This author participates in the Readers' Favorite Book Donation Program, which was created to help nonprofit and charitable organizations (schools, libraries, convalescent homes, soldier donation programs, etc.) by providing them with free books and to help authors garner more exposure for their work. This author is willing to donate free copies of their book in exchange for reviews (if circumstances allow) and the knowledge that their book is being read and enjoyed. To begin, click the purple email icon to send this author a private email. Be sure to tell the author who you are, what organization you are with, how many books you need, how they will be used, and the number of reviews, if any, you would be able to provide.
Reviewed by Charles Remington for Readers' Favorite
Jim Blackburn is the founder of the Petroleum Consulting Group, a company which advises governments and corporations on the complex machinations of the world’s most traded commodity - oil. The Sacred Sands by Vahan Zanoyan launches us into this fast-moving world, opening with a 1980s OPEC meeting in Vienna and moving quickly to Japan, where the chief executives of all the major Japanese oil companies are meeting to develop a strategy to secure the country’s oil needs and ensure future supplies. Blackburn, who is an expert in the Middle East oil market, is hired to research and advise, and this takes us on an intriguing journey, starting in Washington and including Japan, Kuwait, Austria and Italy, to London, Washington and New York, in a gripping narrative that never fails to deliver on the excitement and capriciousness of the oil business.
Blackburn is a likeable character - he moves in a glamorous world of top-class hotels, superb restaurants and folk who make multi-million dollar deals before lunch without a second thought, but throughout he manages to maintain a clear, analytical eye on his chosen market and a sound commonsense approach to life. The storyline takes us through Japan’s efforts to secure its oil supplies, to the machinations of Middle East oil politics and the players, the Iran–Iraq war, Iraq’s invasion of Kuwait, and the subsequent action by the USA and its allies to drive the Iraqis out. A cleverly constructed plot also manages to interweave Blackburn’s romance with two very different women, and his dealings with the US government and the CIA.
The scope of this novel is breathtaking - there are so many thought-provoking instances, enlightening observations and astute analyses that it is difficult to know where to begin. Let me say this right away, you will enjoy reading this book as a simple thriller. The Sacred Sands is very well written with an intriguing plot that will keep you hooked to the very end. What you will also gain from the book is a clear analysis of the problems in the Middle East, the rise of Islamic Fundamentalism and the way that we in the West view the region, from the pen of someone who has a deep understanding of this area. Vahan Zanoyan is a consummate storyteller and has managed to present an incredibly complex subject in a clear, erudite, and most certainly entertaining way. I urge you to read this book - it is the most accomplished novel I have read this year and I can thoroughly recommend it.