Old Earth

Author: Gary Grossman

Publisher: Diversion Books

Rating: 4 stars

Buy Links: Diversion and Amazon

Type: Novel

Received from Publisher


Blurb: In the summer of 1601, Galileo Galilei made a startling discovery in the mountains of Eastern Italy that, if made public, could shatter faith in religion, bring down governments and lead to worldwide turmoil.

For more than 400 years the secret has been guarded by a small group of incredibly powerful people, willing to do everything in their power to keep these discoveries from being made. But now, a university dig in Montana headed by paleontologists Quinn McCauley and Katrina Alpert threatens to expose the secret Galileo unearthed, the event that caused him to turn his study to the stars, and the hidden reason the scientist was convicted of heresy by the Inquisition.

McCauley and Alpert find themselves in a global game of cat-and-mouse, seeking answers for a mystery that has endured for centuries, hunted for what they might discover.

OLD EARTH weighs age-old arguments between science and religion in a tense thriller that spans time and questions recorded history.


Review: Fascinating story.  A little slow in places, but fascinating just the same.  I particularly enjoyed the debates between Professor Quinn McCauley and the group of graduate students he had taken with him on the archeological dig in Montana about the age of Earth.  Quinn insisted that, even though they were all scientists, they seriously discuss the arguments by the religious advocates of the biblical justifications for Young Earth.  That was an engrossing, page turning section of the story.

Unfortunately, not everything was that engaging.  The “bad guys” protecting the “past” were not well developed, with no compelling reason for them to work so hard and violently to suppress the discoveries. This book has been compared by others to works by Dan Brown and Michael Crichton.  I don’t agree.  This book, while having some similar characters…don’t they all?…is pretty unique.  I would have liked to have seen more of the interesting grad students and a lot less of the old documents about Galileo and his battles with the Catholic Church.

Then there is Autem Semita, the self appointed group tasked 400 years earlier with hiding any discoveries that might expose “Old Earth” and her secrets.  The hopeful successor to the leadership of the group, Mr. Kavanaugh, is nearly pitiful in his greed for power.  There was nothing about this group and these men that indicated any true commitment, just the desire that others never know what they know.  I would have liked to have found some little morsel of sympathy, or even interest, in their point of view.  I never did.  The comparison to the Church’s repression of science was inevitable.

Having said all that, I did enjoy this book.  It was very nicely written…a great read for anyone who likes a romping good adventure with a conspiracy theory theme.  If you’re looking for a romance, you might be disappointed, though.

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