NOT her birth mother but she is the daughter of Victoria’s sister, Mara whom she had been told was Aunt Mara, maintained alive but in a coma now for years after an automobile accident. Unexpectedly, after these many years, Mara regained consciousness and she was to be taken to see her. Mara dies while she is there, she is attacked by a masked man, saved through action by a young man, Mark Zweifer. She discovers a tarot card and embarks upon an extensive journey through much of Europe to finish her true mother’s quest and to discover the identity of her true father. It is a most convoluted journey involving many ‘twists’, an interesting thought with respect to the bible, extensive 14th century historical activity mingled with that of the present and an exhaustive history of, and search for the original tarot cards and their significance as related to the existence of an alternate world. The tale is replete with characters providing a wide range of activity.

Discussion/Conclusion: The author has provided a provocative tale of the increasingly popular theme of existence of an alternative/parallel world. Further, she has done so by using the results of some extensively researched material on tarot cards and weaving it into an engaging conjecture. She has made it happen through provision of a sizeable number of not particularly well characterized individuals who exhibit all levels of duplicity, deceit, subterfuge, cruelty and betrayal. Unfortunately, the ‘light’ characterization makes any attempt at empathy difficult to say the least. The genre is multiple – historical, occult, thriller. Thus, at least for this reviewer, better characterization and judicious editing would have greatly increased the level of pleasure in reading this plot-driven, well researched, provocative approach to the increasingly popular alternative/parallel world theme.

3* 5* Provocative alternative world plot; 3* reasons below in discussion/conclusion.