The Nostradamus File – A Project Novel – Alex Lukeman
Reviewers: She Said – Gloria Lakritz / She Said – Penelope Adams
The murder of a Paris bookseller who discovers a lost manuscript of prophecies by Nostradamus sends Nick Carter, Selena Connor and the Project on a global hunt for the fabled Ark of the Covenant. The prophecies lead them to the Holy Land and deep into the secrets of the ancient Order of the Knights Templar.
The Ark is part of a plan to trigger war and a new Crusade in the Middle East. The men behind the plot have no problem killing anyone who gets in the way, including Nick and Selena. While people are doing their best to kill him and he’s trying to stay alive, Nick is struggling with his PTSD. He’ll lose Selena if he doesn’t find a way to handle it. But how can he find time to sort out his personal life when he’s caught up in one of the most dangerous missions of his career?
Review by Gloria Lakritz/She Said:
Sr Reviewer and Review Chair of the Paranormal Romance Guild
Alex Lukeman again thrills us with another chapter in this wonderful action adventure, The Project Series. There are now subtle changes in the inner story. Our stalwart crew who have formed a brilliant fighting machine have been relocated after the bombing of the Project Headquarters in our last book. We find ourselves on eighty acres of rolling hills in the county of Fairfax, Virginia. Our office building now is reminiscent of a sprawling, statuesque colonial mansion, which also had in the past stored Nike missiles in the concrete bunkers below. The ventilation pipes are the only giveaway to its existence.
We begin with Nick and Selena on vacation in Paris. While there Selena is visiting a friend Jean-Paul Bertrand a curator of rare books. As always Mr. Lukeman brings you into the story immediately with great action. Our duo find Jean-Pierre is in his bookshop murdered with a bloody clue EX25 written in blood on the floor near his body. Time to call their boss Elizabeth Harker who helps deal with the Paris police.
Back at the hotel, a package arrives for Selena, and it is from Jean-Pierre, obviously sent before he was killed. Old pages are in view and Selena tells Nick they appear to be very old pages from Nostradamus written in what they call quatrains. The twosome head back to the U.S. but not before an attempt is made to steal the quatrains and kill them. This is where author Alex Lukeman is at his finest. His writing is crisp, sharp and utterly spellbinding as he weaves another wonderful tale.
Again, Mr. Lukeman takes us on another roller coaster ride of thrills and chills. The Project Team work together following the clues that make this story great; but also very believable. It seemed to me this book was sort of a turning point in the series where although the team is dedicated to what they bring to the world, small changes seem to be happening. Nick and Selena are looking deeper into their relationship or lack of ; missing the one that they once had. Selena’s struggle with an injury that almost cost her life and limb this past year has her thinking of what she has become since she joined the Project. Nick on the other hand, is finally trying to work on his baggage. Is it too late for them to find happiness?
After six books in a series we also find not only injuries plague our team, but eventually luck runs out and we have a mortality; a death of someone we have all come to care for. This loss plays hard on these guys as the trust and respect a team has for each other, when your life is on the line goes much deeper than family, it is like losing part of yourself.
The Nostradamus story line also is exciting and takes us on a very interesting adventure searching for a religious relic that of course everyone is interested in even AEON.
I try very hard not to give away spoilers for it is very easy to do if you have read any of these stories. The Project series is fast paced, has lots of action for thriller fans and will not disappoint.
Again I find it a Solid 5 Star read.
Review by Penelope Adams/She Said:
Member of the Paranormal Romance Guild Review Team
Welcome to The Project, a secret covert branch of the government that gets things done that might not be within the reach of the other visible branches. Nick and Selena are on a well deserved vacation in Paris and are combining work and pleasure by visiting an old friend of Selena’s uncle, who sells rare books.
As is the case more often than not with these two, trouble follows when they discover Selena’s friend murdered in his shop with the letters “EX 25” written in his blood beside his body. After spending hours with the police they retire to their hotel to find a package waiting for Selena. Her old friend sent her something before he died, boy did he send her something. Inside the package is an old manuscript written by none other than the prophet Nostradamus himself. And so the hunt begins, why would Jean-Paul send such a valuable manuscript to Selena, who killed him and what does EX 25 mean?
