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Decipher [NOOK Book]

Overview

"There is a signal emanating from deep within the ice of Antarctica. Atlantis has awoken. Ancient monuments all over the world - from the pyramids of Egypt and Mexico to the sacred sites of China - are reacting to a brewing crisis not of this earth, but from somewhere out in the solar system. The monuments are connecting to each other through the oceans, using low-frequency sound waves to create an ancient network. The earth is thrown into a panic, for it seems that the signals coming from Atlantis are a prelude to something much greater. Could ...
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Decipher

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Overview

"There is a signal emanating from deep within the ice of Antarctica. Atlantis has awoken. Ancient monuments all over the world - from the pyramids of Egypt and Mexico to the sacred sites of China - are reacting to a brewing crisis not of this earth, but from somewhere out in the solar system. The monuments are connecting to each other through the oceans, using low-frequency sound waves to create an ancient network. The earth is thrown into a panic, for it seems that the signals coming from Atlantis are a prelude to something much greater. Could it be that the entire city of Atlantis is, in fact, a giant ancient machine? And to what end? For what purpose?" It is the year 2012, the same year Mayan belief prophesized the end of the world. Two armies, American and Chinese, stand on the brink of war for the control of the most potent force ever known to man - the secrets of Atlantis. Secrets that are encoded in crystal shards retrieved from the sunken city. Secrets that mankind has had twelve thousand years to decipher...but which will now destroy the world within one week.
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Editorial Reviews

The Philadelphia Inquirer
"A rocketing adventure... Stel Pavlou's debut novel bursts with marvels of scientific chitchat and towers above most recent science fiction."
Sunday Times
"Few debuts are as ambitious as Decipher. Exhilaratingly imaginative."
Mail on Sunday
"It will satisfy anyone... Written by someone who knows what they're talking about."
The Times
"A wide-screen special-effects Technicolor blast, perfect for a Hollywood blockbuster."
SFX
"Deep Smart and well researched."
The Independent
"A fascinating blend of science, mythology, language and much more."
Zentertainment.com
"If Michael Crichton isn't nervous, he should be. Not only has Stel Pavlou written a scientific thriller as tautly plotted a roller-coaster ride as anything Crichton's ever written, but he's done so using intelligent characters, and a clever, synergistic premise. The weaving of scientific detail with imagination is superb and unparalleled."
Publishers Weekly
In British screenwriter Pavlou's adolescent first novel, it's March 2012 and huge storms are raging around the globe, sparked by giant sunspots. The villainous U.S. Rola Corporation, drilling for desperately needed oil off Antarctica, discovers strange crystalline artifacts covered with a precuneiform script, while radiation detected under the antarctic ice portends the awakening of powerful alien forces. An unconvincing gaggle of scientists discovers they have only one unholy Holy Week to ship a nuclear device to Antarctica and bomb the underwater threat to smithereens. Pavlou builds his unlikely crescendo of Bad Things from nearly every major folklore, myth and religion, dizzyingly cutting between eye-popping disasters and eye-glazing capsule summaries of linguistics, geology, chemistry, mathematics, numerology, cryptology, archeology, ESP and Edgar Cayce. Stripped down to comic book proportions for the big screen, with a deafening soundtrack and a teenage audience anesthetized to a vocabulary largely dominated by four-letter clich s, this often gruesome tale might make a middling SF adventure flick. The often ludicrous dialogue and the ham-fisted handling of human relations and motivations, however, make for an unfocused novel, one patched together like Frankenstein, with every stitching line, every unnatural feature, unblushingly exposed to the most casual glance. (Sept. 20) Forecast: An international bestseller, this fictional debut may not be such a big hit here. Wait for the mass market edition to tie in with any film adaptation. Pavlou wrote the screenplay for this autumn's Formula 51, starring Samuel L. Jackson. Copyright 2002 Cahners Business Information.
Library Journal
In a frozen wasteland near the Ross Ice Shelf in Antarctica, a world-weary team of oil drillers jubilantly believes that it has located a major strike. Instead of black gold, however, the men discover a bizarre cluster of rocks with unnatural markings similar to ancient hieroglyphs. Shortly afterward, these enigmatic rocks begin to appear in seemingly unrelated sites across the globe, including the Amazon River and an underground chamber beneath the Sphinx. A crackerjack squad of the world's premier geocryptologists soon determines that the stones are actually composed of carbon 60, a superior energy source previously unknown to modern science. From this point, the plot machinations are revved into overdrive with all the subtlety of an avalanche. Solar flares, Atlantis, ancient Mayan prophecies, the Book of Revelations, and unexplained worldwide cataclysms are tossed into the mix, creating enough fringe ideas to make an Art Bell radio show listener drool. Ludicrous theories about the origins of carbon 60 are proposed, and the narrative is continually peppered with textbook passages that attempt to ground the science in reality. Pavlou does not exactly strike gold with this initial effort, but regardless of its faults, Decipher remains a semiprecious page-turner. For larger fiction collections.-Jeff Ayers, Seattle P.L. Copyright 2002 Cahners Business Information.
From the Publisher
"A rocketing adventure...Stel Pavlou's debut novel burst with marvels of scientific chitchat and towers above most recent science fiction."-The Philadelphia Inquirer

