Book Review The Granite Key

August 27, 2013 at 8:01 am Leave a comment

GK-Ecover-Bull-ExSmTitle: The Granite Key

Author: Nancy Wikarski

Genre: Archaeological Thriller

Purchase: Amazon

 

THE ARKANA SERIES: Archaeological Thrillers That Defy History
Volume One – The Granite Key

“Think ‘MEDIUM meets THE LOST SYMBOL’ and it only begins to describe the pleasures of THE GRANITE KEY – 5 Stars.” (Kindle Nation)

A Wake-Up Call
In a nightmare, nineteen year old Cassie Forsythe sees her sister attacked by a man in a cowboy hat who demands something called “the key.” Her nightmare mutates into reality before the night is over. Cassie is called to identify her sister’s body–murdered exactly as her dream foretold. Cassie dismisses her vision as a fluke and fights to get on with her life. Disconnected and aimless now that her only family is gone, she drifts until the evening when she catches the man in the cowboy hat ransacking her sister’s apartment. He bolts with an odd-looking stone cylinder–the granite key. From that moment, Cassie’s normal world evaporates.

A Secret Society
She learns that her sister led a double life–retrieving artifacts for a secret organization called the Arkana. The Arkana’s leader, an elder named Faye, explains that her group performs a controversial kind of archaeology. They scour the globe for evidence of ancient pre-patriarchal civilizations in hopes of salvaging the lost history of the world. Their network of troves safeguards artifacts from highly sophisticated goddess-worshipping cultures on every continent. Cassie’s sister had the psychic ability to touch an artifact and relive its past. Cassie has now inherited this gift. Faye wants the girl to take over her sister’s role in the organization. Cassie doubts her powers but agrees. Now an insider, she is transported to the Arkana’s mysterious underground vault in the countryside outside Chicago where the group tackles the mystery of her sister’s murder.

A Dangerous Cult
The Arkana learns that the man in the cowboy hat is a hired mercenary named Leroy Hunt and that he is working for a fundamentalist religious cult known as the Blessed Nephilim. He takes his orders directly from the cult’s domineering prophet–Abraham Metcalf. The granite key which Leroy stole is inscribed with hieroglyphics revealing the location of a mythological artifact reputed to have mystical powers–the Sage Stone. Although skeptical of its legendary capabilities, the Arkana is still afraid to allow the relic to fall into the cult’s hands. Abraham’s fanatical belief in the power of the Sage Stone could be the catalyst to start a war of religious genocide.

Unlocking The Key
Before she died, Cassie’s sister took photos of the strange markings on the granite key. The Arkana decodes the hieroglyphics which point to the ancient ruins of Minoan Crete as the hiding place of the Sage Stone. Faye hastily assembles a retrieval team including Cassie, her newly-appointed bodyguard Erik, and a British researcher named Griffin. The band of treasure hunters is mismatched and wildly dysfunctional from the start. Griffin has never gone on a field mission, Erik treats his inexperienced colleagues with contempt, and Cassie second-guesses her psychic hunches. She battles to prove herself to Erik at every turn. Their internal clashes rival the bigger crisis of what to do when they come face to face with their enemies.

A Matter Of Life Or Death
Even as they rake through megalithic tombs and Minoan palaces for clues, Abraham dispatches his son Daniel and hired gun Leroy Hunt to recover the Sage Stone. The Nephilim operatives won’t hesitate to kill anyone standing in their way. Will Cassie and her teammates avert global disaster or find themselves casualties of Abraham’s mania to exterminate the world of unbelievers? The Granite Key holds the answer.

I just finished Kate Moss’ “Labyrinth” the other week, and I was in the mood for something along those lines. I picked up The Granite Key thinking it would bear some resemblance, since it’s an archaeological thriller as well, and I was not dissapointed. The book’s pace is a lot faster than “Labyrinth”, which is a good thing, but apart from that, it handled some of the same topics: ancient mysteries hidden in the folds of time, a courageous main character thrown in the middle of all that, and a hint of the paranormal. The Granite Key certainly didn’t dissaponit.

Cassie’s sister passed away. Which would be terrible but not unusual, if it wasn’t for how Cassie witnessed her dead in a dream. Turns out that her sister had a magical ability related to artefacts. When touching them, she could see their past, and thus find out if they were authentic or not. Cassie has the same rare gift, a gift that would make her a powerful asset for a secret society called The Arkana. The Arkana has taken it upon themselves to scour the world for ancient artefacts, telling the oldest history of our world, a history of matriarchal civilizations and lost cultures. Cassie’s sister worked for them, and her dead was no accident, but murder. Now The Arkana wants Cassie to do their bidding as well.

With a hired gun on her back from a Nephilim organization that wishes to stop what The Arkana is doing, Cassie has little choice to cooperate. But what she finds as she travels the world for these mystical artifacts, is more unsettling than she ever thought possible.

Suspense, history, mythology and mystery all mixed in one – that’s my kind of read. The writing was a little off in the first chapter – the dream sequence didn’t convince me, and it’s a bit unoriginal – but really picked up after that. I loved all the scenes in the ancient tombs, and with The Arkana. Cassie made an interesting main character, but she’s only an asset of the story. The story doesn’t rise or fall with or without her, it’s about much more than her. In the fashion of books like “The Da Vinci Code” and “Labyrinth”, The Granite Key definitely deserves to be on your reading list.

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