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Posted May 10, 2014
Not that it is a bad book, but I felt it was a little too technical for me. Some of the book just went right over my head. And it was difficult for me to keep at it and get it finished. I liked the characters of Father Ryan McKeown and Emily, the archaeologist. They were both very educated and intelligent and understood their mission.
Emily who had friended the monsignor who was researching the truth about the early church beginnings, was devastated to learn of his demise, (murder). She remembered most of the information she had been told by Isaac. Father Ryan was asked to follow in his steps and bring the information to light. Together they travelled and studied and fell into evil hands as they sought the truth. The adventure was good. The sexual tension between them was great, but they each tried to keep that on the back burner!
Possibly, I did not appreciate the challenge to my own belief system. The book and the alternate theory presented much to be contemplated and was very thought provoking.
Posted October 14, 2013
Kenneth John Atchity in his new book, “The Messiah Matrix” published by Imprimatur Britannica/Story Merchant Books introduces us to Ryan McKeown and Emily Scelba .
From the back cover: To what lengths would the Vatican go to suppress the secret origins of its power?
The Messiah Matrix is a myth-shattering thriller whose protagonists delve into the secrets of the past and expose those who hide them still.
A renowned scholar-monsignor is killed in a mysterious hit-and-run in Rome. A Roman coin is recovered from a wreck off the coast of ancient Judea. It’s up to his young American protegé–a Jesuit priest–and a vivacious, brilliant archaeologist to connect these seemingly disparate events and unravel the tapestry that conceals in plain view the greatest mystery in the ecclesiastical world.
Together they pursue their passion for truth while fighting to control their passion for each other. What they uncover is an ancient Roman imperial stratagem so controversial the Curia fears it could undermine the very foundations of the Roman Catholic faith.
From the ancient port of Caesarea to Rome’s legendary catacombs and the sacred caves of Cumae, this contemporary novel follows their exhilarating quest to uncover the truth about the historical existence of the real Christian Savior.
The Messiah Matrix may prove to be one of the most thought-provoking books ever written. Classical scholar and Yale Ph.D. Dr. Kenneth John Atchity is the only author alive today capable of creating this literary and historically-based masterpiece.
“All that is hidden must now be revealed.”
Let’s agree that “The Messiah Matrix” is a work of fiction written by an author of fiction. It is not truth nor does it represent itself to be truth. With this as my foundation this is one very exciting book. Ryan and Emily are running around trying to solve the few clues that they have while, simultaneously, trying to stay alive because there are assassins trying to stop them. Do I agree with the premise at the conclusion of this book? Of course not. But then I do not have to as this is fiction. ”The Messiah Matrix” is loaded with twists and turns that will leave you guessing all the while you are flipping pages to find out what happens next. Mr. Atchity has provided us with a very exciting book with clever characters that I hope come back in this very talented author’s next book.
Disclosure of Material Connection: I received this book free from Partners In Crime. I was not required to write a positive review. The opinions I have expressed are my own. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255: “Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising.”
Posted September 16, 2013
Do we really know how much of history is truth and how much is slanted in favor of those who wrote it?
The Messiah Matrix by Kenneth John Atchity is an intense and riveting thriller that will leave you breathless at the end as historical secrets from the past are uncovered, threatening to expose powerful religious beliefs, doctrines and secrets as heavily veiled lies designed to protect the Church in Rome. At the bottom of the tangled webs of deceit may lay the answer to who is the real Christian Savior. Will centuries of believers rest in the knowledge that Jesus IS the Christian Messiah, or will the real answer come from ancient Rome, centuries before his birth? Two people from completely different backgrounds will risk their lives to expose the answer, no matter what it is.
Kenneth John Atchity takes historical facts and contemporary fiction and pieces them together to create a fast-paced mystery/thriller whose roots took hold long ago, but are unearthed with the discovery of a single coin. Pairing a newly ordained Jesuit Priest with a young and brilliant archaeologist, Mr. Atchity deftly creates two perspectives that come together well in the quest for hidden truths with richly detailed scenes, including “flashbacks” to ancient times, in supposition of what machinations were contrived for the history books.
