A Potter's Tale
by Dave Davis
Sci Fi & Fantasy
Pub Date: 03 Apr 2019
1935. Roz Lhulier and his team unearth the massive tomb of Pakal, the greatest Mayan king. It’s the discovery of the century, they think. They’re wrong. Instead, deep in the pyramid that holds the seventh-century ruler, hides a primitive Codex, a book of prophecy, predicting the collapse of the solar system. Raising the question, “Does the world end?” The codex is deciphered by Alan Turing, the genius who broke the German’s Enigma Code during WWII, but its message is jealously guarded by the Astronomers, a lethal cult inside the Catholic Church. They’ve compromised or killed anyone with knowledge of the secret—presidents and prime ministers, for starters. The Codex pulls Noah Scott into its deadly orbit, a physician-turned reporter, and his partner Kate. When they investigate the murder and memoirs of DiShannia, a highly precocious teenager who’s achieved national recognition for her research on the demise of the Mayan civilization, Kate and Noah are led from Washington DC, to the British Museum, to the Center for Nuclear Research in Geneva, to Melbourne, Australia. Each step enlightens them, offers them clues, frightens them. And us. The Potter’s Tale weaves two strands of the novel—the Codex and its rich human stories—with another, creating an unsettling narrative DNA. This third strand involves the Potter, who crafts the story. And the genes that craft us all. Does the world end? The Potter knows the answer. Noah, Kate discover it. We learn it too—on the last page.
A novel about an alternate universe – or an alternate
history of ours. I found the beginning chapters on the slow side – perhaps
there were too many threads to the story too and I started to find it difficult
to remember everything that had happened in each one.
There were also still quite a few proofing errors such as
‘well healed developers’ ; ‘members
of a leafy sect’ [location 1320]
I also thought that the story could have been shorter –
maybe reduce the threads and be rather cruel – there was, for me, too much of a
tendency to ramble. The story line needed to be tighter.
All the above aside, the novel got an extra star for the
great final twist to the tale.