The Messiah Matrix

Fiction - Mystery - Historical
410 Pages
Reviewed on 02/11/2013
Buy on Amazon

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    Book Review

Reviewed by Maria Beltran for Readers' Favorite

"The Messiah Matrix" is a brave novel that threatens to destroy a Christian myth. After a scholar-monsignor is killed in a mysterious hit and run accident in Rome, Father Ryan receives a confession that will change his life forever. At the same time, in a wreck off the coast of ancient Judea, Emily, a young archaeologist discovers an old coin that will become the key evidence that will challenge the Catholic Church's beliefs. What follows is a series of events that will bring these two people together. They will seek the truth together starting from the old port of Caesaria to the catacombs of Rome. And in the course of this journey, they will also fall in love with each other.

"The Messiah Matrix" is a novel that may subvert the foundation of the Catholic Church itself. Dr. Kenneth John Atchity has succeeded in writing an intriguing novel that will make the reader think twice about the identity of Jesus Christ. Action starts on the first page and the reader is sucked in as the suspense grows throughout the novel. Passionate about the truth, the characters of Father Ryan and Emily are both interesting and compelling. The narrative goes on in an exhilarating pace that left me breathless. Atchity knows his subject and cleverly weaves an interesting story around it. Being a Classical scholar and a Yale Ph. D graduate, it is a given that he has done his research. Coming up with this intense and action packed novel just shows his versatility. Peppered with historical facts, "The Messiah Matrix" may well make us question our accepted belief on the identity of the son of God himself.

Stephanie Dagg

With its key elements of religious intrigue in the form of revelations about the history of Christianity and an associated interesting artifact, this book, The Messiah Matrix by Ken Atchity, can’t fail to be compared to Dan Brown’s Da Vinci Code. And it compares extremely favorably. This is an impressive piece of writing that keeps you engrossed from start to finish, with suspense, adventure and romance, as it challenges traditional religious views. A man who has killed a priest confesses his sin to Father Ryan, but very soon after is himself murdered. Father Ryan sees the act and as he gives the man the last rites, the murderer gives him a message that sends him off a hunt to discover the origins of Christianity. He crosses paths with archaeologist Emily Scelba, an intelligent, feisty archaeologist in charge of an underwater excavation, unearths a Roman coin, the Augustan aureus, that is evidence that the generally perceived version of Christianity is incorrect. This valuable artifact is stolen by a duplicitous friend. Ryan and Scelba team up to track it down. They’re not natural allies and so it turns into a fascinating partnership for the reader to follow. Where Emily is outgoing and decisive, Ryan is anxious, cautious, introspective.

The action moves between the present and the past. All the settings are vivid and the historical ones bear evidence to an immense amount of research by the author. The characters, despite the speed at which they seem to be constantly moving much of the time in this breathless adventure, have depth and complexity. There are occasional pauses when some of the theological discussion slows down the book’s pace and give us plenty to think about. The book is certainly controversial and that’s refreshing and rewarding. The chart of events at the back of the book, drawn up by Ryan and Emily, that juxtaposes actual history with mythical/biblical history, that closes the book is an inspired touch. This is a precisely and intricately woven novel,expertly crafted and an absolute must-read.

Alice DiNizo

Impoverished Albanian Zbysek Bailin is hired by the Roman Catholic Church to kill one of its monsignors, Oscar Isaac. Monsignor Isaac knows his ancient history and has found through research that two dozen Roman historians were alive during the time of Jesus Christ but never mentioned him. Isaac is assassinated by Bailin, who in turn is killed but not before rushing to a local confessional where Father Ryan McKeown, S.J., hears his last words which repeat those of Monsignor Isaac, "memory is in the ashes of the Gesu". Father McKeown, a devout Jesuit priest, joins up with Emily Scelba, a young professor of archaeology at Yale. Together they discover through a very dangerous investigation that the DNA of Saint Paul indicated that Jesus Christ was the mythical persona of Augustus, the adopted son of Julius Caesar. They also find those within the Roman Catholic Church who think that the twelve apostles were nothing more than a new iteration of the Zodiac, and the Holy Trinity and the Immaculate Conception had their beginnings in mythology. Can Father Ryan and Emily discover the truth with their lives intact?

"The Messiah Matrix" by author Kenneth Atchity is well-written with a clever plotline that Dan Brown fans will absolutely adore. The characters are all well-developed and believable, with realistic and interesting dialogue that keeps you turning the pages. Readers who can tolerate a theme of religious variation will absolutely love "The Messiah Matrix."

Jack Magnus

"The Messiah Matrix" by Kenneth John Atchity sweeps the reader right into the action as a Jesuit priest is run down in the middle of a street in Rome. The driver of the three-wheeled truck is horrified when he realizes that his victim is wearing a Roman collar and cannot understand why the church would have ordered this assassination. The dying man asks him to deliver a cryptic message to another priest, Father Ryan, and the driver fulfills that wish. Meanwhile, Emily, an archaeological iconographer, has discovered a rare gold coin in a wreck off the Palestinian coast, which is stolen on the orders of a Church functionary. Emily and Father Ryan are thrown together in a search for the coin and the answers to why the church ordered Monsignor Isaac's murder and exactly what it is trying to conceal.

I enjoyed every minute I spent reading "The Messiah Matrix". There's action and adventure as well as a fascinating look into ancient church history. Monsignor Isaac's research is revealed piece by piece by Emily, who had been his correspondent, in the form of stories from the past. "The Messiah Matrix" keeps the reader putting together the pieces of the puzzle along with Emily and Father Ryan. I found myself wondering how the story would be resolved and really got involved -- something I truly enjoy and all-too-rarely experience when reading. Atchity has written a fun, exciting and informative book in "The Messiah Matrix," and I'm looking forward to reading more from this author.

Stefan Vucak

Reviewed by Stefan Vucak for Readers' Favorite

Emily Scelba, an archaeologist, uncovers an old Roman coin from time of Emperor Augustus. She sends it to a museum for authentication, only to be told it was stolen. Father Ryan McKeown witnesses the death of Bishop Isaac, whose dying words reveal a secret to be revealed. Emily and Ryan literally bump into each other in Rome, both looking to unravel Isaac’s secret. This leads them through Roman catacombs, entanglement with the Jesuits who are on the verge of reestablishing the cult religion founded by Augustus, the son of Julius Caesar, proclaimed god. They reveal to the world the true basis of Christian religion, to the consternation of the faithful.

With ‘The Messiah Matrix’, Kenneth Atchity takes the reader into a fast paced journey of ancient intrigue--history most people don’t know exists and may not want to hear--and a struggle for power and personal discovery. Atchity brings a wealth of research into the book and combines it with professional writing that kept me turning the pages. If you want to know an alternate origin of Christianity, this is the book for you.