Reviewed by Fiona Ingram for Readers' Favorite
Lewis Snyder, an American soldier on duty in Iraq, stumbles across an ancient Sumerian relic inside an old mosque but forgets about it in the turmoil and bloodshed surrounding him. A few years later, he is out the war zone and ‘retired’ from active duty. His experiences have left him scarred and disillusioned. The last thing he wants is any involvement with the military. However, Snyder is the best man for the job NASA has in mind for him because he is the best at his job. In the intervening years, NASA has picked up a radio signal from a distant planet, code name Oblivion. This information holds dire implications for humankind, and to date no one besides a small group of top military personnel knows anything about it. At a meeting with a team of experts, Snyder learns that the relic originates from this planet and the strange symbols carved into it are meaningful. One member of the team is a knowledgeable preacher who knows his Bible backwards and is not afraid to speak up.
Their mission is to travel to this mysterious planet via an advanced technology, using wormholes, and investigate the place. Satellite pictures reveal a ruined ancient city with temples and pyramids that appear to predate the earliest known buildings on Earth. Once there, the team find themselves being picked off, one by one, by some kind of monstrous entities. Are they gods, demons, or fallen angels? Snyder comes full circle and faces his past when he realizes that he confronted this ancient enemy long ago in his youth. Can Snyder prevent these once glorious creatures from recolonizing Earth? Who will win the ultimate battle between good and evil?
This is a blockbuster read for sci-fi and fantasy fiction fans. The author has created a fascinating blend of fantasy, technology, history, and archaeology to take this novel out of the ordinary and give readers something thought provoking. The character of Lewis Snyder, an excellent main protagonist, holds everything together as he works out the enemy’s next step. The plot has enthralling twists and turns, and taps into age-old beliefs that still have the power to move us. My one disappointment was the characters of the two female team members. They were shallow and more like glamor girls than real scientists. That said, the author paints a brilliant picture of a 'sulfurous' ‘otherworld’ to which the fallen angels retreated after the Great Flood. Their gradual disintegration into decay is compelling. With mounting tension, non-stop action, and a powerful sideswipe of an ending (I never saw it coming!) this book will keep readers riveted. The novel was deservedly nominated for the 17th EVVY Awards.