The Anomaly: A Novel of the Empty Quarter by Robert W Lebling
My rating: 5 of 5 stars
Robert Lebling is bet known for his book on the Jinn called "Legends of the Firespirits, which by the way is an excellent book on the Jinn that is well researched. This author has written numerous other books that were well written and well researched among them "Natural Remedies of Arabia"
This book called " The Anomaly" is his first written work of fiction. Now most often when authors of research based books write fiction it does not come out too well. This book is a nice showing. A fair amount of research went into the book and the man knows hisn stuff because he has lived and worked in Arabia. through out this work the reader is given several windows of observation into Arab culture and history. Even I learned a thing or two which is usually not the case with most fiction book.
Not only does he include some information onn the Saudi Arabian culture and history but he has clearly studied his UFOlogy quite well. Interspersed thorugh out the story are references to actual UFO abductions. Of course now the latest thing is that the UFO's come from another species living on Earth, possible below the surface.
The author also delves into multiple dimensions theory maintaining the Jinn live in a different dimension side by side with us but we cannot see them. They assume various guises to fool us. The latest ruse is that of UFO aliens. I sort of do not like mixing the genres but hey who am.
The story starts off with a team exploring an oil field in Hima Arabia, bordering on Yemen and Oman. It is in Rub Al Kali or the empty quarter. At first people go missing and then some Aramco worker end up dead under mysterious circumstances . Security expert Dan Keller decides to investigate. The team has come across an anomaly over an oil field, it is an inverted pyramid. Seems the US, SAUDI Arabia and Iran are in on it too. Washington send AManda Goddard an expert on Middle Eastern mythology to investigate. Together these tow along with a Jinn and Frank Devereaux, scientist , go to investigate. They find a tunnel and go thorrugh some adventures before arriving to this impressive Jinn city. Along the way Iranian troops try to stop them , they are attacked by Jinn scorpions, snakes and bats, and Jinn suicide bomber. THere are renegade Jinn who do not want mankind and Jinn to meet up and they are aided by Quarmation, Shiite fanatics who once stole teh stone from Kaabah. Needless t5o say in the end they do meet up but the ultimate ending is surprise.
It is about time the Jinn have their day in the fantasy literature realm and it seems that this is happening. Most authors are not as knowledgeable as Robert Lebling and he is an expert on the middle east. The story line is great or at least the premise is and as such it has great potential especially for a well written sequel. The story seems to be trying to decide if it is a Tom Clancy novel which is all about heavy Jinn involvement or if it is a fantasy story. Over all IK liked it and felt it was too quick a read.
Now he could have made the book longer. By this I mean develope the story and flesh it out. develop the plot a bit more and develop the characters. Most beginning fiction writer need to work on dialogue an there were certain part of the story where I was not sure who was talking or whose scenario it was.The author could give us a little help.
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