Will some find this book a little uncomfortable? Possibly, but this is a work of fiction, based partially on historical facts and manipulations. I believe the author intends to cause the reader to invest themselves enough in this book to question whether history is always exact. One does not have to believe all that is written, but to consider that there is more intrigue in the world than often thinks and there always has been. If you are looking for a book that will make you think outside of the box, almost creating your own “subplots” or “what ifs,” The Messiah Matrix could be that book you’re looking for!
I'd like to thank Kenneth John Atchity for providing me with this review copy in exchange for my honest review.
Posted June 3, 2013
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The newly published fiction novel, The Messiah Matrix by Kenneth John Atchity is a unique hybrid of a detective story, history, and religious fantasy tale in one story. Atchity serves up a large dose of religious conspiracy theory to satisfy the discriminating tastes of even the most paranoid, staunch atheist reader.
The author goes into extensive detail describing a fictitious, yet well woven quasi-historical theory of the origins of the Roman Catholic Church and Jesus. In fact, the same readers that actually believed Dan Brown's intricate tales of church intrigue and conspiracy theories in the fictional novel, The Davinci Code, may be the very same gullible readers who may believe that Atchity's tale is in fact true. Because of its realism, I would advise impressionable individuals to pass this novel up as they may be easily led to believe it is true. Yet, this imaginative tale far exceeds the talents of the popular Dan Brown novel with its insertion of authentic historical details and the unique, and unexpected climactic end. I was quite surprised at the imagination of Atchity. This fictional work can almost be deemed a clever attempt to re-write ancient history and undermine the authenticity of the biblical gospel and new testament. At minimum this book calls into question the authority and the credibility of the Christian church, and more specifically, the Roman Catholic Church. The inclusion of authentic and relevant details intertwined with fictional details, make this a clever piece of deception and this work may leave the uneducated reader who is less grounded in history, second guessing what he thinks he knows about ancient history and religion. Nominally religious readers may find they lose their faith altogether. The insertion of a look a like "Imprimature" on the book's spine may mislead some Catholic readers into thinking this is a religious book sanctioned by the church. I am fairly certain the bait and switch attempt to draw in the religious audience is not the author's intent. The ancient Catholic symbol of the Chi-Ro within the text, Latin phrases and the illustrations of actual ancient Roman coinage as well as fictionalized false coinage all serve to complete an aura of authenticity in selling this alternate "historical" reality to the reader.
History as well as archeology enthusiasts will enjoy the vivid depictions of the sites, fictionalized ancient accounts, historical figures and archeological references in the various historical time periods and various ancient cultures. Josephus, the Roman emperors, Constantine, Herod as well as other ancient personalities are referenced. The non religious historical details, ancient philosophies and beliefs are educational as well as entertaining. This book presents a very interesting scenario of an alternate historical reality involving commonly known events in ancient classical history- namely Jesus, the ancient church and ancient Rome. The history student will find this book entertaining as an intriguing "what if" type of historical scenario. In light of all those apocryphal gospels such as the gospel of Thomas and the false works that allegedly claim to bring to light the infancy and so called "lost" years of Jesus, this book adds to the plethora of confusion, mystery and subterfuge surrounding the bible and church history. It even has its own gospel according to Augustus.
I feel that the author's biases against organized religion- specifically the Catholic church is obvious in the writing details. For example, any reference to a Catholic sacrament included additional opinion as to its efficacy. For example as early as page 11, the author's opinion is introduced when he calls into questions the last rights offered by the priest in the statement that the absolution "may or may not have opened" the eternal gates. In otherwords, Atchity second guesses the effectiveness of the sacraments. Some religious Catholic readers who catch these subtle insults to their faith might take offense. The appendix or chart in the back of the book boldly equates biblical history as "Mythical" history. Actual historical events are set side by side with biblical events that he calls myth. Parallels and connections are made between the divine claims of Jesus with the Roman Caesar. Biblical concepts and spiritual phrases such as the "Keys to the Kingdom", "den of thieves", "loaves and fishes", "hell", "He is risen" and "Son of God" are reinterpreted with new meaning. Literal and practical interpretations replace the biblical, faith based meanings. The implication is that the gospels have been misread and misinterpreted, and there is another non spiritual explanation and that the Catholic church has been responsible for a cover-up fooling even sincere clergy as well as the faithful laymen. Nevertheless, the author is a talented writer, who puts together an intelligently written, researched work of fiction that will be sure to engage even the most educated reader. The extent of factual historical information might lose some modern day readers. Yet I feel the detailed historical elements adds to its value and richness as it transports the reader to ancient Rome. It is not surprising to learn that Atchity is a college professor. To give details as to the actual storyline and the historical scenario presented, would surely spoil the book's surprise for those who wish to read it. Therefore I find I have to cut this review short. It is sufficient to say that the author provides an alternate, non religious, yet interestingly literal interpretation of some faith based elements of biblical history. I can imagine the author bursting with excitement in anticipation as to the reactions of surprise that readers, as well as his professional colleagues - will certainly have when they get to the end of the story.
