By: Burt Clinchandhill
Published by: Evolved Publishing
Publication Date: October 2020
Reviewed by: Amy Lignor
Review Date: November 4, 2020
I always love the introduction of a new series in the literary world. And this one...well, this one just increases my belief that new series and/or trilogies should enter the realm more often. If you are one of “me” who hears the words “adventure” and “professor” and thinks of Indiana Jones in his heyday, this is the book for you. If you are one who is still to this day obsessed with Dan Brown’s magical conspiracy The Da Vinci Code – magical because it quite literally set a record for being at the top of bestseller lists for 28 weeks – then, this is also the book for you.
A conspiracy to the nth degree begins when we meet up with Jennifer Porter. Jennifer is a lovely, intelligent woman, now heartbroken and confused because her own father has succumbed to death supposedly at the hands of some mysterious illness. Not only did her father leave a lot of unanswered questions behind, he also left a lot of work undone. The biggest and perhaps most frightening thing he left was a book that’s over four centuries old. Translated, the title of the tome is The Book of Soyga, and it’s mysterious and a bit frightening because the words are written in a cryptic language that Jennifer cannot decipher.
Jennifer becomes more than a little obsessed, needing to find out if this book may have anything to do with her father’s sudden and strange demise. There is one person who supposedly can decode the book: enter...Matthew Bishop, a professor at Yale University. The adventure begins, a hunt, a chase, a journey that may have monumental repercussions...to race around the world following clues that will hopefully unearth hidden scrolls that will lead them closer to the truth. But, as it is with all thrillers, Jennifer and her helpful professor are not the only ones looking for these scrolls – and some are willing to commit murder in order to find what she and Bishop are looking for first so they can unearth the greatest secret the world has ever known.
Yes, this is a race against time. But not only is Jennifer a great character, and Matthew Bishop is sure to be on the big screen one day, The Book of Soyga becomes the reader’s obsession quite quickly, and allows each and every one of us to meet up with some truly unforgettable characters. One of my personal favorites is a philosopher by the name of John Dee, who just happens to focus on the occult.
I give the author a true high-five for this novel, especially since he tells the tale by utilizing various timelines, which is difficult to do, even for the masters of the written word. The suspense is monumental, the story never slows down, and it has that magic gift of blurring the lines of the seemingly impossible with something that almost feels like it could be based on absolute truth (AKA, Da Vinci Code).
I was told that this author’s background is in writing but also photography. This would make sense because while reading this you can definitely see a clear “picture” of the cool locations and dark moments that make the hair on the back of your neck stand at attention.
Quill says: Set to be a trilogy, the second Bishop installment, Lemuria, is one that already has me wishing it was 2021.
For more information on Aldaraia (The Matthew Bishop Series - Book One), please visit the author's website at: www.clinchandhill.com