The Prancestor Project

Fiction - Science Fiction
546 Pages
Reviewed on 04/07/2022
Buy on Amazon

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Author Biography

Christine Morse is a lawyer and a professor. She is an avid traveler and wrote The Prancestor Project as she was visiting various places throughout the world. Christine's inspiration for this story came from the real facts that she weaves into her novel, like the discovery of a billion-year-old Zircon crystal which held evidence of life on Earth long ago -- a discovery that continues to question the belief that young Earth couldn't sustain biological life.

    Book Review

Reviewed by Asher Syed for Readers' Favorite

The Prancestor Project by Christine Morse is a work of contemporary speculative fiction with a strongly tied counterfactual history component as it delves into the discovery of a possible ancient indigenous hominid-type advanced civilization, one which ruled the planet before any meaningful knowledge of the earth's timeline existed. The revelation is made by anthropologist Professor David Denlon, so soft-pedalled and unassuming a man that a Little House on the Prairie slight is about the worst name he can initially level against anyone. Funding soon follows from a benefactor whose true identity is hazy and comes at a massive cost, as David is chased across the globe by the wealthy and power-hungry Patrick Veeder, a wolf in sheep's clothing who will stop at nothing to gain control of the secrets the planet holds on its pre-ancient history.

As I devoured The Prancestor Project by Christine Morse in record time for a book this hefty in size, I couldn't decide if it was more Dan Brown or Michael Crichton, or if at any moment Indiana Jones might leap out from the shadows holding a crystal skull. I came to the conclusion that Morse encompasses the best of all three, with ancient code in a Jurassic Park-style mineral, a dogged chase by a man with the motivation and resources of the Catholic church, and a crystal that holds the key to answer absolutely everything—sans the guy with a whip. Morse gives David a fantastic personal arc that encompasses the women in his life, including his mother who, at the height of intensity, does the most motherly thing ever by turning off the TV because they were saying “terrible things about my Davey.” For a plot with all the chops to have launched a series, it is the characters in the book that make it entertaining. The writing is clean and tight, the pacing is perfect, and everything clicks neatly into place without turning tropey. There are a couple of twists and a moment at the beginning on a train involving a white crystal that comes full circle that is patiently and perfectly executed, making for an excellent book sure to tickle the fancy of speculative sci-fi lovers.

Jamie Michele

A virtuous anthropologist named David Denlon and a Machiavellian archaeologist named Patrick Veeder lead the pack in The Prancestor Project, a speculative science-fiction thriller written by Christine Morse. David finds a link to another form of humanoid eons older than us in the nesosilicates mineral of zircon, a crystal housing the genetic material and communiqué of our extinct cousins. Meanwhile, Veeder is hustling isolated tribes for artifacts to fatten his own bank account and views David's discovery through the lens of dominance. David is as expendable as everyone else Veeder steals from and in the opposing goals of each man there can only be one winner, and that winner is going to be the last man standing.

The Prancestor Project by Christine Morse diverts from the predictability of traditional science fiction while retaining enough of the abstraction of reality that readers expect. This is accomplished through an accepted set of the traditional: genetic and biological technologies creating a global mess that only one guy can protect. That guy is a nerd named David with a big heart that wants everyone to be happy. I did not really care much for David, who in the spirit of his own character's penchant for nicknames I renamed Dorky David, but got goosebumps whenever we entered Veeder's world. I love a bad guy and Veeder is BAD. This sounds like a fault but when a reader connects to the baddie in a positive way, the clout of their maker is reinforced. The maker in all of this is Morse with a plausible plot design and thickly layered three-dimensional characters. I'm looking forward to seeing what Morse pushes out from her imagination next.

