Medical school student Amanda Garrett and American doctors working secretly in Africa have found a cure for the Ebola and Human Immunodeficiency Viruses. Leaders of the Islamic State want the cure so they can show the world Islam is a benevolent religion that all Africans should follow. The President of the United States believes an alleged 30,000-year-old Sub-Saharan religious text called The Book of Catalyst identifies him as being of divine origin. As Amanda operates her portion of the clandestine CIA Project Nightingale in a Tanzanian orphanage, she is attacked and chased by brutal killers called The Leopard and The Cheetah. Amanda has 48 hours to escape across the Serengeti Plain before the remaining vials of the cure expire. The Islamic State escalates attacks across the Middle East using freshly converted fighters from Africa. The American President, however, chooses not to deploy sufficient troops to save U.S. Special Forces, including Amanda’s husband, assisting in the air war against ISIS. As Amanda attempts to save the rapidly decomposing formula for the Ebola and HIV cures, she finds herself at the center of a clash between warring media titans, Jonathan Beckwith and Zhor al Rhazziq, who are following her every step toward the Olduvai Gorge, which some scientists claim to be the origin of human life.
What did I like best about the story:
I liked how the character Beckwith was manipulating the situation including the US President in his bid to get the formula for the ‘cure’ and find the tree of life. There was some very complex and clever thought out plot lines with him. I like how it showed the effect of religion producing war in countries. The US President just amplifies how gullible people in power can be. This is a complex political plot that includes several nations.
I also liked how Amanda’s character was both soft and caring, but with a no-nonesense strength inside which she shows later when in danger. It is good to see her be a real fighter instead of a whimpering woman. Us girlies who love a bit of excitement and adventure love to see a woman get stuck in with a weapon of some sort.
What did not work for me:
I believe Kiram and Mumbato are suppose to represent good and bad in their characters, with Kiram being the good ‘boy’ and Mumbato not always making the right decisions, however their characters are not quite strong enough to show this.
There was a bit of a ‘boy’ toy thing going on with detailed description of Beckwith’s yacht which to me seemed superfluous so I didn’t bother reading that bit! I do struggle with passages where the descriptions do not seem to add to the story.
I struggled with the continuity of various scenes in different countries, where more than one country is involved and different villains with different agendas it became very complex.
When the religious consequence of the new information is revealed I was not over-awed. It was like an ‘oh right’ moment.
I would give this book a rating of 3 stars, but I know that many will find it a thrilling read because there are some great scenes in the plot line, worth a read.
I didn’t know this was the fourth book in the series, maybe the first three would have given me greater understanding.
There is also a lot of advertising blurb about what a great book it is, which seems a bit of overkill to me. I really dislike it when I am being bombarded with “fantastic, great read, best ever, exciting, thrilling, book of the year” type of hype because it immediately makes me think that why do they need to push it so much if is brilliant?
In my eyes a book speaks for itself, rather than its marketing strategy.
Many thanks to the publisher via NetGalley for a copy in return for my honest review.