The Last Ark

Lost Secrets of Qumran

Fiction - Thriller - General
390 Pages
Reviewed on 11/11/2022
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Author Biography

Retired from a 36-year leadership career with Fortune 100 software, high-tech and global energy, Guy Morris has also been a published song writer for Disney Records, screenplay writer for Sojourn Entertainment, a patented inventor, a Coast Guard charter captain, a PADI diver, adventurer, and now, an author of intelligent, well-researched thrillers. The inspiration for The Last Ark came from several true stories, such as an Ark of the Covenant sold on the black market, the escape of a program from NSA spy labs, and decoding of the copper scroll found in the 1960s.

    Book Review

Reviewed by Anne-Marie Reynolds for Readers' Favorite

The Last Ark: Lost Secrets of Qumran by Guy Morris is book two in the SNO Chronicles series. Derek Taylor is on the run. Hunted by a murderous cult, he is searching for SLVIA, a DARPA AI that has escaped. Meanwhile, the US national defense systems are being undermined by a new kind of hack, and, while Taylor knows he should be looking into it, he needs to find the third temple, a temple SLVIA warned existed. His journey leads him to the Vatican and on to Israel, where he finds a copper scroll leading to Moses’ Ark, lost for over 2500 years. In Washington, Jenn Scott’s father is killed by one of Putin’s men, and when she is kidnapped, Taylor faces an impossible choice. Whichever way he turns, things are about to change forever.

The Last Ark: Secrets of Qumran by Guy Morris is a fast-paced thriller packed with action in a fantastic plot. There are several stories here, all part of a bigger plot that our main protagonist must uncover, and each thread is woven steadfastly into the intricate story. The dialogue is tight and engaging, not filled with unnecessary fluff, and it all adds to the story. The characters are engaging, likable, and easy to relate to and you’ll soon find yourself rooting for Derek Taylor. It’s often difficult to balance action and violence in a thriller – this one has the perfect mix and is one of the most thrilling, heart-pounding stories I have ever read. Although this is part of a series, I believe it could be read as a standalone story. If you love high-action political thrillers, you will love this story.

K.C. Finn

The Last Ark: Lost Secrets of Qumran is a work of fiction in the thriller and adventure subgenres. It is intended for the general adult reading audience and was penned by Guy Morris. In this thrilling novel which incorporates international politics, espionage, artificial intelligence, and murder into its exciting plot, we follow escaped fugitive Derek Taylor as he tracks down the elusive SLVIA AI. Determined to find the source of this intelligence, Taylor is beset by a murderous cult chasing him down, the promise of yet more violence in the future, followed by the sudden capture of Jenn Scott, putting him in an impossible position where hope seems fragile indeed.

Guy Morris does not lose a minute in this high-octane tale which manages to balance its tense moments of intrigue with some fantastic action sequences and a plot that races against time. One of the features of the novel that I found especially compelling was the detailed work on the plot and how the different threads of the cult, the AI investigation, and the political aspects came together perfectly to create a complex problem for Derek Taylor to solve. I also found the dialogue most engaging and an effective plot device for giving us a lot of exposition without the need for huge chunks of prose, which was refreshing and well-crafted for a novel this involved. The Last Ark is a highly recommended read for fans of fast-paced thriller novels, complex and rewarding political plots, and fans of all-out action everywhere.

Grant Leishman

The Last Ark: Lost Secrets of Qumran by Guy Morris is a stunning religious symbol/conspiracy in the Dan Brown mold but brought up to date with twenty-first-century technology and current world events. Derek Taylor, an expert in the field of AI (Artificial Intelligence), is on the run from the NSA (National Security Agency). He is hunting for an artificial intelligence program known as SLVIA. SLVIA escaped from the Americans some twenty years earlier but is feeding Derek with clues and titbits that are leading him to discover something monumental in the deserts of the Middle East, a discovery that will potentially set the stage for the final conflagration of Armageddon and the building of the third Jewish Temple, which is said to usher in the last days. Lieutenant Jenn Scott was the investigator responsible for Derek’s current fugitive status but she is wracked with guilt over her inquiry and the feelings she admits she has for the elusive and secretive Taylor. When she discovers that her father, Admiral Scott, was poisoned by the Russians, she travels to the Middle East to question the former U.S. President, who is now seeking political asylum from a possible indictment in Saudi Arabia. Jenn’s journey and Derek’s search are bound to cross paths as they come across information and relics that will change the course of history.

The Last Ark is an action-packed thriller that takes place in an area of the world that has been the scene of religious conflict since time immemorial. Author Guy Morris has truly tapped into the “now” with his story that includes events taking place all around us at this very time. I particularly appreciated the way he was seamlessly able to blend current-day events, people, and places with his fictional narrative. The AI aspect of the story looms large and leaves the reader asking questions about where the world is heading with artificial intelligence and what might be the potential outcomes. I loved the mystery of Derek Taylor and the simmering love/hate relationship between him and Jenn. It was clear, even to a tech and religious semi-illiterate, that the author has done extensive research and has a vast knowledge of the topics and for that he definitely deserves kudos. Equally, although the story has deep and at times mystical qualities, the action and excitement of a true thriller are definitely not neglected. The fight scenes are fast, furious, and realistic and although the villains are indeed mean, nasty and evil, the “good guys” are definitely not shining superheroes. They are shrouded in doubt, uncertainty, and mystery, which ensures that the entire story is exciting and intriguing. This is a fantastic read and every bit as good as any of the similar religious conspiracy blockbusters in the marketplace. I can highly recommend this book.