Wednesday, June 13, 2012

72 - hours to Crack the Universe’s Code; Mark O'Brien

72 - hours to Crack the Universe’s Code by indie author Mark O'Brien  is a novel of political intrigue, mathematics, passion and underlying it all, an imperative directive to humanity with dire galactic overtones.

Somewhat like the Illuminati, the Mathematika is a mysterious Greek society founded long before Christianity. The reason for its existence is to bring mankind ‘that which they know but cannot understand’ and was created to ‘safeguard the truths until mankind was ready to understand them’. Now the time has come, and the Mathematika is now ruled by the dark fanatic, Alexander Kepler – who believes ethical lines were drawn so you would know where to cross them. Yet, although he is extremely violent, murderous and obsessive, Kepler is a family man, and his relationship with his wife is one of the lighter parts of the tale. This most violent and evil of men is also a romantic, tender lover. However, the time has come for the world to know some basic truths about the Universe, and it is Kepler’s task to insure they are made public.

To this end, he kidnaps a renowned Muslim leader, Ibn Qurra. His henchmen also kidnap the renowned Rabbi Jacobi, and Father George Pappus, president of the Vatican Observatory Foundation -  all three at 10:45 am on the same day.

Not all of Kepler’s heavies are 100% behind him, one is a traitor, and another considers him to be insane. All the heavies are individuals, which makes reading them enjoyable.

Ransoms are sent: a series of 3 mathematical equations which all must be solved one per day within 72 hours. If one equation is wrong, all three of the kidnapped men will die.

The protégé of George Pappus, Clancy Sylvester, astrophysicist and mathematician, is determined to get his mentor back. The author has researched all three of the religions represented by the three kidnapped leaders, and also the cultures they represent.  The author also appears to have a firm grasp of mathematics, as I do NOT; but  on the positive side he did not make me have to do the thinking so the math was fine. Clancy’s friend Jules Hadamard (female, despite the name) who is a math genius explains it all. All of the characters are distinctly individual, and if some are over the top, well that is part of the fun.
While O'Brien goes a little heavy on the descriptions at times, over all this is a compelling read. There are moments of humor and also of pathos, and the action is non-stop. All in all, I found this to quite entertaining, and well written. This is a good read, and I do not hesitate to recommend it!


  1. I usually like this sort of book and took it on holiday with me in great anticipation so I could enjoy it without disturbances. However, I became frustrated and irritated by the constant use of bad language, (really not necessary), and the constant bickering between characters which distracted from the excitement of the plot.
    Although this is a clever, interesting, ingenious story and I want to know what happens, I can't get round those two huge issues which, for me, totally spoil it.

    Sorry Mark, you've obviously done a lot of research and spent many many hours writing it, so well done for that. And remember, this is only my opinion.

    1. As always, books are subjective, and not everyone will enjoy what I enjoy. It's all part of the fun! I enjoyed the bickering, and while I don't use bad language myself, I wasn't offended by it. But thank you for your comment, it will help readers have a broader sense of what this book is all about!


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