JC Minnaar

The Prancestor Project by Christine Morse is a gripping adventure of anthropologist David Denlon making the biggest discovery of human history – DNA traces of a sister race to humans. What secrets did our Prancestors keep? Did they make leaps and bounds in technology? Why did they go extinct? David attempts to answer all these questions while staying alive as Patrick Veeder, a corrupt and wealthy relic collector, seeks to eliminate David from the picture and claim ownership of the discovery for himself. David is being protected by an underground security agency but how long can they survive against a man with money, connections, and no regard for human life? Can David survive long enough to decrypt the cataclysmic warning our Prancestors have left for the current human race?

Christine Morse’s The Prancestor Project had me on the edge of my seat with suspense and intrigue. The characters are all wonderfully unique and written extremely well. I especially loved David, who is on the spectrum, as Christine Morse masterfully crafts David’s mannerisms, daydreaming, fixations, and much more naturally into his character. The story contains a great balance of priorities between David and co fleeing for their lives and decoding the secrets of the Prancestors. David’s battle against Veeder reflects the conflict between capitalistic, predatory society and what is just, fair, and honest amazingly well and forms part of what rooted my love for the characters. Fans of National Treasure, Indiana Jones, and the Uncharted series will, much like myself, fall in love with The Prancestor Project, a story I can highly recommend.

Anne-Marie Reynolds

The Prancestor Project by Christine Morse is a sci-fi thriller based on real-world science. Anthropology professor David Denlon is searching for pre-ancient zircon and has stumbled on something that could change his life forever or end it. He has found evidence that humans existed on earth a billion years ago, way before the first recorded human life. But this is human life with a difference – unrecorded, long gone, and more advanced than the current human race. Philanthropist Patrick Veeder wants the evidence for himself and the only way he can get it is to murder David. But David doesn’t trust anyone, even those who claim to be helping him, and his priority now is to stay alive. As Veeder draws closer, more secrets are uncovered that could stop the human race from becoming extinct. Can David and his team work out the secret before it’s too late or will Veeder succeed in his evil plan?

The Prancestor Project by Christine Morse is a stunning science fiction thriller with a unique plot. It is full of action, drama, a little romance thrown in for good measure, and is an incredibly tense story. It is a little violent in places but nothing that doesn’t fit with the story. Right from the start, you are drawn in with descriptive prose that takes you to the heart of the story. The characters are wonderfully well-developed, real people in a taut plot that twists and turns its way to the conclusion, with plenty of heart-thumping moments along the way. The premise of this story is not one I’ve read before and it breathes new life into a genre where many stories are variations on the same theme – this one breaks the mold, crossing multiple genres effortlessly in a high-octane, exciting adventure. Fantastic story. I hope to see more like this from Christine Morse.

Vincent Dublado

The Prancestor Project by Christine Morse is a sci-fi thriller that centers on an introverted anthropology professor and his groundbreaking discovery that stirs the scientific world and puts his life on the line. At first, Professor David Denlon’s discovery of an ancient zircon sounds like a small-time find that is unworthy of geopolitics. But closer inspection reveals that this billion-year-old zircon crystal has preserved something special—evidence of life of an entirely separate humankind that has made advancements that modern humans can only dream of. Denlon receives a generous offer of private funding to advance his discovery and research, on the condition that he keeps it a secret. But giving trust doesn’t come easily for Denlon, especially when he knows that people are mostly driven by self-interest. The philanthropist Patrick Veeder is one such man. He is bent on taking for himself what Denlon has discovered through whatever means necessary.

There is an elegance in the simplicity of Christine Morse’s prose, and it sets up the storyline and mystery that leads you breathlessly to a satisfying climax. If you have been reading potboiler thrillers, you will see the difference in what The Prancestor Project is trying to offer. Denlon is an ideal character for this caper because he can be calculating when it comes to the people around him—an instinct necessary for his self-preservation. It is something that could help him to either survive in the long run or meet an untimely demise. No one is a match for Patrick Veeder, as he has that kind of greed and agenda akin to government agencies keeping secrets about aliens for themselves. When you think about the opposing motivations between the hero and villain, it sets the stage for a thrilling ride. Life is too short to engage your brain in cheap thrills, so read this book for a better experience.