Monday, February 26, 2018

Book Review: 'The Ancient Ones' by C.E. Allan

New Jersey author C.E. Allan was born in London, England. He studied Clinical Hypnosis and his passion is for adult, high action-adventure, fantasy, sci-fi novels have brought him to the point of writing his dreams. THE ANCIENT ONES is his debut novel. From the `quick facts' he offers such quips as the fact that he is `caffeine dependant organism' and a proud Nerd/Geek. He also seems to have a terrific sense of humor!

Before Allan's writing begins he places the following before our eyes: `I am Enki! They stand before me, praising me. Enki, the lord of the destinies. I am the first born of Anu. I am a great storm rising over the great earth, I am the great lord of the land. I am the principal among all rulers, the father of all the foreign lands. I am the big brother of the gods, I bring prosperity to perfection. I am the seal-keeper of heaven and earth. I am the wisdom and understanding of all the foreign lands. - Sumerian Tablets, 4000 B.C.' He then opens his story with a Prologue in 1998 in Paris, France - so many characters and events that remaining in orbit is a challenge. An example (and an important indication of the style of writing and references to what lies ahead): `He entered the chateau and was able to feel the presence of High Lord Daemonium, which made him lose control of his body. His heart started to beat rapidly, his breathing became short, his legs, and his hands trembled, his palms became clammy, and his stomach did summersaults and flips continually. Every footstep seemed to echo, as he walked towards the presence. The door to the grand living room was open. Inside he could hear crying. Adrianna, Tianna. Collins ran inside, to see Tianna lying unconscious on the white marble floor, her small face in a pool of blood. Collins collapsed to his knees noticing the blood coming from her mouth. Standing by her was the High Lord, the most formidable being he had ever seen. He looked like a giant, standing as tall as the ceiling. His muscular frame was monstrous. There were scars over his knuckles. He wore what looked like black armor with intricate ancient gold patterns underneath a dark purple royal robe with the same embellishments. His eyes looked as black as coal underneath his hood, his black beard falling to his chest. High Lord Daemonium removed his hood, looking down at Collins. His black eyes became green. At the other end of the room Collins saw Adrianna naked, curled in a ball, shaking uncontrollably. Blood was smeared on her face, her arms, and her legs.'

The past has been established on several levels now and we are 14 years later in Venefica Academy, Eden, and gradually Allan unwinds his coiled story, as he states in his synopsis: 'Learning the truth about your past and your destiny can be more daunting than living in ignorance. Maybe that's why people say ignorance is bliss...This is something twenty-year-old Sara Fuller quickly learns after she reunites with Niobe Freeman, after being in hiding for fourteen years. Niobe holds the secrets to a past she cannot remember and offers her the keys to a future where Sara can live the life she wants to live. When Sara inherits everything that is hers and lives the life she had always dreamt of, the unspeakable powers that turned her world upside down discover that she's still alive. Sara discovers the dreadful truth about her parents deaths and a prophecy that will determine the very fate of the planet. Sara's only hope of saving our world is to fulfill the inconceivable plan Niobe has set before her. Can Sara overcome her greatest fears to achieve the impossible? Can she accept the truth of her fate?' And as with all fine science fiction fantasy writing Allan ends his story with a revelation well worth the wait.

C.E. Allan has the makings of a fine writer. His novel is very long and overly complex but his ideas are solid and his language is rich. It will be interesting to follow his journey in to this rarefied field. Grady Harp, July 15

Editor's note: This review has been published with the permission of Grady Harp. Like what you read? Subscribe to the SFRB's free daily email notice so you can be up-to-date on our latest articles. Scroll up this page to the sign-up field on your right.