Eyes of the Sage
written by Peter J. Ochs II
published by Virtualbookworm.com Publishing
Why did I pick this book: I participated in the blog tour hosted by Virtualbookworm.com. I volunteered to read this book because it sounded awesome. (I received a copy of this book for review purposes.)
Did I enjoy this book: Um, no.
I tried my best to get through it. I gave it my usual “if I’m not addicted after a hundred pages I’m probably not going to be.” I even gave it another sixty pages just to be sure. Ultimately, I couldn’t finish it.
I tried my best to get past the grammatical errors: the passive voice, the subject-verb agreement, the use of contractions. I tried my best to ignore the colloquialisms and the main characters staring “into” floors instead of “at” them. I really, really wanted to care about what the characters were doing, but with sentences like this one: “He bought some handcrafts from some Bedouin women…” it was difficult to invest.
I tried to give Mr. Ochs credit for including ALL of his research in the text. I tried to forgive him for including what he clearly thought were necessary pictures (including a picture of what appears to be nothing but SAND). I tried for a week to sift through the flawed basics and get to the essence of the story. I failed.
I actually want to know what happens, but I got so bogged down in trying to decipher the language that I couldn’t follow the plot.
Would I recommend it: I recommend the following:
- that Mr. Ochs brush up on his grammar
- that Mr. Ochs reads his manuscript out loud (because no one actually says, “I have found an interesting journal” when they could instead mutter, “I’ve found [something].”
- that readers wait for the third (or fourth, or fifth) draft of this novel before they attempt it.
Will I read it again: No.
About the book – from Goodreads: A MIT astrophysicist is called upon to continue the investigation of a lost civilization on the Arabian Peninsula after the unfortunate and untimely death of the expedition’s lead archaeologist. Just why an astronomer is called upon a situation where he is evidently “a fish out of water” is not exactly clear, but his involvement is not accidental and his role becomes pivotal. The research revolves around the location of a cluster of lost cities in the southern Arabian Peninsula that are believed to have been settled over 3000 years ago by a group of people migrating from the Mediterranean with ties to Ancient Greece. This group appears to have been guided to the site by an enigmatic figure who continues to crop up throughout the history of the settlement even though the recorded evidence suggests that the settlement was active for over 800 years. Some time in its ninth century of existence, the civilization and its intriguing father-figure vanished abruptly somewhere about the time of the well known chronicled collapse of a great earthen dam. As sites are revealed and artifacts are recovered, the astronomer is drawn into a complex scenario where his very actions will trigger the story’s climatic events and reveal the identity of the settlement’s mentor.