Reviewer Amy Lignor: Amy is the author of a historical fiction novel entitled The Heart of a Legend, and Mind Made, a work of science fiction. Presently, she is writing an adventure series set in the New York Public Library, as well as a teen fiction series, The Angel Chronicles. She is an avid traveler and has been fortunate to have journeyed across the USA, where she has met the most amazing people, who truly bring life and soul to her books. She lives in the Land of Enchantment (for now) with her gorgeous daughter, Shelby, her wonderful Mom, Mary, and the greatest friend and critic in the entire world - her dog, Reuben
David Michael Slater
Which brings us to The Book of Knowledge. The second Volume in this wonderful adventure begins with Daphna and Dexter - thirteen year old twins - sitting by their father's side in the Rehabilitation/Rest Home. Their father, Milton, suffered such a strange fate at the end of the first volume that he spends most of his time sleeping and dreaming. All he says out loud is a mysterious name. The kids are lost. Who is Adem Tarik, and why is their father chanting his name every five minutes? There is also the nurse, Evelyn, who is constantly hovering over their father's bedside, watching him and seeing him through his rehabilitation. There's something in Evelyn's eyes that the kids can see; an almost obsessive adoration that beams from the her eyes when she looks at their father.
As the kids mull over what has happened to them in the last couple of days, the television anchors come on and tell them of a strange situation at the town dump. Chaos is happening down there. "Oversized garbage bags are streaming through the air and falling to the ground like swollen black raindrops." Dexter and Daphna are off to see exactly what's causing this situation. Once there, they find a young man whose supposed to be dead, who is trying his hardest to steal a book that was supposed to have been burned.
The adventure begins again for the twins. As their father offers his mysterious chanting, the kids go off and retrieve the books they need in order to find the answers to all the crazy things going on around them. Latty, the woman whose taken care of them since they were born, and their mother passed away, has disappeared from their house. She's stripped the bed and removed any "sign" that she'd ever been tangible in their lives. However, she leaves messages on their home answering machine with information that the twins can hardly imagine is true. Members of a gang are lurking closer, intent on harming Dexter; and the Pops (the popular girls in school) are trying with all their cheerleader might to set up Daphna for more humiliation and embarrassment. A strange box arrives at the house from Turkey; each crate is full of thousands of pages that have been hand-copied by an unknown author.
While the strange, ancient puzzle is unfolding around the twins, they turn to the books for help. As they read and repeat the strange words that no one can understand, they begin to spawn "gifts" inside themselves. Such as, with one word, Daphna realizes she can speak the strange language and immediately change her appearance into that of her father - or anyone else for that matter. Dex, with one word, suddenly notices he can freeze people where they stand. He can also make people listen and repeat what he says, believing him and causing them to enter a fog where they'll forget what they've seen and heard. Teleportation becomes another gift that the children receive, and they use it to change their world and make it a more peaceful place to live in. They also use their newfound words to get back at the wretched people who are trying to humiliate and harm them. They have all the power in the world. But is that a good thing? With the ability to alter someone's mind, the children soon learn that they've taken away the one thing that even God wanted us to have - free will. And, by taking away that one "gift", they've altered the course of humanity forever.
Again, with Volume II of this wonderful series, the red herrings are absolutely awesome. What if the Garden of Eden was a Garden of something else? What if the apple wasn't an apple at all? What if Adam and Eve...and God, for that matter, had something else in mind than what we believe to be true? The ability of the writer to get "ends tied up neatly," just so the reader can turn the page and learn something completely new that will lead them down another dangerous path, is a true gift. As a reader, you'll end up rethinking some of the basic fundamentals you believe in, perhaps. Of course, thinking is suffering. It would be nice if the ancient puzzles of time were tied up nice and neat, but they're not. Knowledge is a power all its own, and its a gift. I can think of no way more fun, than to think about life through the eyes of Dexter and Daphna, and the words of this fantastic author.
I can't wait for Volume III.
Until Next Time,