Saturday, October 12, 2013

Review | Stones (Data) by Jacob Whaler

 Title:  Stones (Data)
Series:  Stones Series #1
Author:  Jacob Whaler
Genre:  Techno Thriller
Length:  553 Pages
Released:  August 22, 2013
Purchase:  Amazon Kindle


Alexander the Great. Genghis Kahn. Julius Caesar. Attila the Hun. Mao. Stalin.

For thousands of years, the Stones have been hidden among us, giving a privileged few the power to rule over masses, destroy old empires and create new ones.

Now it's near the end of the 21st century. On the eve of a trip to Japan, Matt Newmark finds a dark rock in the shape of a claw, and it changes everything. With the help of a Shinto priest, he discovers it’s a Stone, a piece of ancient alien technology that gives him a sweeping view of history and control over time, matter and energy.

But Matt is not alone.

Mikal Ryzaard, a survivor of the Nazi death camps, has a Stone of his own and a burning vision to eliminate suffering and bring back Paradise. With all the resources of the world's largest multinational corporation behind him, he tracks down Matt and makes him an offer.

Join me or die.

This is the first book in the Stones series, a new techno-thriller quadriligy by Jacob Whaler.


Leaving little to the imagination, Author Jacob Whaler takes you on a journey years into the future. At first I was able to put the book down easily but my mind kept drifting back to the story. Then I found myself growing curious about Matt's mother and the mystery of the stones. Finally it was impossible for me to set the book aside because I had to know more about the characters, Matt, Ryzaard and even Kent.

When Matt's mother is murdered, his father, Kent has no choice but to run, going completely off grid. Years later, Matt's grown to resent his father for always looking over their shoulder and cannot wait to move out. While looking forward to his new found freedom, Matt enjoys one last ride down the ski slopes. Missing a turn on the slope he ends up face planting it in the snow and that's when he sees it. An unusual rock that fits perfectly into the palm of his hand. Unknowingly Matt decides to keep the rock, altering not only his life but his loved ones as well.

Ryzaard, a powerful business man, has learned of the stones history and their mysterious power. He wouldn't hold one of the highest positions with MX Global, the company he works for, without that knowledge. While his youth is nothing to speak of, his need for more power corrupts him and his judgment of others. He must have the stone holders full cooperation to build a future, his all powerful future as he sees it... And that means he needs Matt...

I never would have guessed what the book was about based on the books cover. Once I finished the book every detail on the mysterious cover stands out perfectly. With all the details in the beginning of the story it doesn't start to pick up till you get into it a little. Very few grammar errors were found but nothing that takes away from the storyline or flow. Overall I am glad I picked up this book and look forward to reading Jacob's next installment, Stones (Hypothesis) - Book 2 of The Stones Series.

About the Author
As a teenager, I read Ray Bradbury's horror stories into the dark hours of the night, afraid to move for fear that I'd stir up something evil. I consumed Alan Dean Foster's Alien in one sitting, glued to the La-Z-Boy recliner in our family room, heart beating in unison with the characters on the page as they pursued, and were pursued by, the nightmare aboard their starship. I sat in a secret corner of our house with tears in my eyes and a lump in my throat as I savored the end of The Lord of the Rings and Watership Down.

I have experienced the power of words in my own life, and my belief in that power to fire our imaginations and lift our minds to new heights pushes me to write.

My favorite places are near oceans or mountains. I love to spend time in Japan exploring its unique culture, history and language.

As a six-year-old on a fishing trip with my dad and grandpa, I found an obsidian rock half buried in the mud, blunt on one end and pointed on the other, about the size of an adult fist. My grandpa, a lifelong rock hound, tried in vain to get it away from me. He begged, threatened and offered me money. He told me what a perfect addition it would make to his collection. But I refused to let it part from my fingers.

For some reason, I felt an immediate bond to that rock.

I took it home, washed it off and put it on the window ledge above my bed. (There's a photo of it on my website.)

Decades later, I still keep that rock close by and often pick it up to feel the way it naturally fits the curve of my palm. I like to stare into its glassy surface and daydream about where it came from and the secrets it might hold.

It was on such a day, as I looked into my Stone, the seed of an idea took shape in my mind. Little by little, that idea grew and sprouted tentacles until it got such a hold on my brain that I was left with no choice but to start writing it down.

The result was four long books.

In a way, I think of the STONES novels as keeping a promise to my six-year-old self, a promise to always keep room in my heart for child-like wonder. A promise to stay who I am.

In my professional life, I've used words to build meaning into arcane corporate documents that control the flow of hundreds of millions of dollars around the globe. But I've grown tired of using words to control something as mundane as money.

So I've become a writer of novels.

Back in high school, I learned to program computers. It's a different kind of writing, a different kind of language, a different kind of control. But like any good writing, it's a string of written instructions that has an effect on the real world.

I'd like to think that the words of my novels are like computer code for human brains.

I hope you will plug in and enjoy.

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