Monday, September 24, 2012

The Zul Enigma - J. M. Leitch

    2011; 472 pages.  New Author? : Yes.  Genre : Apocalyptic Thriller (among others).  Overall Rating : 4½*/10.

     Dr. Carlos Maiz, the Director of the UN Office for Outer Space Affairs, has been contacted by an extraterrestrial avatar with a cosmic message.  On 12/21/12, Earth will have an opportunity to ascend to a new spiritual dimension (the “fourth density level”), but only if we’re enlightened enough.  If we fail, the planet, the galaxy, and indeed, the whole Universe is at risk.

     Carlos is understandably suspicious that the whole thing is a hoax.  But the messenger is able to override the UN telecommunications security system with ease.  It’s almost as if he really is from the sixth density level.

What’s To Like...
    For a change, we have a hero who is anything but enlightened.  He takes others for granted, and has trouble with his temper.  He may be brilliant when it comes to Quantum Physics, but he's clueless about people.  Some serious personal growth is needed if he’s going to make the jump to the fourth level.  Will he make it?

     The storyline has a number of neat twists, and it’s fun to be skeptical alongside Carlos (and the UN security team) as they try to prove that the messenger has terrestrial origins.  The ending is anything but predictable. 

     Alas, there are some serious weaknesses as well.  J. M. Leitch can get long-winded and boring about irrelevant topics (Quantum Physics, Grand Unified Theories).  And preachy too (meditation, an Eckankar-like theology).  People “cross their legs at the ankles” an incredible number of times, and the author seems averse to question marks.  There are a few too many WTF moments (the fate of the POTUS, global meditating).

Kewlest New Word...
    Purulent : consisting of, containing, or discharging pus.  (late Middle English).

    ”You must understand, Carlos, it is not just the many species on your Earth that are evolving.  Your entire planet is evolving, as is your solar system, as is your galaxy, as is our entire universe.  It is all interconnected.  Our consciousness is the universe and the consciousness of the universe is us.  This connectivity can be expressed by the word “unity”.  Our universe is evolving in unity.”
    They watched the entire video and when it finished Drew exhaled.  “What a load of sh*t!”  (loc.769)

    Just thinking about Zul’s theory of the universe and the evolution of the One that a few days ago had made so much sense now seemed laughable.
    Carlos Maiz – chosen by aliens to save the world?
    It was really quite absurd.  (loc.4680)

Kindle Details...
    The Zul Enigma sells for $5.99 at Amazon.  The paperback is $17.00, and the Hardcover, not available at Amazon, goes for $147.84.  Surely those non-Kindle prices are jokes.

“Inter-relation of karmic energy across all consciousness,,,”  (loc. 4510)
    The big problem with The Zul Enigma is that it can’t seem to decide what genre it wants to be.  It starts out as a decent Action Adventure.  Then it abruptly switches to being an Inspirational novel.  After that it turns into a Romance.  And it finishes up by being a tale of Intrigue.

    This has a profound effect on the pacing of the story, which speeds up all too seldom and slows down for extended stretches.  J.M. Leitch states that it took her 7½ years to complete The Zul Enigma, which makes me wonder if this was what caused these pacing and genre issues.

    There is way too much telling and not near enough showing.  The book could’ve had an exciting finish  with Carlos and his message to the world.  Instead we get a weak recap about those events 56 years after they occur.

     All of which is a shame, because there really is a fascinating and original storyline here.  Too bad the editing/beta-reading wasn't more rigorous.  4½ Stars.

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