Author: Boyd Morrison
Publisher: Touchstone, Simon & Schuster
I don't normally read thrillers, but this was one amazing book!
Dilara Kenner's father went missing three years earlier, and now Sam Watson, an old family friend, tries to contact her with information. But before he can tell her anything other than that her father found Noah's Ark and that billions of people are now in danger, he is killed and only manages to gasp out a few cryptic words. Dilara tracks down Tyler Locke, whom Sam had mentioned, and convinces him to help her figure out what's going on. After several attempts on both of their lives, they figure out enough to realize that they have seven days to stop someone before he uses a relic from the Ark to wipe out all humanity.
The book starts off with a bang and never lets up after that. The tension starts building from page one and only increases as the story moves on. As each piece of the puzzle is figured out and taken care of, new ones constantly pop up so that the characters are kept in a constant race, with new deadlines being set as each deadline is reached. Instead of one big showdown, there are many smaller climaxes, all leading up to the final confrontation between the protagonists, Dilara and Tyler, and the antagonist, Ulric. This makes the book a real roller-coaster ride, with loops and drops, dips and rises, twists and turns.
What I like most about the book is the intelligence of the pieces of the story. So many ideas and gadgets are introduced, and they all fit together seamlessly. All of them make sense, and - what I think is the greatest possible pitfall in a thriller - nothing is there just by coincidence. Everything that is used is set up well in advance, and there is no "oh, look what's here." At the end of the book, Morrison explains which gadgets are real and which he made up, but they all seem so real in the story, I think because he takes the time to succinctly explain each one. (Not surprising to find out that Morrison has a Ph.D. in engineering and worked at places like NASA!) This actually helps develop the pace of the story as well - there are moments of action, offset by little lulls when explanations are necessary, and then immediately there is more action.
A book that combines intelligent exploration of an idea with electrifying action and tension - it satisfies on an intellectual level and on a purely fun level as well!
Thanks to Sulay Hernandez of Touchstone for providing this book.