Sunday, February 25, 2018

Book Review: 'Illuminati' by Elizabeth Alsobrooks

Arizona author Elizabeth Alsobrooks loves mythology and ancient literature and history and these passions are evident in this her debut novel.

Elizabeth brews a story called ILLUMINATI - and for those for whom this is a strange word, `The Illuminati (or `enlightened') is a name given to several groups, both real and fictitious. Everyone has seen it - the so-called "All-Seeing Eye", following the world's population around, controlling it, not allowing people to live their lives in peace. This beady eye is all-seeing, all-knowing and all-powerful - and it is allegedly the symbol of an influential secret society known as the Illuminati. The Illuminati--along with Freemasonry and other secret societies--were outlawed with the encouragement of the Roman Catholic Church in 1784. Central to some of the most widely known and elaborate conspiracy theories, the Illuminati have been depicted as lurking in the shadows and pulling the strings and levers of power in dozens of novels, movies, television shows, comics, video games and music videos. Some conspiracy theorists claim that the Illuminati observe Satanic rituals.' She also incorporates `The Book of Life' and other moments of mythology and historical data in weaving a tale that she opens with a Prologue set in Persia of 2500 BC in which we gain a glimpse of the name of the upcoming main character: "This is the story of you and me, Nalini. It's a history of our people, of our heritage." "Tell me about our people, mother," she begged, her irrepressible curiosity making her forget her earlier fears. The queen knelt, drawing Nalini against her side. "Long ago, in ancient times so far in history most no longer remember," her mother explained in the soothing singsong voice of a sage revealing the past, "our people came here from a place known as Nibiru."

And now with her graceful flow of language she jumps to contemporary time to open her fascinating fantasy well described in her synopsis: `Ljluka Vargas, immortal prince and the cool-headed enforcer for the Vargas Dynasty, must go up against his most intriguing enemy, the mysterious Nalini. She intends to beat him to the secret archaeological site of The Book of Life that contains the genetic secrets of their ancient ancestors. In order to escape the cruel domination of her family and gain freedom for her mother, Nalini assumes the role of assassin. In her rival, the sleek and deadly Luc, she finds a different kind of danger. She's supposed to eliminate him, but that would foil destiny's plan for them to be together. It's a race from power-hungry D.C. cabinet rooms through the secret realms of the Vatican, from cloud forests and desert sands to the caverns of the Underworld as mankind hangs in the balance. For whoever possesses the Book of Life has the potential to rule the world, offering or denying immortality to the human race.'

Elizabeth has created a fine crossover between mythological paranormal science fiction and a very stimulating love story and adventure. The book is lengthy so plan on enjoying as a fine weekend read. For a debut novel it shows great promise. Grady Harp, August 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.