In approximately seventy-two hours, a little-known Middle Eastern terrorist group plans to bring about the end of the world. Convinced that they are the descendants of angels, they believe they are on the verge of at last being returned to heaven. Central to their plan is the kidnapping of Martin Faber, an undercover American scientist whose research has led him to an extraordinary secret.

I love a good thriller, especially one that has ties to history, and the idea of a book that introduced the history of religious traditions other than Christianity had me intrigued. Because I am fussy about books that are based on research, I often investigate the author’s educational background. Sierra is a journalist, so I was relatively confident with the statement on the back of my Advanced Reading Copy: “Sierra spent years investigating scientific and historical mysteries related to mankind’s efforts to engage directly with the Almighty…and studied the creation stories of many cultures.” Everything sounded fine so far. What made me cautious was the statement “He reinterpreted ancient texts.” Without knowing what texts were reinterpreted, I was a bit skeptical, but since it is only a work of fiction I set to reading with an open mind.

The plot was fast paced and involved enough shady characters to keep the story moving. However, the story and characters were very predictable. I knew which side of the drama all of the characters fell on long before it was revealed in the book and was disappointed that there were no surprises. The characters were not well developed and there were so many minor characters that it was hard to keep them all straight. The author seemed to have put more effort into adding as much research as possible into the dialogue that I found myself skimming over large portions of the book.

Noah’s Ark, descendants of angels, the book of Enoch, the Epic of Gilgamesh, stones that are necessary to be able to communicate with God… There are many religious elements that seemed to have been thrown into a blender and poured into this story, and the results are not pretty. I found this book disappointing, ridiculous and not worth the time. Having said that, I have many friends (and a husband) who are Old Testament scholars and I would be interested to hear their thoughts on Sierra’s reinterpretation.

I give this book 3 stars out of 5.

I received this book free from Atria Books. I was not required to write a positive review. The opinions I have expressed are my own.

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