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Stone of Fire, a Review

Discussion in 'Books & Publications Forum' started by InTheLight, Jul 14, 2017.

  1. InTheLight

    InTheLight Well-Known Member
    Site Supporter

    Dec 17, 2010
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    Stone (sic) of Fire
    by J.F. Penn

    The book has been reviewed 582 times on Amazon and carried a four-star rating so I had high hopes for this book. An Oxford based psychologist, Dr. Morgan Sierra, is forced to search for the "Pentecost stones" in order to trade them to a kidnapper that is holding her sister and niece hostage. Two other competing groups are searching for the stones as well--ARKANE, a group that specializes in researching religious artifacts, supernatural occurences, and other eerie things. The Thanatos group is a group of religious terrorists that seek the stones for their nefarious purposes.

    What are the Pentecost stones? Well, they are chips of rock from the stone that was rolled away from Jesus's tomb on resurrection day. All twelve of the apostles had one, which they would wear on a leather cord around their necks. They are imbued with a "radioactive material along with magnetic and other properties not seen in any other stone on earth." Not only that, but they "resonate" with the Resurgam comet, a comet that is fast approaching earth, will arrive at Pentecost, and hasn't been seen since the time of Jesus. But that's not all! The Pentecost stones are some sort of a talisman that the apostles used to speak in tongues, perform miracles, and convert others to Christianity.

    SOOOO...according to this clap-trap the establishment of the church of Christ was not done by the Holy Spirit, it was done with magic stones.

    What about these magic stones that were lost for 2,000 years and suddenly needed to be found in less than ten days else Morgan's sister and daughter will die? Well, they are easily found by Morgan and her fellow traveler Jake, from the ARKANE group (Arcane Religious Knowledge and Numinous Experience). Morgan and Jake travel all over Europe, Africa, and even the United States gathering up the stones, which, if placed together when the comet passes the earth, will be packed with power.

    The book tells of the search for these stones.

    I'm am so sorry to report that this book was terrible. Besides the magic talisman stones being the power behind the apostles missionary work, which is blasphemy against the Holy Spirit and which should insult any Christian, the characters were scarcely developed, the mission to find the stones was ridiculously easy, and the end use of the stones by the kidnapper was ludicrous. It seems these stones, if being worn by a believer that is subsequently killed as the comet passes earth will cause all sorts of beneficial miracles to spontaneously occur. For example, the kidnapper hopes to kill Morgan's sister and daughter in the presence of the magic stones while the comet passes overhead which will heal his brother of mental illness. Yes, murder in the presence of these stones unleashes healing powers. (Seems like a bad trade-off to me.)

    Or, if the stones were to be used by the evil Thanatos group they can conjure up all sorts of evil demonic spirits and tribulations on humanity.

    Funny, I don't remember any of this stuff described in the Bible. Once, when the author attempts to quote the Bible she mistakenly ascribes some of the verses about the end days in Matthew 24 to the gospel of Mark. When science is attempted she describes the body of the comet entering earth's atmosphere. I got news for the author--if a comet were to enter earth's atmosphere, it would likely break up and the chunks cause huge impacts on earth's surface. It could be catastrophic. But it turns out it only causes localized thunderstorms.

    The characters are super-intelligent, trained fighters, and natural problem and puzzle solvers. For example, despite being 5' 2" tall and weighing 100 pounds, Morgan beats up several people (she was in the Israeli army, ya know) and gets shot in the shoulder but continues the quest for the Pentecost stones. She finds these stones because of her esoteric knowledge of, for example, Jung's philosophies and his use of symbology. She also knows exactly where to look for the stones that are hidden in centuries old churches. She also can convince monks who have taken vows of secrecy to reveal where the stones are hidden.

    Naturally, Jake's company, ARKANE, has an unlimited budget, scientific equipment that rivals NASA, a gigantic secret location under Trafalgar Square, and connections with all religious and world leaders including the Pope.

    Here is Jake's description of his beliefs:
    "I used to be a Christian once, but what I've seen has destroyed that. I've decided it's not about the religion you belong to, but the spirit of intent and of seeking your own truth".
    (Is that new-agey enough for you?)

    Here are Morgan's beliefs:
    "I believe in something beyond our experience, a realm above the physical that I can't see or touch, but that I feel sometimes. I don't believe in a savior that died for my sins, or a personal God who cares if I'm hurting. But I know there is an energy beyond us, a power of good and evil."
    (Trust the Force, Morgan!)

    I only finished the book because I was reading it for satirical purposes. Just how silly and far-fetched can this sucker become? I basically knew what was going to happen and just wanted to see how it would get there. Yes a romance was in bloom between Jake and Morgan by the end of the book and yes, there will be a sequel. Oh hey, I just looked at Amazon--there are nine ARKANE books.

    Christians: avoid this book. Avoid this book series.
    #1 InTheLight, Jul 14, 2017
    Last edited: Jul 14, 2017
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