The Prophet Paradox, by Danny Tuttle
Hey guys, how have you been?
It’s been a cold and blustery week here in the East of England so I’m wrapped up warm while writing this.
Today, I’m happy to share my review of The Prophet Paradox, a science fiction / supernatural tale by Danny Tuttle. So, if you’ve got your favourite drink to hand and are ready, let’s begin.
When Anne Heart uncovers an ancient manuscript (part of the New Testament of the Christian Bible) in a mysterious monastery, she realizes its value and steals it, fleeing back to America, where she and her colleagues discover a new verse.
Meanwhile, physicist Maxwell Moore discovers a supernova in the constellation of Betelgeuse, which will shortly appear as a glistening red star in the sky. However, his early prediction of the star’s appearance leads to chaos, with many branding Max as a prophet. Coincidentally, this is the same star mentioned in the newly discovered verse of the manuscript Anne stole.
As ancient secrets are revealed, Anne and Max’s lives will become hopelessly intertwined.
There were many characters present in The Prophet Paradox, each playing either a large or small part in developing the story and moving the plot along. However, I’d like to focus on four individuals in particular.
Firstly, let’s look at Dr Anne Heart. Anne was a courageous woman who stood up for what she believed in. As an orphan, she always felt lost and struggled to trust others. Additionally, as an archaeology scholar, she proved to be highly intelligent and curious by nature. However, it was this burning curiosity which had the tendency to get her into trouble. Overall, I found her to be a likable and admirable character, mostly because she dared to do dangerous things in the name of what she thought was right, and never gave up.
Secondly, I turn to Maxwell Moore (Max), a dedicated physicist. Max was a bit harder to pin down personality-wise. He seemed respectable and gentle in nature, driven by his life-long passion for science. He was always using logic to reason things out and seemed to have a good heart, despite his multiple casual relationships. I disliked the fact that he bedded a woman and then seemed outraged at her jealousy when he immediately slept with another. At this point, he seemed a bit childish in comparison to the more serious man of science I came to know over the course of the story.
Thirdly, let’s discuss The Abbot, head monk at the ancient monastery where Anne found the manuscript. The Abbot was a curious character right from the off. He initially appeared soft-spoken and somewhat detached, preoccupied by whispers from ‘beings of higher consciousness’ which are referred to as his spiritual masters. There is talk about him mastering ancient mysteries, but not really an explanation as to what they are or how he is mastering them. His manner of speaking quickly became tedious to read, talking in circles that made little sense. As the story continued, a darkness arose about him, corrupting him. While at first, I thought him to be a decent holy man, he soon became a dark and mysterious foe in Anne Heart’s life.
Finally, we come to Adam, a deeply religious man who often calls himself Michael. I’ll be perfectly honest, I did not like Adam, not at any point in the story. His narrow perception of the world as coloured by obsessive religious views led him to see most people as somehow beneath him. He professed often to being a good Christian, however, his actions are nothing alike the peace and grace of the Christ figure he so believes in. For the most part, he came across as creepy and obsessive (especially over Anne) and always seemed on edge, playing with two copper balls he kept on his person at all times. At best, Adam seemed deluded: I wasn’t sure if he was supposed to have a split personality or something. The end of the book certainly implied it, however, it was something which wasn’t explored well, leaving me uncertain.
The Prophet Paradox was an interesting book, which was richly imagined. Below are a few of the positive aspects I identified.
- The author has researched certain aspects of his story well and has an insight into many interesting topics, such as ancient history and religion.
- The sensory descriptions of places, especially the Monastery of Saint Hypatia, really brought the settings to life.
- The characters were interesting and each had a distinct presence and sense of individuality.
While there were some positives and I enjoyed the story overall, there were also a few negatives which I feel let the story down.
- The second chapter acts as an enormous information dump, which has a lot of detail all at once and veers away from the story completely. I feel a shorter passage (for additional context) may have been useful here as I almost stopped reading altogether.
- Some of the character’s conversations were very long-winded. I found myself struggling to keep reading.
- The overly exaggerated accents of some characters were hard to read and understand.
- The idea of Anne as a reincarnation of Sobekneferu was interesting and I found myself excited to learn more about this. However, despite a few brief flashbacks at the start of the book, this idea is barely explored and is simply left to be forgotten, which was disappointing.
- The author seemed a bit too ambitious with all of their ideas, but didn’t execute or explore them each in depth. As such, a lot of the sub-plots made little sense and didn’t connect well with the overall story.
- The ending felt rushed and resulted in a disappointing climax, with no resolution to a lot of issues. I was left with far more questions than I had answers and felt cheated after reading so much.
Overall, I found a lot more negatives than positives to the story.
Despite the number of negatives I identified, the story did have many interesting and profound quotes peppered throughout. So far, I have managed to whittle my list of favourite quotes down to the following four.
1) ‘The truth should never be comfortable.’
2) ‘It takes a brave person to face their own fears.’
3) ‘The truth will take from you every comforting illusion- Once you learn the truth, you can’t unlearn it.’
4) ‘We all see what we want to see, and we all know what we want to know, and we all believe what we want to believe.’
Overall, The Prophet Paradox was a strange and mystical adventure, which explored religion, science, and unusual magic. The characters were unique and interesting and each had their own agenda, and pursued it relentlessly. However, I feel that the author was a little too ambitious with his ideas and so some parts of the story were lacking.
My Rating: 3 stars.
Recommended to: Those looking for an unusual read which blends sci-fi, religion, and mysticism.
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