"Few debuts are as ambitious as Decipher. Exhilaratingly imaginative."-Sunday Times (UK)

"A wide-screen special-effects Technicolor blast; perfect for a Hollywood blockbuster."

-The Times (London)

"Deep, smart, and well-researched."-SFX

"A fascinating blend of science, mythology, language, and much more."

-The Independent (London)

"If Michael Crichton isn't nervous, he should be. Not only has Stel Pavlou written a scientific thriller that's as tautly plotted a roller-coaster ride as anything Crichton's ever written, but he's done so using intelligent characters, and a clever, synergistic premise. The weaving of scientific detail with imagination is superb and unparalleled."—Zentertainment.com

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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9781429907798
  • Publisher: St. Martin's Press
  • Publication date: 1/9/2007
  • Sold by: Macmillan
  • Format: eBook
  • Edition description: First Edition
  • Edition number: 1
  • Pages: 400
  • Sales rank: 151,573
  • File size: 681 KB

Meet the Author

Stel Pavlou is the screenwriter for The 51st State, starring Samuel L Jackson. Decipher is his first novel. He lives in England.

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Read an Excerpt


DECIPHER
tep eepiTHE FIRST TIMEAVESTIC ARYANS--PRE-ISLAMIC IRAN--MIDDLE EAST 
Ahura Mazda created Airyana Vaejo, the original paradise and birthplace of the Aryan race. There were seven months of summer and five of winter. But after Angra Mainyu, the Evil One, was finished, there were only two months of summer and ten of winter. A mighty serpent, intense cold, thick ice and snow is all that haunts the land now. It is so cold that nothing can survive there. Yima, instead of building an Ark, was ordered to make a Var, an underground place linking the four comers so that specimens of every living thing could be brought there and saved. 
Excerpt from: Tales of the Deluge: A Global Report on Cultural Self-Replicating Genesis Myths, Dr. Richard Scott, 2008EVIDENCE BEFORE THE UNITED STATES SENATE WASHINGTON D.C. JUNE 14, 1960(Based on actual transcripts) 
"If this agreement is approved," Senator Aiken said as he tapped out his ash from behind a thick veil of blue cigarette smoke, "Antarctica becomes a country without a government. Of course, it doesn't have too much government now, but no government is provided for Antarctica under any conditions in the future?"Herman Phleger shuffled through his papers and coughed, hoping to cash in on some spit. He failed. It was a hot, humid day. The brass and maple ceiling fans worked overtime. A whiff of freshly cut grass wafted in from the lawn outside. Manicured, the way mankind intended. And Herman Phleger was forced to cough again."Is there a problem, Mr. Phleger?""Uh, yes, sir--" Phleger croaked. He looked around for a clerk. Stood."Please use the microphone in front of you, Mr. Phleger. I think we're all agreed we can't quite hear you." The Senator's smile to his colleagues was a craggy one. There was a ripple of humorless laughter from the rest of the committee. It echoed off the wood paneling and around the sparsely populated Congressional hearing room.Phleger leaned down close to the gadget. The squeal of feedback was painful. "Uh, I could use some more water, Senator." He straightened his tie and re-took his seat.Aiken waved at a clerk to take some water over to the State Department's legal advisor. After all, Herman Phleger was the man who had headed the U.S. delegation at the Conference on Antarctica. He at least deserved a glass of water.Phleger leaned in close to the microphone again as he adjusted his chair and thanked the Senator. He could almost hear the old bastard's cogs whirring from across the room.The Red scare. Grab some territory now while we still can. What with Khrushchev still fuming over that U-2 spyplane business back in May and Eisenhower on the defensive, sending 120 planes out to Southeast Asia last Thursday. Yeah, okay, so China and Russia aren't exactly on speaking terms but. that's playing with fire. Of course Francis Gary Powers was working for the military: everyone in the State Department knew that. Although it wasn't exactly a lie when the government had tried to say he was flying a "weather" plane. They simply wanted to know "whether" or not the Russians had any missiles in the area.The clerk set a pitcher of ice water down on the desk. The legal advisor ignored the hissing and popping of exploding ice cubes as he poured himself a glass and gulped down a mouthful."Senator," he said, sighing with relief and mopping at his brow, "the Treaty specifically provides that no one surrenders its claim. There are seven claims which cover eighty percent of Antarctica: the United Kingdom, France, Argentina, Chile, New Zealand, Australia, and South Africa. You take the sector Argentina and Chile have--they've incorporated it into their metropolitan territories and have criminal codes which they claim apply to them, and the same is true with respect to New Zealand. So they do have government in those territories." So tough shit, Senator, we just weren't quick enough when it was time to stake a claim. Just be glad the Russkies don't have a plot either. Phleger coughed again. "So, Senator, there may only be fifty people in the area but they do have governments."Aiken was clearly uncomfortable with that thought. He shifted in his chair, like his ass spoke his mind for him. "But after the adoption of this Treaty, would the laws of a dozen countries apply?"Phleger didn't need to check his notes. He shook his head. "The Treaty says that the signatories do not give up their claims, but the other signatories like the United States that do not recognize their claims do not by the Treaty recognize the claims and their position of non-recognition." There, that ought to confuse the old buzzard. It did. He watched him shift on his ass again.Phleger pretended to be impatient. "For instance," headded, "if there was a commercial man--the Treaty deals with scientists and it deals with military matters ..." It was clear Aiken wanted a re-cap on that area. Phleger took another breath."Okay," he said, "if we send a scientist or an inspector into the section claimed by Chile, he can't be arrested by Chile. Our jurisdiction applies to him no matter where he is in Antarctica--because we made the decision not to recognize other claims to the territory, and because those other claimants made the concession that they would allow our scientists and unarmed military personnel to work within their territory on Antarctica. But, if there should be a mining engineer who went down into the sector claimed by Chile and he got into some trouble, Chile would claim that its laws governed."Aiken frowned.Phleger shifted this time. Was Aiken really that low on short-term memory? "And in that case, Senator," he explained, "we would claim that Chile's law did not govern because we do not recognize Chile's claim, and there would then be an international controversy as to who had jurisdiction over the individual."It was double-Dutch. Phleger knew it was double-Dutch. Aiken didn't appear to know it was double-Dutch, but he didn't appear not to know either. Which was fine. So long as they were all in agreement. Since in essence, they were merely playing out what the Antarctic Treaty stated, which was: no matter what the claims of a single country over the region known as Antarctica, those claims could be freely ignored by everyone else. Except, and this was an important proviso, except in the case of a military build-up, which, it was agreed, was to be banned by everyone. Totally. Unless, of course, someone infringed upon the rights of the others as set out by the Treaty, in which case--"We don't even recognize any claim of our own, do we?" Aiken reiterated.Phleger almost nodded. He rubbed his chin. This was their "legal" reasoning. "By recognizing that there is no sovereignty over Antarctica we retain jurisdiction over our citizens who go down there and we would deny the right of the other claimants to try that citizen. Yes."Aiken sat back in his chair, a crooked grin on his craggy face. That pleased him enormously. He stubbed out his cigarette and immediately reached for