This book is not for those who like fiction and non-fiction blended and still called non-fiction. I found it highly distracting and highly questionable that the author started off every chapter with little stories about ancient people. I became instantly turned off to how I was forced to sit through subjective thought exercises as to how humans may have perceived time in the past.
Occasionally the author actually got into science, verifiable, not dumbed-down science and it was wonderful until he went into his next stories. Being a history "buff" I also found the stories highly questionable as they did not have archeological facts behind them.
If you are new to the topic of time and prefer more fantasy with your science, this is the book for you.
If you are already familiar with cosmology, and general life sciences, STAY AWAY. This book will insult your intelligence and keep teasing you with good science among fiction.
I will be seeking to return this book.
This largely unbiased viewpoint at the facts of the US spycraft for recent history is a captivating story. For those who enjoy getting to know the founders of US institutions and their lives, it leaves the reader wanting more. One really gets to know the sacrifices, and the hardships of those in the CIA through the different administration.
This book is great for anyone wanting to know how Government works in a compelling story and analysis. Yes, there is a great deal of criticism of the Agency and the mistakes that were made. The author, however, conveys a spirit and tone not of defamation or mud-throwing, but one of wanting to improve the agency for better effectiveness as an organization and for its employees (and product customers). The book also excels at showing the human side to the agency, and helps one understand how actual people thrived or failed in their posts.
I found this a great book to connect to American history and make me appreciate the sacrifices of the people at the agency. If I were to ask the author to change anything in any future revisions, is to add more potential solutions to the problems leading to the "ashes" described in the title.
The narrator was fantastic!
If you liked Argo as an inside view into the CIA, you'll love this book!
The more I read the more I was amazed at how little I actually knew of "ancient" America. This insightful view into a panorama of in-depth research, disciplines, and topics uncovers for the reader an almost "alternate reality" of the pre-Columbian Americas with an excellent overview of other early peoples in other continents as well.
This is an excellent book for anyone interested in the past of the Americas, but also anyone interested in sci-fi, culture, and social dynamics on a global scale. Sci-fi readers would be interested in this book not because the facts presented aren't valid, instead because it transports the reader to an entirely different world than North American educated people would expect of the setting and time-frame.
Those interested in botany and the general ecological sciences may also be interested as it shows a history of the Americas and how we have the trees and plants we currently have.
Get swept away on a great tale and tour of a distant land and place and then wonder about who else may have lived and breathed on the land you may now call home.
I was pleasantly surprised by this book. The beginning may be unconventional for male protagonists in sci fi, then, just a few chapters in an epic starts to take form. The theme of this book to me is "transformation". The changes of the protagonist and the supporting characters are a wonderful hook for myself as the reader. The ending a wonderful catharsis and wrapped up the storyline expertly.
The performance of the narrator was also noteworthy, with an amazing range and believable female voices. The book is also blessed with a great introduction by the author and it is a neat way to introduce yourself to the voice of the author if you have not heard it before.
Overall I was blown away by the depth of the characters and of the world. If I could change anything is I would move the Author's "introduction" to the back of the book as it has some spoilers that may alter the early perception of the story.
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