Saturday 28 November 2015

The Codex (An Armour of God Thriller, Book 2) by Daniel Patterson

When an extreme weather condition causes parts of the Greenland ice sheet to melt, archeologist Zack Cole is determined to join the race of professionals and amateur alike, to find uncovered history and treasure.

He's got the knowledge. He's got the money. He's even got the equipment. Now about those permits...

Zack turns to his old friend, Father Salvatore Giovanni, curator of the Chicago Museum of Biblical Antiquities to back his expedition. He says yes, with one condition... Researcher Sydney Langtry is coming with him to protect the museum's interests.

Plunged together into an icy world of death and darkness, Zack and Sydney make a discovery that will rock the Biblical and archeological community. But will they make it out alive to share their discovery?

From bestselling Christian fiction author Daniel Patterson comes, The Codex, the latest action-packed adventure in his Armour of God Thriller Series.

The Armour of God Thriller Series combines heart-pounding action, with page-turning adventure, and non-stop suspense.

Book 1: The Tyndale Code

Book 2: The Codex

Book 3: Coming soon

Book 4: Coming late 2016

The Guru's Review: 

This is the second novel by Patterson I have read and the second in the Armour of God Thriller series (the first being The Tyndale Code).

This was much more enjoyable being longer in length than the previous novella. This showcases Pattersons writing and imagination. It was good to have Zac back in another adventure and see more of his passion for biblical archeology and his quest to find biblical artifacts. It was good to have the Tyndale Code referenced in this story too. 

Patterson has a flair for plot development and pace that keeps you interested and not wanting to leave the story, it is like many other novels that are successful in achieving that "cannot put down" characteristic. This, of course, fits well in a novel like this where there is a search for treasure or of legendary, forgotten or undiscovered, past civilization. I don't know whether this is a good thing or a bad thing, intentional of Patterson or not, but after seeing the Indiana Jones movies, one cannot but liken Zac and this plot to this style, Patterson even mentions that Zac has a "...Indiana Jones complex" from his friend, Father Salvatore Giovanni. I do not believe that Patterson has copied this in order to create this series, he seems to have a passion for this style and genre. I do see that he gives this his own flavor and this I appreciate and like to see an author do.

I found the plot very intriguing for two reasons. I have never heard that the ice shelf of Greenland has or does melt or that there is or could be a civilization that lived under this ice shelf. Patterson's description of this "under the ice shelf" village transported me there and I could almost imagine the daily life of the villagers and the Christian lifestyle that they lived. It reminded me of the village that the explorers found in the original movie, Journey to the Centre of the Earth (1959), by Jules Verne. It is against this backdrop that Patterson successfully creates and weaves the plot of investigating a once in a lifetime opportunity of exploring virgin landscape now revealed by the forces of Nature itself.

Patterson has used this scenario to create the spiritual themes and mythology of this village. Based on Norse mythology, it is one colorful account and interestingly that Zac and Sydney find many elements of this in the subterranean world and this just adds to the mystery and suspense of this novel. I thought it very clever how Patterson has also added Christian/biblical themes to this mythology without compromising the Biblical account or that of any biblical doctrine or its books, namely that of Revelation and Isaiah. This is where Patterson shines. 

When Zac and Sydney discover evidence that the residents of this subterranean village were Christians, the spirituality of the novel deepens. Zac and Sydney discover a very valuable and important artifact that has far-reaching importance for the history of the area and that of Christianity. It is this that forms the basis of the title of this novel where there is a twist at the end, leading to a cliffhanger ending and obviously continued in Book 3.

It was good to see Zac progress both spiritually and relationship wise from the previous book. It seems that Sydney is the catalyst here for both of these to occur for Zac. Seeing Sydney's expression and practice of her faith seem to have a positive impact on him and when this expedition goes pear shaped, he realizes he has come to the end of himself and that the only avenue left for him is to return to God, knowing deep down that God is who he has always needed since his parents were killed when he was a child. This enables him to trust and rely on God more which restores his relationship with God. It is here that this novel takes on a redemptive aspect, Zac reconciling to God. 

Despite Zac's insistence that he works alone, a one-man band, it is obvious that he is attracted to Sydney and I loved how this developed as a sub-plot throughout the novel especially when their expedition goes pear shaped and she is kidnapped. Obviously this will be developed further in Book 3.

My only concern with this novel is the title. It is only until right at the end that there is any hint of this title connected to this artifact and it seems it will be fully explained in Book 3. If this is so, then the title is not fitting to this novel. 

I really loved this novel, and this is a great series. I am very glad that there are two more books to come. 

Strongly Recommended. 4/5 


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