another. "Boys, I think we just found one more virtue of the bomb!" There was another ripple of laughter. He was right. Aside from the Soviet Union, who the hell was going to argue with them? You didn't need to be the first. You needed to be the toughest.Aiken lit the fresh cigarette and inhaled. He had a curious look on his face. Somber. "Suppose, Mr. Phleger," he pondered, "that there was a sudden and tremendous demand for emperor penguins?""Sir? I'm not sure I'm follow--""Penguins, Mr. Phleger. There are serious conservation issues here. What if people went down there and started killing all the emperor penguins? Who could prevent that?""The people in each of the geographical areas covered by the seven claimant nations would claim they had a right to protect those penguins.""Then suppose one of our boys went into the Chilean area and stole a snow cat. What law would he violate?"A snow cat?! What on earth was this old buzzard talking about? Snow cats didn't come from Antarctica. Phleger bit the bullet. "The Chileans apply Chilean law," he said."And we would deny it?""We would apply U.S. law and we would have an international controversy.""I see.""Senator, it doesn't matter, the reason for the crime. Yes, the environment down there is an issue in the Treaty, but the situations you describe just aren't covered. We would have to go to mediation over the issue, if it ever arose. We are dealing with an area where we have no territorial claims and this Treaty deals with matters in the international field exclusively. That's why it's important that Antarctica remain demilitarized."Aiken's face adopted another grimace. "That's all well and good, Mr. Phleger, but supposing natural resources of great value were discovered in Antarctica, of value enough so that it would justify an immense cost to exploit them. It might be a vein of diamonds a foot thick."Phleger let a sneer cross his face. He was no fan of Aiken, but he was a patriot. "There is no provision in this Treaty which would deal with that situation, Senator. If there was a discovery of value in a sector which was claimed by one of the claimant nations it would naturally claim sovereignty and the right to dictate the manner of exploitation. The United States on the other hand, never having recognized the validity of that claim, is in a position to assert that it has rights in respect thereto. And of course, should someone break the Treaty on demilitarization to protect its claim, the United States may use whatever force is necessary in order to protect the Treaty."Aiken smiled. "At least, that's what we can say.""Yes, Senator. We can." 
The Antarctic Treaty was ratified by the U.S. Senate by 66 votes to 21 on August 10, 1960. And that was how the world left it until 1993, when it was agreed that everyone should plow through this shoddy mess one more time. And again it was agreed that apart from the banning of the military and banning the exploitation of mineral wealth in respect to the environment, no country could lay claim to Antarctica.Which was a dangerous conclusion to reach for a number of reasons, one of which had yet even to be addressed. For it proved that the Antarctic Treaty's vague double-talk had achieved exactly what it had set out to do: that should it stand as law in the face of overwhelming social change, its basic tenet would remain: that if anything of value were discovered in Antarctica; anarchy would reign supreme.The Antarctic Treaty guaranteed that even if mankind had any desire to rid itself of the Seven Deadly Sins, Greed had been assured of a place in our hearts by virtue of time. By writing it down on a piece of paper and parading it as law and belief, Greed could be resurrected at a moment's notice.That was the beauty of the written word. It was invariably taken at face value and granted permit to be spoken as the truth. It lived longer than the man.And wreaked havoc in the process.DECIPHER. Copyright © 2001 by Stel Pavlou. All rights reserved. For information, address St. Martin's Press, 175 Fifth Avenue, New York, N.Y. 10010.
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Customer Reviews

