For those who know…
that something is going on…
The witnesses are legion, scattered across the world and dotted through history, people who looked up and saw something impossible lighting up the night sky. What those objects were, where they came from, and who—or what—might be inside them is the subject of fierce debate and equally fierce mockery, so that most who glimpsed them came to wish they hadn’t.
Most, but not everyone.
Among those who know what they’ve seen, and—like the toll of a bell that can’t be unrung—are forever changed by it, are a pilot, an heiress, a journalist, and a prisoner of war. From the waning days of the 20th century’s final great war to the fraught fields of Afghanistan to the otherworldly secrets hidden amid Nevada’s dusty neverlands—the truth that is out there will propel each of them into a labyrinth of otherworldly technology and the competing aims of those who might seek to prevent—or harness—these beings of unfathomable power. Because, as it turns out, we are not the only ones who can invent and build…and destroy.
Featuring actual events and other truths drawn from sources within the military and intelligence community, Tom DeLonge and A.J. Hartley offer a tale at once terrifying, fantastical, and perhaps all too real. Though it is, of course, a work of… fiction?
I feel like I need to preface this by saying that a lot of what I know when it comes to conspiracy theories and UFOs and stuff of this nature has stemmed from being a fan of Tom Delonge for almost 20 years. I have to give my dad credit too because I have very fond memories of watching all kinds of shows on this subject matter. He’s also the reason I love sci-fi as much as I do. But I have spent many a hours listening to Tom talk about this subject matter and it has always intrigued me a great deal.
People tend to write him off though and just laugh at him as crazy Tom who believes that Aliens Exist. Get it? If you do I love you. The truth is though he is smart as shit and he is so well read on all of this stuff. He has immersed himself into the world in a way most people never will and now we are all benefiting from all of the time he has put into this.
I had never read anything written by A.J. Hartley before so while I’m very familiar with Tom and what he has to say on this subjet matter I wasn’t sure where Hartley would fit in or if I would like his style. So to be honest I wasn’t sure what to make when I first started Sekret Machines. I knew that if it was done right it could be amazing but I wasn’t sure what I was really going to get. Because what could the outcome possibly be when you pair up a rockstar and a Shakespeare scholar? Well it turns out you get one hell of a novel. This is one of my favorite books that I’ve read in quite a while. I was hooked from the very beginning and I even made the comment that a book that has you saying “oh shit!” at the end of every chapter is one you know won’t be easy to put down. You find yourself saying “okay I’ll just read this next chapter” and before you know it you have flown through almost 400 pages in less than two days.
This book will turn your brain backwards and scramble everything you thought you knew about so-called conspiracy theories and UFO phenomenons. The notion that there is truth in fiction has never rang more true than while reading this book. The entire novel is based around real life events and while the characters and everything that holds the book together are fictional all you need to do is do a few quick google searches to find that there are quite a few things in the book that you can verify for yourself. I think that’s what makes the book work so well. You can read a non-fiction account from people who have studied these things and they can present you with facts and figures but when you have a story like this told from four different point of views you have the human factor that makes you that much more invested. You want to know where these people are going and where they came from and how in the world their stories are going to come together.
The book did seem to drag a little bit towards the middle but that’s to be expected. Even when it was slower though you knew it was just building up and setting the stage for something major. Some of the military/flight jargon was a bit much for me. I tend to be much more of a visual person when it comes to that because you can tell me all the technical terms of an aircraft and I just can’t picture it. I visualize every single thing in my head when I read so I would find myself spacing out a little bit (no pun intended) during Alan’s chapters because I just couldn’t really picture what they were talking about. With that said though his are some of the most intriguing parts because the crafts that are described are quite thrilling and there is some amazing imagery when he is learning and flying.
Maybe I’m a bit biased because I love Tom but I am so impressed with the world that he and AJ Hartley created and put on paper. This novel is filled with everything that you could want out of a novel. It has intrigue, high-technology, betrayal, lights in the sky, religion, covert affairs, politics, history, and like I said it takes everything you thought you knew about the world around you and flips it right over. And this is just the beginning. The final two pages had me squealing with excitement and delight and left me wanting so much more. I’m quite curious what people who don’t know anything about Tom and his previous history with this subject matter will think of this book. After all, it could have been much stranger. He could have come up with a 700 page novel about his theory that 50 million years in the future they have some conflict with people 48 million years in the future and they have an intergalactic battle through some sort of kaleidoscope. On second thought, maybe that would be interesting.
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