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Book Review: The Beginning By Michael R. Nardo

Michael R. Nardo’s The Beginning is the ideal book for the science fiction enthusiast.  It hones in on the notion of the existence of alien beings and intricate government conspiracies. These questions have fascinated scholars, the media, and Hollywood for decades. The X Files, an extremely popular television show of the 1990s, offered the memorable tagline “the truth is out there.” If one were to answer this inquiry, some follow-up questions may be considered: Whose truth are we seeking? And if this truth as to whether intelligent life exists, where do we find it?

Nardo frames the possibility of intelligent life in a creative and intriguing manner. At the outset of the book, readers meet fourteen year old Ali and his eleven year old sister Shada who are tending a flock of sheep in Basra, Iraq located west of Sumer.  The elders of their village have said that Sumer and the Mound of Tiamat  region is mystical and spiritual ground. Consequently, the youngsters are warned to stay away from this area. But they ignore the warning.  Subsequently, Ali and Shada are enveloped in a mysterious light and witness a peculiar event. However, the two aren’t the only ones who experience this phenomenon.

A significant portion of book focuses on the involvement of the military and the government in this region.  One compelling question in this book centers on where did humanity originate.

Nardo’s writing style is  marvelously descriptive and strikes an emotional chord.  Readers “feel” the urgency of the military’s mission and are able to appreciate what is at stake.  In addition, pacing is quite effective.

Suspense permeates throughout this book.

Further, Nardo does an incredible job of incorporating history and geography.  The scenes involving the military’s response heighten the dramatic tension.  Nardo introduces readers to a number of Navy Seals.  Each of these Navy Seals are men of strength, heroism and conviction.  These characters are realistically drawn. We understand their psychological motivations and are inspired by the weight of their personal sacrifice.

Power and control are timeless struggles that have faced many civilizations. Arguably, these themes underline Nardo’s book. Finally, readers are likely to debate who the true antagonists are in this story.

The Beginning is a book that will keep readers riveted from the first page to the last. It highlights the various close encounters as well as the subsequent cover-ups that have occurred throughout history.  If you’re a person who endorses the belief of intelligent life, this book will whet your appetite.  If you’re a skeptic, Nardo’s book is equally thought-provoking.

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