Average Rating 4
( 50 )
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See All Sort by: Showing 1 – 20 of 50 Customer Reviews
  • Posted June 14, 2009

    Disappointing

    I fully expected to love this book, because I am a fan of fact-based science fiction -- Crichton is one of my favorites. However, I found this far too technical with way more description than necessary. It started well with an obligatory attention-grabbing first chapter, but then I found myself wading through hundreds of pages waiting for it to get good again. Once the dry descriptions subsided and the action started up again, I found myself too annoyed to get caught up in it. I found the writing to be amateurish with the dialog stilted and a a bit unbelievable. Characters were full of wisecracks during the most unlikely stressful moments. I'm aware that this book got many favorable reviews. I can only guess those reviewers are would-be scientists, rather than laymen with a passing interest in science such as myself.

    2 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted June 22, 2009

    What a book

    I realize that a few of the commentators thought that this book had way too much fact in the fiction, I disagree. I loved this book when I first read it and found that it was perfect to use in one of the classes that I was teaching. The assignment: read the book and point out the fact and fiction of the information given. This was an overwhelming success with the students and the english teachers loved that the students were actually reading. As an avid reader, and one who is degreed in science, I enjoyed the book and have suggested it to others to read...guess what? They enjoyed it, too.

    1 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted February 16, 2009

    Absolute Gem - Sheer Escapism at it's finest

    This book is so good, I would hate to see someone try and make it into a movie....a definite must-read.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted January 20, 2013

    Didnt finish

    It took such a bizzare turn in the plot and went super scientific. I ended up not finishing the book. Maybe i will later but for now i tottally lost interest.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted January 14, 2013

    Garbled, poorly written waste of time.

    Garbled, poorly written waste of time.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted June 1, 2012

    Interesting premise but not a good story

    The concept of this book is potentially interesting, but the author isn't able to tell the story skillfully. The characters are stereotypical and wooden, and seem to be drawn for a TV movie. The large amount of technical information tends to weaken the plot, almost as if the technology is the plot. Too much detail for a casual read and not enough writing skill for a good story.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted April 11, 2012

    Not a fun read

    I love books like this but this was WAY too difficult to understand. Im not a dumb guy but I had to reread pages often and it isnt worth the effort. I liked the premise but needed a study guide.

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  • Posted July 15, 2011

    Ok

    Decent not great

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  • Posted January 6, 2011

    Excellent read

    I thought this book was an excellent twist on the many theories regarding the lost Continent of Atlantis!

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  • Posted June 20, 2010

    great read!

    If you like the works of Preston & Child and James Rollins type thrillers, you will LOVE decipher by stel pavlou! I wish he wrote more books!!

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  • Posted May 20, 2009

    Decipher

    This book by Stel Pavlou is fantastic. With all his research he has done to make it as knowledge full as he could. The facts about the sun and all the government involvement are fascinating. While you're reading it the book makes you think. These facts really get a person into the book. Like the Antarctica Treaty, I had not a clue that was actually real. I just thought Antarctica had nothing special about it. Who really knows what is underneath it. I wrote an English paper on the Apocalypse of 2012 and with some of the research I did I kept noticing little things in Pavlou's book that matched. I was so excited because I knew background information on some events and Edgar Cayce. This helped with understanding this book a little better.The Characters are well rounded and each has a mind of their own. It's a little confusing at times when there are so many people in a scene but they are all unique and different, all with their own personality quirks. The way they interact with one another is fun. I am a big fan of romance, though Decipher doesn't have much it works for the book. It's hard for me to get into books. I'm not the strongest reader so books must capture my attention; boy did this book capture my attention. I could hardly put it down. The plot was thrilling especially when the C60 started acting up, as well as the tunnels underneath the Sphinx. It was wonderfully written as well.

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  • Posted May 16, 2009

    Slow, but builds.

