Friday, June 5, 2015

RETURN - Book Three of The Matt Turner Series --- A Review

Matt Turner’s psychic ability has provided him a window into the entirety of Earth’s intelligent beings—past and present—but this gift has also been his heaviest burden. A talent like Matt’s can only be kept secret for so long, and certain parties who wished to possess lost and rare items viewed him only as a prized tool.
Now there is no more secret. Despite living a reclusive existence—unseen in five years—Matthew Turner is among the most recognized names on the planet, and wealthy collectors are not the only ones out for a piece of the only confirmed, indisputable psychic the world has ever known. Most people simply want his help.
At only 32, Matt has seen and experienced more of life and death than any person alive, and with this unique talent and perspective, he’s now prepared to set right the wrongs of both yesterday and today.
I first discovered the world of Matt Turner back in 2011 when I was bored and desperate for something new to read and started trolling for a new book through the sci-fi stacks.  THE DIG sounded intriguing and when I opened the pages I found myself sucked into a world like never before. 
 As I read the passages where Matt Turner would touch an item of great antiquity and find himself pulled and virtually sucked through time into a new body and looking through new eyes, becoming whoever had last touched that item, and then the person before them, layering through time: WOW, what an idea and concept.  Time and again I found myself stopping because I would find my fingertips tingling with the story.  I would literally close my eyes and envision the experience.  When I got to the end, I flipped the book back to the first page and read it again!  Taking what I had learned from the first read to savor through a second read and wallow in the experience of Matt Turner again.  My love affair with Matt Turner had started!!!
 Now Michael Siemsen presents his third Matthew Turner book, RETURN.  This newest offering brought great joy after years (three to be exact since THE OPAL) of waiting and longing for the return of the character who had so captured my heart and senses as he pulled me through time and back.  Allowing me to experience history in a way we had never experienced it before.
 RETURN has a premise of searching for the lost scrolls from the destroyed Library of Alexandria Egypt.  History has recorded that all the histories, the literatures, the sciences, the mathematics, the astronomies, and so much more, back to the beginning of recorded time, was stored in the stacks of that august library.  When the great emperor of Rome arrived in Egypt in the late 3rd Century, he destroyed the library and wiped the memories of the ancients from the face of the earth.  I personally have wept over the loss of such knowledge over the years.  The very thought of what we have lost to time and could never recover is devastating to this soul that so craves knowledge and the beauty of art and literature.
 Based on fairly recent discoveries and findings in the field of archeology and research in the areas of Ancient Near East studies, new clues have surfaced.  Michael Siemsen took some of these clues and ran with them, creating a believable, viable alternative to the story of the end time of the Alexandrian Library, and the family who reigned during this period of Greco-Roman Egypt.
 Half of the story is seen through the eyes of the Head Steward (the Chief Librarian for the Alexandria Library).  Michael was systematic in the telling of the story.  He walked us through the final weeks and days of the events, leaving out none of the details, as only the head librarian would have had access to and known.  Details not only about the preparations of the library for the coming invasion, but the preparations of the government and royal house as they made ready to meet the onslaught of the Roman fleet.
 Layered over the top of this magnificent telling and rendering of such a mind-boggling time in history, was a magnificent cloak and dagger back at home in the modern world.  The present day is littered with a string of international thugs and thieves, all of whom would love to obtain the scrolls of such antiquity and value.
 Michael Siemsen does not cut his characters short.  He drills down through each of the characters according to the level of their involvement in the storyline, and develops their character to adapt to the needs of the story.  Each of the storylines that is included in the book is well developed and capable of standing on its own as a novella, but put together as a larger novel has created a story that sweeps across time with its’ subterfuge and high-energy action.
 There was no laid-back easy read intended with this novel.  This story was meant to grab you by the throat and keep you tight in its grip till the final page.  Once again Michael left this reader wanting more. 
I would give this book a Five Star rating.
Michael Siemsen is the Bestselling author of 6 novels including The Dig, A Warm Place to Call Home (a demon's story), and Exigency. He lives in Northern California with "the wife," "the kids," "the dog," "that cat," and he occasionally wears pants.
twitter: @michaelsiemsen
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