Secret of the Scribe - another intriguing tale from Douglas Misquita's quiver of stories. This time, it is a completely different adventure though, with no terrorists or FBI agents. It begins with unveiling a highly futuristic technology and then takes us along historical excavations and hair-raising expeditions through ancient sites.
Once again, Misquita packs in a fast-paced complex narration, that makes you flip back-and-forth through pages, along with his characteristic choreography of action scenes.
Blurb from Secret Of The Scribe:
When venture capitalist Mark Steinberg launches Linguistics, Inc. and unveils cutting-edge Nanotechnology-based communication, an enthralled human race is ready to proclaim the written and spoken word a thing of the past. But unknown to the world, Linguistics is setting the stage for total control. Leading the scattered resistance movement, Lance Michener wants to shut down the Linguistics network before the damage is total and irreversible. At the center of the conflict is the hunt for the mythical Book of Thoth - the Book of Wisdom of the Gods; a Book that contains the secrets of the language of all earthly species and languages yet unknown.
The plot: The blurb says it all. If you have watched the Indiana Jones series, then you'll know how this works. A mad hunt for some long-lost mythical object, driven by an unquenchable thirst for power, leads to the unraveling of ancient mysteries, following a lot of bloodshed. That, in a nutshell, is the main theme of Secret Of The Scribe. Douglas Misquita has interwoven "clues" from various sites scattered across the globe -- the findings of various expeditions, unrelated and unknown to each other -- to lead us all onto that final hunt for the so-called Book of Thoth.
A gripping storyline, combined with a fast pace. Plausible "ancient trap mechanisms" encountered by the expedition team. Misquita's signature style of introducing a lot of seemingly-unrelated "threads" in the first half of the book, and then connecting them all together eventually in the bigger plot. And yes, plenty of perfectly-scripted action scenes too. It is quite difficult to put this book down once you start on it. (I have been Missing-In-Action from Facebook ever since I got my copy!)
Despite that, Secret Of The Scribe didn't make for as crisp a reading as his first novel - Haunted. For one, there were editing mistakes in the book - minor, but, several. Secondly, some of the characters in the book seem to have just been forgotten by the author. For example, this Mark Steinberg, who is mentioned in the blurb above. He is simply "abandoned" after the first few pages. And then there is an Indian professor called Ishaan Anurag. I have not been able to figure out why he was in the plot at all, and I actually went through the entire book again, thinking that I might have missed out somewhere due to the complexity of the narration!
These oversights were totally unexpected from Douglas Misquita, because unlike some "national bestselling authors" of our country, he actually has stories to narrate - mature stories for mature readers, and not "half-baked" plots meant for those who have just started reading English fiction.
My rating: 3.5 out of 5. Secret Of The Scribe, by Douglas Misquita, reminds one of not just the Indiana Jones series, but also of Dan Brown and Wilbur Smith books. A good read for all those who enjoy mystery and adventure.
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Disclaimer: I received a free copy of this book for reviewing, but that has, in no way, affected my rating and opinions.
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