    This book has a great, if different premise. Was a little slow at the get go, but once I started I found it hard to put down. Had to see the ending.
    Would have been a faster read, by cutting a lot of the technical jargon out...without lessening the impact of the story as a whole.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted May 24, 2007

    A reviewer

    This is by far my favorite book. I'm an /incredibly/ picky reader, and I think I'm very hard to please. But this book had me hooked! I finished it in 3 days because I couldn't put it down. I brought it to work, to school, to the dinner table. I recommend it to anyone who enjoys good reading. What really got me about this book was how many different areas of focus were included. Religion, chemistry, history, science and technology, mythology, and geography, just to name a few. It was an incredible book, hands down.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted May 17, 2007

    I loved this book

    Ok - parts were a bit slow, parts a bit too fast - but overall, I really loved this book! I was sorry to get to the end - I didnt want it to finish - I literally curled up everynight and finished within just over a week. Forget convention of what you know, and have been taught - and let the story unfold. What I really loved was how the religions of the world all come together. Mixing the religion and science together - really cool. The research that was done for this book was outstanding. I would love to see this in a movie!

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  • Anonymous

    Posted April 10, 2007

    Story Drags ever so slow

    I picked up this book solely because of the reviews given to it. As soon as I started reading it was more like I was reading a science book instead of a story book. Decipher's story drags ever so slow. Nothing happens in the first 150 pages, what you get is scientific explanations that is so well detailed that it ends up getting boring to read. I feel that some parts of the story are not really needed to keep the story going. They were just put there to add 100 pages that adds nothing to the story. The characters are so shallow that you never get to reall know them. It may have been a good read if it was refined some more.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted August 16, 2006

    Good book!

    I was lent this as an antidote to the dreadful Atlantis which I read a couple of months ago and it is considerably better. Once again it explores the myth of Atlantis and again it is chock full of facts and figures. The time, however, the author manages to find a plot and some character development too and I was quite caught up in the story of a group of men and women trying to save the world from destruction. Part sci-fi, part text book, part love story - not bad!

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  • Anonymous

    Posted October 11, 2006

    It's Movie Madness Time!

    This book looked rather intetesting to me, and it wasn't just from viewing the book's fabulous cover either. When I started reading it, all the unique individual characters came to life. I could tell this was well researched, detailed, and a labor of love. This is a book worth reading. However, it did take me some time to read, but it was one that had to be totally absorbed and savored. The action is very fluid and precise, and the consequences that of each character and what they had to endure is simply mind blowing. If someone doesn't make this into a movie soon, I swear I will soon go insane. I really, truly liked this book. I recommend it to anyone.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted July 27, 2006

    Not that great

    There have been very few books that after I get finished with reading them think 'THANK GOD' because it took an act of God to finish the book. The story line aspect of it was good, but there was just to much technological and scientific info in it it took away from the book.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted June 22, 2006

    Not Bad

    After reading this book I sort of feel that I just sat through a really long science, mythology, and physics class. The facts were interesting enough to keep me reading but the actual story lacked a little bit. Still a good read.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted February 26, 2006

    Too much of this, too little of that

    Just finished the book. I would recommend this book only for those who want more than a casual read. I would agree with some that the book is riveting, interesting, full of facts and data but the story suffers from scientific data overload and the characters lack real personality and the ability to interact believably. It seems that with every turn of the page, there's a new theory or scientific fact that we, the readers, have to be introduced to. It is abundantly clear that Mr. Pavlou went to great lengths to research everything about the scientific aspects of the story (ad nauseum), but the characters almost seem as though they were carelessly thrown into the story. Any time there was a hope of a human interaction, it was interrupted by dizzying scientific gobbledy-goop nerdspeak to ensure that we understand WHY things are supposed to be happening. Mr. Pavlou writes a good book, and I would read him again, but hopefully without assuming that I need to be as learned as he needed to be for the writing. ...and now I have this real desire to study ancient mythyologies and languages...

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