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From Barnes & NobleThe Barnes & Noble Review
Centuries-old secret religious orders clash in Eric Van Lustbader's Testament -- an action-packed, pedal-to-the-metal thriller that revolves around long-suppressed documents that could not only rock the very foundations of Christianity but also irrevocably transform humanity forever.
After Braverman "Bravo" Shaw's father is tragically killed in an accident, his uneventful life as a risk management consultant is quickly turned upside down. Bravo's dad, it turns out, is a high-ranking member of the Order of Gnostic Observatines, a secret sect of monks believed to be long extinct. For centuries, the Order has diligently guarded civilization-altering artifacts (including the Secret Gospel According to Mark, which discredits Jesus' divinity, and the Quintessence, the fabled fifth element that is rumored to have the power to raise the dead and bestow immortality) from an opposing sect bent on crushing the Order and exploiting its secrets. Bravo's father has concealed the cache, and with its location hidden in numerous cryptograms the race is on -- and so is the countdown to Armageddon…
The Testament will inevitably be compared to Dan Brown's The Da Vinci Code -- there's just no escaping it -- but this novel is much more reminiscent of EVL's 2004 espionage masterwork The Bourne Legacy. Sure, there are cryptographic riddles, labyrinthine quests, and historical religious subject matter aplenty; but the real power of this novel lies in its never-ending plot twists and breathtakingly fast pacing. While certainly not one of Van Lustbader's defining works -- like The Bourne Legacy, The Ninja, or The Ring of Five Dragons -- this meaty thriller will have readers captivated until the very last page. Paul Goat Allen