The Forever Horizon

Fiction - Science Fiction
230 Pages
Reviewed on 05/05/2018
Buy on Amazon

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    Book Review

Reviewed by Jamie Michele for Readers' Favorite

“Welcome to my dilemma, Dr. Price,” Little said, smiling slightly... In The Forever Horizon by Anthony Thomas Noto, forty-four-year-old Dr. Ray Price, a forensic scientist and mountaineer (the latter in his younger years), is called upon by his London mentor, Sir Larry Little, to investigate the body of George Mallory, found on Mount Everest. It's been eighty years since Mallory and his partner, Sandy Irvine, disappeared in 1924, but the frozen body of Mallory, discovered two thousand feet below the summit, neither fits his description nor appears to be more than a week and a half dead. It's also evident to the experienced pathologists that he didn't die from a fall, but in a manner that leads them to believe foul play was involved. As Price advances in his journey to find answers, his plane loses visibility and crashes, which is interesting, as it is believed that the real Mallory and Irvine were also engulfed in a zero visibility storm and a severe drop in barometric pressure. It's where Price wakes up - and what he's surrounded by - that forces the scientist into a chimera that defies everything he believed to be true.

Whoa! I had to take a moment after finishing The Forever Horizon by Anthony Thomas Noto just to let it all settle in. First of all, the writing itself is extraordinary. I adore classic literature and if this wasn't a sci-fi thriller I would fiercely argue that it's literary fiction. The characters, atmosphere, world, and plot are well developed and thoroughly fleshed out. The twists are wholly unexpected and brilliantly uncovered, but for me, top billing goes to the dialogue. It's pretty rare to read an indie where at least some of the dialogue doesn't make me roll my eyes. Noto has a gift for conversation that's authentic and believable, and this carries over into the overall narrative. I would absolutely recommend this book to lovers of science fiction, fantasy, and classic literature.

Deepak Menon

The Forever Horizon by Anthony Thomas Noto is an extraordinary fusing of historical events, real scenarios and known historical figures into the brilliant fabric of an amazing story, which may or may not be fiction – who can tell? Let’s flash back to 1924: George Mallory, Sandy Irvine and Noel Odell reach the last base camp, about to take that final step into the pantheon of Mount Everest legends. Forgetful Mallory has forgotten the flag and the special high-altitude night clothes needed if they get to the top and cannot get back down before nightfall, leaving them unprepared to survive a frigid night on Everest’s peak. Odell has lagged behind too far to catch up, so Irvine and Mallory decide to continue and climb the remaining 1500 feet of sheer ice and snow, challenged by the icy walls. No one has ever been this close before. Much later Odell sights them about to scale the final pyramid to the summit before clouds descend. That is the last time anyone sees Mallory or Irvine alive.

Present time: Dr. Raymond Price (one of America’s top forensic pathologists) is late for his meeting in London with his mentor Sir Lawrence Little, who acknowledges Price as his intellectual equal and has summoned him. Sir Lawrence, slightly miffed because of Price’s late arrival, informs Price that Mallory’s body had been found near the summit of Mount Everest in 1999 by the BBC and PBS funded search team for finding the bodies of Mallory and Irvine. The discourse that follows provides speculative but powerful insights into incredibly strange circumstances surrounding the probable death of Mallory – could it have been murder? As Dr. Little continues with his discourse, Price’s excitement grows, until he agrees to climb 27,000 feet up Mt. Everest, and examine Mallory’s body interred in the snow by the search team.

Anthony Thomas Noto then weaves strand after strand of loose threads, ranging from Buddhist philosophy to supernatural powers, DNA and fantasy, each adding to the reader’s dilemma in understanding what actually happened, making The Forever Horizon an interesting and thought provoking read. New powerful protagonists like Chiang, Sang Yoon, Taku and many others enter the story as it continues to its explosive end. The development of the plot is good and the flow is nice. A few lapses in grammar and spellings were observed as well as some errors in commonly known historical fact. The cover is attractive, as is the title, which adds to its marketability. A memorable quote from the book: “You can learn from a mistake that you made, but you can never get back the time that you used to make it.”

Emily-Jane Hills Orford

Dr. Raymond Price is a highly respected forensic pathologist. Being called to London for an urgent meeting with his mentor, Dr. Little, was a little unnerving, but not so much as being sent right from London to Nepal to climb the world’s tallest mountain, Mount Everest. All based on the recent discovery of a body, believed to be of a climber who disappeared in 1924. And, if things couldn’t get any stranger, the events that greeted Dr. Price as he came closer to his destination are beyond the bizarre, including the plane crash that killed all aboard, except Dr. Price. Where he awakens is beyond belief and leads to even more harrowing adventures and a romance.

I have always been a fan of James Hilton’s 1933 novel, Lost Horizon. The very concept of a Shangri-La, a blissful paradise where no one grows old, hidden somewhere in the Himalayas, is the stuff from which fantasies are born. The very notion of another take on this story led me to read Anthony Thomas Noto’s novel The Forever Horizon. The story begins with an introduction to the 1924 event when two Mount Everest climbers mysterious disappeared. It picks up again in the twenty-first century with a new search being instigated to find out what happened to those missing climbers. The author leads the reader through an adventure, complete with logical back story explanations to make things appear realistic. The characters, good and evil, are well developed and make a definite mark on the development of the plot. A good, classic read, on a par with Hilton’s novel.

Peggy Jo Wipf

Anthony Thomas Noto uses the mystery behind the disappearance of mountaineers George Mallory and Andrew Irvine as the foundation of his science fiction novel, The Forever Horizon. He spins a story about a civilization, hidden in a crevice of the Himalaya mountain range, which rescued these courageous men in their time of need. These ancient people strive to become an enlightened society and live far beyond normal years; they would have except for a virus which infected the young and old. When Dr. Raymond Price is commissioned to take samples of George Mallory’s body, his airplane trip sends him on a path from which no one has ever returned, though his Infinite Wisdom, or Seeing Eye, confirms his life will not end yet.

The Forever Horizon unlocks legends of ancient Asian folklore, bringing this world alive for the novice. I love how Anthony Thomas Noto opens a world around myths so enchanting that you feel there is truth hidden in the pages. I was most captivated by the Nian. I have seen these animated creatures in movies or parades, though I did not know their name or vicious tendencies. Noto keeps his readers hanging on his every word as the Supreme Guide battles to keep his rule over evil ambitious subordinates. As parts of The Forever Horizon are based on facts, I get an eerie sensation when I ponder what is fabricated and that which is truth. This book can stand alone, but I would love to read sequels of Supreme Guides, the lost Book of Knowledge, or a twist on a single Taran warrior which goes against his sadistic tendencies.