As a blogger , I received a free copy of this book for review published by the Story Merchant and Imprimatur Britannia. I was not required to write a positive review and the ideas expressed are my own.
Posted March 15, 2013
I received a free copy of this book in exchange for my honest review. This was a great thrill ride. The monsignor dies leaving a cryptic message. It’s up to archeologist Emily, and Jesuit Priest, Ryan to find the connection between his death and a Roman coin.
Although the book starts off a little slow, it does pick up quite the pace later on. Dr. Atchity weaves a fascinating tale, with a great adventure and lots of action. The story was so well written that it actually has plausibility if it wasn’t a work of fiction or if someone was faltering in their faith. I loved the plot and the characters were great, you could connect with them. If you like archeological adventures like Indiana Jones and you don’t mind the slow start before the action starts, this is a great book for you.
Posted February 24, 2013
Reviewed by Stefan Vucak for Readers' Favorite
Emily Scelba, an archaeologist, uncovers an old Roman coin from time of Emperor Augustus. She sends it to a museum for authentication, only to be told it was stolen. Father Ryan McKeown witnesses the death of Bishop Isaac, whose dying words reveal a secret to be revealed. Emily and Ryan literally bump into each other in Rome, both looking to unravel Isaac’s secret. This leads them through Roman catacombs, entanglement with the Jesuits who are on the verge of reestablishing the cult religion founded by Augustus, the son of Julius Caesar, proclaimed god. They reveal to the world the true basis of Christian religion, to the consternation of the faithful.
With ‘The Messiah Matrix’, Kenneth Atchity takes the reader into a fast paced journey of ancient intrigue--history most people don’t know exists and may not want to hear--and a struggle for power and personal discovery. Atchity brings a wealth of research into the book and combines it with professional writing that kept me turning the pages. If you want to know an alternate origin of Christianity, this is the book for you.
Posted February 24, 2013
Reviewed by Jack Magnus for Readers' Favorite
"The Messiah Matrix" by Kenneth John Atchity sweeps the reader right into the action as a Jesuit priest is run down in the middle of a street in Rome. The driver of the three-wheeled truck is horrified when he realizes that his victim is wearing a Roman collar and cannot understand why the church would have ordered this assassination. The dying man asks him to deliver a cryptic message to another priest, Father Ryan, and the driver fulfills that wish. Meanwhile, Emily, an archaeological iconographer, has discovered a rare gold coin in a wreck off the Palestinian coast, which is stolen on the orders of a Church functionary. Emily and Father Ryan are thrown together in a search for the coin and the answers to why the church ordered Monsignor Isaac's murder and exactly what it is trying to conceal.
I enjoyed every minute I spent reading "The Messiah Matrix". There's action and adventure as well as a fascinating look into ancient church history. Monsignor Isaac's research is revealed piece by piece by Emily, who had been his correspondent, in the form of stories from the past. "The Messiah Matrix" keeps the reader putting together the pieces of the puzzle along with Emily and Father Ryan. I found myself wondering how the story would be resolved and really got involved -- something I truly enjoy and all-too-rarely experience when reading. Atchity has written a fun, exciting and informative book in "The Messiah Matrix," and I'm looking forward to reading more from this author.
