T. R. Williams' Journey into the Flame was published by Atria Books (Simon & Schuster) in January 2014. It's the first part of The Rising World Trilogy.
Information about T. R. Williams:
T. R. Williams divides his time between Seattle and Chicago. He is a scholar of ancient texts and loves to ponder the mysteries of life.
Information about Journey into the Flame:
In the tradition of The Celestine Prophecy comes the first book in a gripping post-apocalyptic trilogy involving the search for ancient books whose secrets hold the key to humanitys survival.
In 2027, a cataclysmic event known as the Great Disruption shook the world. An unexplained solar storm struck the earth, shifting it four degrees south on its axis. Everything went dark. Humanity was on the verge of despair. Then a man named Camden Ford, fleeing a band of marauders, went into the Ozark Forests where he discovered a set of ancient books called the Chronicles of Satraya.
Thirty years later, the world is a different place. Thanks to the teachings of the Chronicles, hope has been restored, cities rebuilt, technology advanced. The books have also found a different owner: Logan Cutler, a young painter who mysteriously inherited them when Camden disappeared. But when Logan auctions off the books to pay his debts, they fall into the wrong hands. The Reges Hominum, a clandestine group that once ruled history from the shadows, is now launching a worldwide conspiracy to regain control. And the books are at the center of its plans.
When another original set of the books is stolen and several members of the council tasked with disseminating their philosophy are murdered, Logan realizes he's made a terrible mistake. With the help of Special Agent Valerie Perrot and the wisdom of the Chronicles as his guide, he embarks on an epic quest to find the last set before its too late.
Combining new age philosophical allegories, the fast pace of race-against-time thrillers, and a historical mystery worthy of Dan Brown, Journey into the Flame will not only take you into the future, it will also take you deep into the greater mysteries of the self.
A REVIEW OF T. R. WILLIAMS' JOURNEY INTO THE FLAME
Journey into the Flame is T. R. Williams' debut novel and it's the first part of The Rising World Trilogy. It's an interesting reading experience for readers who are openminded and interested in mystical, mysterious and spiritual elements. It's a novel in the vein of Dan Brown's The Da Vinci Code.
Journey into the Flame is an interesting combination of different elements, because it contains elements from science fiction to spiritual adventure. It's basically a thriller, but it's also a science fiction novel, because the events take place in the near future. To be exact, the best way to categorize this novel is to call it a mystical and spiritual science fiction thriller.
I have to confess that I'm a bit difficult to please when it comes to mystical and spiritual adventure novels, because I've found myself disliking most of them. What usually annoys me most about these novels is that the authors tend to emphasize the new age elements in a totally wrong way, because they end up alienating readers by writing too much about their own opinions about several spiritual things. This novel, however, is an exception, because the author manages to keep things interesting by writing about The Chonicles of Satraya and their secrets in a fascinating way.
Here's a bit of information about the story:
- This novel beings with an exciting prologue. A young man called Camden travels by car towards a safe house, which has been built for worker who travel from one reconstruction site to another. His parents have helped to establish the World Federation of Reconstruction and he has worked alongside them. When Camden arrives at the safe house he has to escape from the Forgotten Ones, who rob places and kill people. When he's looking for a safe place, he finds The Chronicles of Satraya...
- After the prologue the story jumps several years forward in time. A secret society - Reges Hominum, the Kings of Men - decides to act and once again take control of the world to themselves. They try to get all the original sets of The Chronicles of Satraya, because the book sets are important to their plans...
- Logan Cutler restores paintings and loves art. He has debts and he needs money, so he decides to sell his set of the original Chronicles, which were given to his parents for safekeeping. When Logan has auctioned the set of Chronicles, he realizes that he has done a big mistake, because bad people want to use the books for their own purposes...
This is the beginning of an exciting and action-packed story.
T. R. Williams has created a bit different kind of a post-apocalyptic world in this novel. A worldwide disaster occured in 2027. This disaster is called the Great Disruption. An unexplained solar storm sturck the earth and shifted it four degrees south on its axis causing massive draughts, storms and tsunamis. After the Great Disruption things were bleak for a while, but when The Chronicles of Satraya were found, things changed and mankind found hope again. This was a turning point for mankind.
The characters are divided into good and evil characters. Logan, Mr. Perrot and Valerie represent the good characters, and Simon and Andrea are evil characters. The good characters try to fight against the evil characters and their evil plans.
There's an interesting atmosphere in this novel. T. R. Williams has managed to create a mysterious and threatening atmosphere that will be of interest to readers who enjoy reading fast-paced thrillers and mystery novels.
Journey into the Flame contains several interesting scenes. When I finished reading this novel and thought about what I had read I noticed that my favourite scenes were the scenes in which the characters used the flame of Satraya to see things and trained their abilities. Reading about these things was intriguing, because the author kept things appropriately mysterious.
I also enjoyed reading about how Logan wanted to bring the murderers of his parents to justice. Logan's parents were murdered and nobody was ever found guilty of their murders, but when he talked to Mr. Perrot, he began to realize several things and wanted to find out what had happened. It was nice to read what Logan finds out about his family's past and his parents.
The threat to mankind is handled nicely, because the Reges Hominum have plans of their own and they're willing to anything to get what they want. They have brutally murdered people who stand in their way and take what they need. They want the original sets of the Chronicles, because there's something supernatural about them. The author writes intriguingly about what Simon and Andrea plan to do and how far they're willing to go.
Reading about The Chronicles of Satraya was interesting for me, because there seemed to be something strange about them and they contained secrets. The world was rebuilt after the great disaster with the help of the ancient teachings of wisdom found in the Chronicles. The quotes from the Chronicles were also interesting.
There are several details in the story. For example, Logan's relationship with his ex-wife is handled well, because she isn't happy and is only interested in wealth than art. It was interesting to read about their doomed marriage.
I think that readers who are interested in new age related things and mysteries of life will find Journey into the Flame fascinating, because the author writes fluently about spirituality, wisdom and existence. There are thought-provoking elements and happenings in this novel for readers who are interested in these things.
In my opinion this novel has the same flaws as Dan Brown's The Da Vinci Code, but on the whole it's an enjoyable novel. Although I liked the story, it would've been nice if the characters had had a bit more depth in them. There isn't much character development in this novel, because the focus is on the story and excitement. This isn't a bad thing, because this novel is fast-paced entertainment for adult readers, but reading more about the characters would've been interesting. A bit deeper character exploration would've added plenty of depth to the story.
Journey into the Flame may not be to everybody's liking because of its spiritual and mystical contents, but those readers who enjoy reading mystical science fiction that contains thriller elements will most likely enjoy it very much. I personally found this novel intriguing, because it was nice to read something different for a change.
It'll be interesting to see what the sequel will be like, because there are several things that can be deepened and explored further. I think that the author will continue to reveal more things in the sequel.
Rating this novel is a bit difficult, because despite its flaws I enjoyed reading it and liked the story. After careful consideration I decided to give it 3,5-4 stars on the scale from 1 to 5 stars.
Journey into the Flame is a welcome addition to the spiritual and mystical science fiction sub-genre, because it's fast-paced entertainment. If you're interested in mystical and spiritual thrillers, you'll most likely find Journey into the Flame interesting and exciting, and you'll almost skip pages to find out what happens at the end. This novel can also be recommended to readers who have read Dan Brown's novels and other similar novels. This novel invites comparison with The Da Vinci Code and it's possible to say that it's a science fiction version of The Da Vinci Code with plenty of mystical and spiritual elements.
My final words are: This novel is interesting and a bit different kind of entertainment for adult readers!