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Publisher's Summary

Winner of the 2015 Shelf Unbound Indie Notable Award

Thanks to a drunken accident in Western Uganda, Martin and Andrew think they've found the next culinary craze to hit Manhattan's trendy restaurant scene. They're about to find out they've stumbled onto a centuries-old secret that, once unleashed, may be impossible to contain.

Everyone wants something from the new discovery. Andrew wants a chance to make a decent living and escape his dead-end job. Self-absorbed, greed-driven Martin wants to profit from a cutthroat industry that envisions a revolutionary product lurking in the find.

Military organizations at home and abroad have their own more violent agendas. And, hidden in a West Ugandan valley, a tribe of guardians wonder if an ancient prophecy is reaching fulfillment or if the world discovered their secret too soon.

In a story reminiscent of Crichton and Brown's corporate and religious thrillers, John Butziger presents a potent mix of adventure, conspiracy, and the mystical. From the petty double-dealing of a culinary network channel to the high-stakes world of cyber espionage, Butziger weaves a complex adventure where few can be trusted-and all want to control the power of The Second Tree.

©2014 John Butziger (P)2015 John Butziger

Critic Reviews

"Greed, exclusivity and rampant, aggressive commercialization are all themes brilliantly explored in Butziger's brisk narrative..." (Kirkus Reviews)
"...Butziger's work is one roller-coaster ride of intense emotion and heart stopping suspense." [New Vision (Uganda's leading daily)]
"An immensely promising start to a new thriller series." (Kirkus Reviews)

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What members say

Average Customer Ratings

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  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars
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    4 out of 5 stars

a mix of religion, espionage, and human nature

The bible tells of two trees growing in the Garden of Eden but we only remember one – the one that Adam and Eve partook of removing them forever from the Garden and dooming the rest of the world with evils and mortality.  Martin, an executive on a culinary network, has an accident in Uganda – but he doesn’t come back empty-handed - he brings back fruit.  Andrew, another culinary network employee takes the fruit, grows it and discovers its delicious taste and shares it.

There’s more to the fruit than its beautiful looks and delicious taste though, it brings with it greed, lust for power and more.  Martin wants more for his own personal desires and greed; Andrew wants more as it has become his livelihood.  Traveling to Uganda Andrew discovers the truth behind the fruit as well as getting caught up in a military operation and cyber espionage.

Andrew has a decision to make – will he make the right one? Or will greed and obsession take over?

This is my first experience with the author, John Butziger.  Butziger did an excellent job of laying out the plot and introducing the conspiracy theories. He ties everything together, leaving little unanswered but you know there will be more because the secret is out and people never give up – not when faced with wealth, recognition and power.

This was an action packed thriller with a mix of religion, espionage, and human nature.  Complex but easily followed, Butziger created an adventure that will captivate and interest anyone who picks this book to hear.

I liked Scott Thomas as the narrator; he injected excitement and enthusiasm as well as concern and confusion where appropriate.  He is a very good narrator.

There were no production issues with this audio book.

I recommend this book to anyone who enjoys a good thriller, mystery or reflection on human nature.  This book will have you considering who you are long after the book ends.

Audiobook was provided for review by the author.

Please find this complete review and many others at my review blog

[If this review helped, please press YES. Thanks!]

14 of 18 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars

Great Story

Where does The Second Tree rank among all the audiobooks you’ve listened to so far?

This was the first time I used audiobooks and I dont think I could have picked a better story

What was one of the most memorable moments of The Second Tree?

When Andrew first realized the powers the fruit possesed

What about Scott Thomas’s performance did you like?

He did a good job separating the characters voices so you felt you got to know the characters personally

Was this a book you wanted to listen to all in one sitting?

I listened to this book while commuting to and from work. I found myself sitting in my driveway after arriving home because I wanted to hear another chapter

Any additional comments?

I found this book to be extremely enjoyable. I thought the characters were well developed and the transition between them during the course of the book was smooth and easy to follow.

2 of 2 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars
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    4 out of 5 stars

A Great Original Story

I loved John Butziger's fresh and unique story that takes you around the world and even to Eden. Each chapter built upon the other and kept you intrigued to the very end. Every character was well developed and the story--although fictional--had a realistic feel and knowledgeable background.

Narrator Scott Thomas helps bring this story to it's fullest potential. He does a fine job voicing the multitude of characters as well as the range of ethnicity's, age, and gender. His steady and easy going tone was truly enjoyable to listen to.

Overall this was a fantastic read and I would recommend it.

This audiobook was given to me in exchange for an honest review.

2 of 2 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars

Great storyline!!

This book was gripping. Very well written with excellent detail that made it easy to visualize everything that was going on. The story was excellent and kept me interested from start to finish. Perfect ending for the first book in a series as it gives some closure but leaves you wanting more. The narrator also did a great job separating the characters with original voices for all of them. I can't wait for the second book!

2 of 2 people found this review helpful

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    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars
  • Jason
  • Mount Juliet, TN, United States
  • 11-23-15

Fantastic!

What made the experience of listening to The Second Tree the most enjoyable?