Posted February 24, 2013
Reviewed by Alice DiNizo for Readers' Favorite
Impoverished Albanian Zbysek Bailin is hired by the Roman Catholic Church to kill one of its monsignors, Oscar Isaac. Monsignor Isaac knows his ancient history and has found through research that two dozen Roman historians were alive during the time of Jesus Christ but never mentioned him. Isaac is assassinated by Bailin, who in turn is killed but not before rushing to a local confessional where Father Ryan McKeown, S.J., hears his last words which repeat those of Monsignor Isaac, "memory is in the ashes of Jasius..in the Gesu". Father McKeown, a devout Jesuit priest, joins up with Emily Scelba, a young professor of archaeology at Yale. Together they discover through a very dangerous investigation that the DNA of Saint Paul indicated that Jesus Christ was the mythical persona of Augustus, the adopted son of Julius Caesar. They also find those within the Roman Catholic Church who think that the twelve apostles were nothing more than a new iteration of the Zodiac, and the Holy Trinity and the Immaculate Conception had their beginnings in mythology. Can Father Ryan and Emily discover the truth with their lives intact?
"The Messiah Matrix" by author Kenneth Atchity is well-written with a clever plotline that Dan Brown fans will absolutely adore. The characters are all well-developed and believable, with realistic and interesting dialogue that keeps you turning the pages. Readers who can tolerate a theme of religious variation will absolutely love "The Messiah Matrix."
Posted February 24, 2013
Reviewed by Maria Beltran for Readers' Favorite
"The Messiah Matrix" is a brave novel that threatens to destroy a Christian myth. After a scholar-monsignor is killed in a mysterious hit and run accident in Rome, Father Ryan receives a confession that will change his life forever. At the same time, in a wreck off the coast of ancient Judea, Emily, a young archaeologist discovers an old coin that will become the key evidence that will challenge the Catholic Church's beliefs. What follows is a series of events that will bring these two people together. They will seek the truth together starting from the old port of Caesaria to the catacombs of Rome. And in the course of this journey, they will also fall in love with each other.
"The Messiah Matrix" is a novel that may subvert the foundation of the Catholic Church itself. Dr. Kenneth John Atchity has succeeded in writing an intriguing novel that will make the reader think twice about the identity of Jesus Christ. Action starts on the first page and the reader is sucked in as the suspense grows throughout the novel. Passionate about the truth, the characters of Father Ryan and Emily are both interesting and compelling. The narrative goes on in an exhilarating pace that left me breathless. Atchity knows his subject and cleverly weaves an interesting story around it. Being a Classical scholar and a Yale Ph. D graduate, it is a given that he has done his research. Coming up with this intense and action packed novel just shows his versatility. Peppered with historical facts, "The Messiah Matrix" may well make us question our accepted belief on the identity of the son of God himself.
Posted February 24, 2013
Reviewed by Stephanie Dagg for Readers' Favorite
With its key elements of religious intrigue in the form of revelations about the history of Christianity and an associated interesting artifact, this book, The Messiah Matrix by Ken Atchity, can’t fail to be compared to Dan Brown’s Da Vinci Code. And it compares extremely favorably. This is an impressive piece of writing that keeps you engrossed from start to finish, with suspense, adventure and romance, as it challenges traditional religious views. A man who has killed a priest confesses his sin to Father Ryan, but very soon after is himself murdered. Father Ryan sees the act and as he gives the man the last rites, the murderer gives him a message that sends him off a hunt to discover the origins of Christianity. He crosses paths with archaeologist Emily Scelba, an intelligent, feisty archaeologist in charge of an underwater excavation, unearths a Roman coin, the Augustan aureus, that is evidence that the generally perceived version of Christianity is incorrect. This valuable artifact is stolen by a duplicitous friend. Ryan and Scelba team up to track it down. They’re not natural allies and so it turns into a fascinating partnership for the reader to follow. Where Emily is outgoing and decisive, Ryan is anxious, cautious, introspective.
The action moves between the present and the past. All the settings are vivid and the historical ones bear evidence to an immense amount of research by the author. The characters, despite the speed at which they seem to be constantly moving much of the time in this breathless adventure, have depth and complexity. There are occasional pauses when some of the theological discussion slows down the book’s pace and give us plenty to think about. The book is certainly controversial and that’s refreshing and rewarding. The chart of events at the back of the book, drawn up by Ryan and Emily, that juxtaposes actual history with mythical/biblical history, that closes the book is an inspired touch. This is a precisely and intricately woven novel,expertly crafted and an absolute must-read.