Thursday, December 22, 2011

"wayward son" by tom pollack with jim alves and john loftus

When Dr. Amanda James is asked to help crack the code to unlock a recently discovered ancient observatory in Italy, she jumps at the chance. Not only will she be helping identify ancient artifacts, but she also will be able to reconnect with her ex-boyfriend Juan Carlos. When Amanda enters the observatory, she discovers much more than she bargained for—a glimpse into the life of the first murderer, Cain.

My take: Wayward Son is predominantly Cain's story. I would classify it as speculative fiction, as it deals with the idea that Cain became immortal when God cursed him. And while I snickered at some of the ideas (such as Cain helping Homer compose The Odyssey), the plot the authors crafted for Cain was largely engaging—especially the time Cain spent in Egypt during the time of the Pharaohs and his life at the time of Christ. I also enjoyed how biblical history overlapped with secular history (of course, the two are part of the same timeline, but it's often hard for me to remember that).

The modern storyline, however, was not nearly as enthralling. While the end of the book does answer many questions and wraps up in a satisfying (yet open to a sequel) manner, the beginning was at best boring and at worst painful to read.  While I truly cared about what happened to Cain, I couldn't have cared less about Amanda, Juan Carlos, or anyone else modern. The Cain thread was written so well that I found it surprising just how much of an afterthought the modern thread seemed.

Still, I would recommend the book to anyone interested ancient history—I'd just suggest you skim the modern chapters and spend the bulk of your time digesting Cain's story. I give Wayward Son 3 out of 5 stars.

About the authors:
Tom Pollack (center) has a passion for sailing, which led him to a friendship with Roy Disney, and ultimately to the release of Walt Disney Pictures' critically acclaimed motion picture, Morning Light. The film is based on Tom's original idea of documenting the exploits of a group of college-aged sailors recruited to compete against seasoned pros in the Trans-Pacific race from Southern California to Hawaii. Tom graduated from Loyola Marymount University with a bachelor's degree in political science. He resides in Dana Point with his wife, Jennifer, and their two children. Tom serves as President of the Mission Basilica School Foundation in San Juan Capistrano and the Chairman of ExplorOcean, Newport Beach's popular nautical museum.

Jim Alves (left) recently completed a 25-year career in bond sales and trading. He graduated from The University of Massachusetts with a bachelor's degree in finance and economics. He currently is Chief Executive Officer of Prometheus Holdings, a financial consulting firm. Jim resides in San Clemente, California with his wife Jackie and their two young boys, having successfully launched two older sons from the nest. 

John Loftus (right) spent 23 years at Pacific Investment Management Company (PIMCO), where as a Managing Director he focused on new product development and marketing. A graduate of Stanford University and the Stanford Graduate School of Business, his writings have been published in various financial journals and textbooks. Now President of Cascada Productions, John is also active in philanthropy and the non-profit sector. An Ohio native, John resides in Newport Beach, California, with his wife, Lori. They have three grown children and two grandchildren.

Disclosure of Material Connection: I received this book free for review from Glass Road Public Relations. I was not required to write a positive review. The opinions I have expressed are my own. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission's 16 CFR, Part 255: "Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising."

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