The Atlantis Code by Charles Brokaw

Brokaw, C. (2009). The Atlantis code. New York: Tom Doherty Associates [Forge].

Atlantis Code is a quick adventure style novel of the Indian Jones or Dan Brown ilk. It is fast paced but fairly predictable and lacks the historical research that Dan Brown brings to his works. The premise of Atlantis Code is that the Catholic Church is hiding many secrets, one of which is that God [Judeo-Christian one] sent not one but TWO sons to walk with mankind. The first was sent to be with the humans in the Garden of Eden. Adam, Eve, and their many offspring were running around in the Garden with the son of God who had the Book of Knowledge. This was supposed to be god’s book and the humans were forbidden to read it since it had magical powers. Of course, the humans couldn’t resist so they murdered the first son (of God) and stole the Book of Knowledge. For this they were banished from the Garden after the first son was resurrected. However, the humans kept the book but were warned that if they read it, it would bring about their destruction.

The humans scattered and a group settled on an island that would come to be known as Atlantis. Here they strove to build the greatest place on earth and rival and become Gods. They build, among other things, the tower of Babel which annoyed God and he made them forget their Atlantean tongue and they lost their communication abilities. Some strove hard to relearn the language and forged ahead, at which point God destroyed Atlantis. However, some of the Atlanteans survived in the catacombs for a while and a historian recorded a warning. He knew they were all dying but they still had the Book of Knowledge in their library. He warned that it should not be read but should be left alone until God came to take it back.

That is the general story line. There is a secret group at Vatican City (Society of Quirinus) that knows the secret and seeks to keep it secret. Cardinal Murani is the evil cardinal who is a member of this society and who wants the Book of Knowledge for himself so he can make the Roman Catholic Church all powerful again (or so he rationalizes). Meanwhile the Pope has assigned Father Sebastian to work a dig in Cadiz, Spain where Atlantis has been found (or the remains of it). Also some mysterious artifacts have turned up (first a Bell), which have strange writing on them. BBC is doing a show and gets the world renowned linguist Thomas Lourds to be on the show and to take a look at the mysterious bell. However, after having a quick look and taking some pictures of the bell, they are attacked by professional “thugs” hired by Cardinal Murani. They (Lourds and BBC cameraman and narrator) follow a lead to another artifact (a cymbal) in Moscow. There another professor is killed when Murani’s men get there and steal the cymbal. However the professor they killed has a sister who is a tough Russian police officer. She joins Lourds et al. and keeps them alive while they track down other artifacts (there are 5 in total: bell, cymbal, pipe, drum, and flute) to solve the Atlantis Code. These instruments are the key to gaining access into the Atlantean Library.

As mentioned it is a fast paced read, but not very mentally stimulating. The author has the annoying habit (at least I find it so) of mentioning specific technology when it is not important. As an example, people watch a movie on DVD rather than just watching a movie. A character plays his PSP rather than just playing a portable video game. Yet, the guns that are being used are described only as pistols, rifles, automatic or semi-automatic. This technique of naming specific technological tools can be done in a seamless manner but not in this book. They seem almost like position marketing for sponsors. If it becomes a movie, I could see the items as product placement opportunities, which to me is just sad.