The story from beginning to end just rolls and keeps getting better and better, very hard to put down especially after the half way point. It is really amazing to me this is the authors first book because he writes like a seasoned pro, I'm no writer but I've read lots of books especially in this genre and I know when a writer is on point if you will.The overall feel of the book felt like a James Rollins novel so if your into that kind of material you will enjoy this, if your not into Rollins you should still check out Second Tree it has its own unique feel. I can't wait for more from "The Order" series.

Did the plot keep you on the edge of your seat? How?

Yes there was somewhat of a buildup with and interesting feel to its own part but after the halfway point I could not put it down, it is far more than interesting it is addictive.

What does Scott Thomas bring to the story that you wouldn’t experience if you just read the book?

Exceptional narration all the way through and a few creepy moments he nailed the voice without distraction. I very much hope he will read the entire series how ever long that will be, a tragedy if he does not.

Was there a moment in the book that particularly moved you?

Yes the climax and ending, I can't and won't give any spoilers I hate them but when things become clear to one of our main characters and his choices I thought was awesome.

Any additional comments?

Must have more I hate it ended but it ended well.

2 of 2 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars
  • AP
  • 03-30-16

I missed my exit while listening

Would you consider the audio edition of The Second Tree to be better than the print version?

Never read the print version - no comment.

What did you like best about this story?

The way the story brought ancient lore into a contemporary setting. It was very interesting reading how such mystical elements would affect the modern world.

Which scene was your favorite?

Without giving too much away, it was when the reader learns the history behind the item that the main characters have discovered.

Was there a moment in the book that particularly moved you?

It is tough to give one specific moment. In general, because the characters are fleshed out so well, you as the reader definitely feel the ups and downs the characters go through in the book.

Any additional comments?

Narration was great!

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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    5 out of 5 stars
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Unique

What did you love best about The Second Tree?

The uniqueness of the story. I've never read anything like it.

What other book might you compare The Second Tree to and why?

I have no other book I can compare it to. It is its own breed.

Have you listened to any of Scott Thomas’s other performances before? How does this one compare?

No I haven't. I really enjoyed his narration.

Was there a moment in the book that particularly moved you?

I don't want to give the ending away so I will just say that what Andrew has to do is awful.

Any additional comments?

I recommend this to anyone who wants to read something different from what they're used to.

I received this book in exchange for an honest review.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars
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    4 out of 5 stars

Very enjoyable listen; good story, good narrator

Would you listen to The Second Tree again? Why?

Maybe before I listen to book two, to refresh my memory since the next book in the series isn't out yet.

Did the plot keep you on the edge of your seat? How?

Yes, because of its is-it-real?-or-is-it-sci-fi?-ness. I wanted to believe the plot and how amazing the discovery of this fruit was, then some of the healing qualities would just seem too amazing to be true. But, that's what makes the Neoka so amazing. The long description of the history of the fruit's discovery in the middle of the book delayed the action just a little bit. But it was necessary information, so I didn't mind. By the end, I couldn't decide if this plot could actually happen, or if I was using my imagination a little bit.

Which scene was your favorite?

Even though I hated it, when one of the main characters has a big change in character. I didn't see it coming, but it really made the story that much more terrifying.

Did you have an extreme reaction to this book? Did it make you laugh or cry?

Yes, because the author would make me want one outcome, then make me realize that outcome wouldn't be the best. I was torn by the greed vs. morality and there were many suspenseful scenes.

Any additional comments?

Overall, this book is a good find and a terrific listen. The narration is clear, professional, and enjoyable. I received this book as a gift, thus, I am leaving an honest review.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars
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    4 out of 5 stars
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    4 out of 5 stars

suspensful ride

Would you listen to The Second Tree again? Why?

No, but it could lend itself to a second book. Although this was tagged as fantasy it's too violent to fall into that category. I would call it rather suspense thriller so that you know what you're getting.

Who was your favorite character and why?

Ugandan characters and accents well portrayed.

What about Scott Thomas’s performance did you like?

Excellent narrator, does a great job with multiple accents. Good at portraying drama and making each character different.

If you were to make a film of this book, what would the tag line be?

Think of the Indiana Jones 'The Last Crusade' movie - knowledge man was not meant to have.

Any additional comments?

Very well written but I must say some scenes were rather gory and I found listening made me squeamish. I was gifted with this audiobook in exchange for a review.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars

Volume 1

What did you love best about The Second Tree?

This book is amazing I could not put it down! The twists and turns in the plot make this read great for both the casual reader and those who enjoy a nail biter. Suspenseful from beginning to end.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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    5 out of 5 stars
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  • Tony Bough
  • 12-09-15

A mixture of adventure, conspiracy & the mystical

Would you recommend this audiobook to a friend? If so, why?

100%! Likeable protagonists with biblical overtones forming a well paced and entertaining book. A great book!

Who was your favorite character and why?

I liked Martin and Andrew. They have their own take on the situation in which they are involved that makes them interesting characters.

Which character – as performed by Scott Thomas – was your favourite?

I thought that all the characters were both well developed and well performed. Great narration in what promises to be a great series.

Was this a book you wanted to listen to all in one sitting?

Yes. I did it in two as I was listening on a journey.

Any additional comments?

This audiobook was provided by the author, narrator, or publisher at no cost in exchange for an unbiased review courtesy of AudiobookBlast dot com