Shepherds of Destiny

Fiction - Science Fiction
188 Pages
Reviewed on 08/03/2019
Buy on Amazon

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    Book Review

Reviewed by Rabia Tanveer for Readers' Favorite

Shepherds of Destiny by Kiel Barnekov is a novel about the battle between good and evil and how our decisions factor into the future of everyone. Kristian Barnett and Aaron Adams are both from different timelines but they have three things in common; they have advanced ALS, their brains are unaffected by the disease and they are both approached by The Guardian. Aaron is from the year 2038 while Kristian is from 2028. Both have lost hope of surviving the disease but they are given the opportunity to preserve their brains by having these installed in a cyborg body. They are both approached by The Guardian in their spiritual form and are given tasks to help The Guardian change the course of the timeline. While some changes can lead to the destruction of countries, others will lead to the betterment of the future of humankind. What will these two men do when they are approached by The Guardian? Can two men change the course of life for generations?

Shepherds of Destiny by Kiel Barnekov touches on so many genres and the author nails every single one of them. This novel will be enjoyed by fans of supernatural, science fiction and even medical thrillers. The narrative is solid, you can almost taste the food mentioned, feel the breeze described and feel the intensity of the situation while reading the novel. The author not only transports you into the world of Adam and Kristian, but he also paints vivid pictures for you to enjoy. I enjoyed how both Adam and Kristian had their moral compass tested by The Guardian, how they had to make some hard choices and, when they did, they had to deal with the consequences. Kudos to the author for writing such a gem! Simply amazing!

Edith Wairimu

In Kiel Barnekov’s Shepherds of Destiny, a business magnate is diagnosed with amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS) which leads to the decision to preserve his brain awaiting the development of a cyborg body into which the brain can be transferred. Until his diagnosis, Kristian Barnett runs Barnett Industries and is the CEO of the company. While his brain is in preservation, Barnett is approached by a spirit form known as The Guardian. He informs Barnett that he is caught between the physical and spiritual worlds where he will have assignments to carry out. Barnett and Aaron Adams, a man whose mind has also been downloaded into a cyborg body, have similar experiences with The Guardian. They are assigned the responsibility of correcting past and future timelines where failure could mean the loss of millions of lives and a change in history as we know it.

Set in the years beginning from 2028, Shepherds of Destiny by Kiel Barnekov moves between different timelines creating a fascinating string of events. From the American Civil War to World War II and back to 2052 where evil once again is at war with good, the conflicts in the book continue to enthrall. The possibility of a Nazi win in WWII or a Confederate victory against the Union heightens the suspense in the plot as Adams and Barnett, respectively, are tasked with the responsibility of correcting what could turn out as horrific disasters. The plot’s pace is fast, skipping details that would not aid the forward movement of the plot. Shepherds of Destiny is gripping as it incorporates unique aspects alongside time travel.

Charles Remington

Kristian Barnett, a wealthy industrialist, is dying. Diagnosed with ALS (Amyotrophic lateral sclerosis, which famously affected the great physicist Stephen Hawking) the prognosis is not good and within a few years, he is reduced to communicating by blinking one of his eyes. He is fortunate, however, that his wife is involved in a top-secret government project with the objective of transferring the complete consciousness of critically-injured servicemen to cyborg bodies. Shepherds of Destiny by Kiel C. Barnekov describes how, using Kristian’s accumulated wealth and his wife’s expertise, they set up a purpose-built facility to advance the project’s development. In the meantime, his brain is put into an induced coma and removed from his body to await the eventual transfer.

What he did not expect to happen while he was technically between life and death was to meet an individual who introduces himself as the Guardian, and who involves him in work to maintain the world’s timelines in the proper order. His first assignment proves to be a critical event during the American Civil War which he manages to correct. Before long, however, he is joined by Aaron, a subject who had preceded him on the cyborg program and who had already completed a mission during the Second World War. Can Kristian’s consciousness be successfully downloaded into a cyborg body, and if the procedure is successful will he still have contact with the Guardian? Will he and Aaron continue to be involved in world-changing missions?

Shepherds of Destiny examines the possibilities of placing a human consciousness into an artificial body. At the same time, it strays into the esoteric by speculating what would happen to a mind trapped somewhere between life and death. The overall theme is the perpetual struggle between good and evil, with the conservative-led USA representing all that is good in the world. I found the prose a little overworked in places, but Kiel C. Barnekov still manages to maintain a reasonable pace to his narrative. The medical details and political machinations are well-observed and the ending leaves room for further adventures. I was impressed by the amount of work and research which has gone into this author’s first novel.