The team are going to involved in a hunt for one of religions most cherished relics, following the clues given to them by the old master himself while fighting the bad guys, uncovering mysteries that might be better left covered and encountering some of the baddest bad guys the world has ever seen.
Alex Lukeman has done it again, he tells us a gripping tale of intrigue and danger, taking us around the world from Paris to the Middle East to a castle in Scotland in search of a religious relic that might possibly change the world if found. He not only takes us to exotic locales, he gives us a history lesson and opens the doors to controversy that could put Dan Brown to shame. That’s the only hint I’m going to give you on the plot of this one so don’t ask.
All the team are together again in their new location, a seemingly innocent estate built on an old Nike missile site complete with building disguised as a home and underground magazines. Director Harker is at the helm, Stephanie doing her magic at the computers, Ronnie and Lamont back in the saddle and Nick and Selena with their on again, off again relationship.
I love this team, each could have an entire series dedicated to them. Nick and Selena’s relationship is being strained by a combination of Nick’s nightmares and Selena’s own self doubt as to what kind of person she is becoming. They are both professionals and it won’t interfere with their work but strained is strained and both are feeling it. The team will call on an old friend for help, as they’ve done in the past, and will follow clues left to them by Nostradamus, picking up crumbs along the way and piecing them together with a whole lot of “what ifs” and a little bit of help from another old, mysterious friend.
I’m not going to beat around the bush here, I have no doubts that there are going to be readers who are not going to like the plot line of this book, as it will step on a religious toe or two. It was a risk for Mr. Lukeman to take, which even I had the occasional twinge with from time to time. I feel like the risk paid off and we got one heck of an exciting, spine tingling story from it, even with my twinges.
We see a new Selena, not as confident in herself and a more vulnerable side to Nick. We are going to finally learn more about the mysterious Adam, which brought more questions to mind, clever Mr. Lukeman, clever.
Readers who enjoy Dan Brown, Raiders of the Lost Ark or The Bourne Legacy are going to love this, readers of a good action/adventure or readers who just like to be told a good story are also going to love this. Who knows what Mr. Lukeman is going to put the team against next but I do know it’s going to an exciting adventure.
Now that the reviewers have read each other’s thoughts…
Hi Penny, this is the 6th time we have met to discuss Alex Lukman and The Project series. This story line has seemed to grow darker and darker as the mighty team is pitted against evil and they have been thwarting enemies with enough clout, to make themselves not so much in the shadows any longer. The bad guys know they exist now and they are targets with a price on their heads. Our sweet Selena was a fairy princess when we met her, beautiful, educated and now she can shoot a Glock in each hand and not miss a meal. She is beginning to worry what she has become.
Yes, Mr. Lukeman is definitely ramping up both the excitement and the darkness of this series. I fear, poor Selena and Nick are in for a hard ride ahead and what the outcome is going to be is anyone’s guess. Mr. Lukeman also bravely decided to take a big chance in the plot direction he took on, as I mentioned in my review I worry about how some of his fans are going to feel about it. I’m a huge fan of this series and of Mr. Lukeman’s writing style but even I had a twinge or two while reading.
We have so many directions to go with a plot, because evil lurks everywhere but we did bring up some solid questions about the family that has been built. We seem to be on the same wave length as our author asking about Harker and Stephanie…I would also like to find out who the others on our team ‘go home to’ as well. AEON will I am sure bring more trouble to our gang
I’m trying not to give anything away but I found the ending to this one intriguing. Of course, we know out author likes to throw things in the ending to do that to us and may or may not address it in the next book, clever man. He also gave us just a tiny little hint about the mysterious Adam, I’m still trying to figure out who he is. There is a lot to discover in the future and like you, I wonder who the rest of the team goes home to, maybe we will learn later.
Good Night, Gracie.
You are right , it is difficult to discuss a Lukeman story, without possibly spoiling it for a reader so all I can say to any one interested in being challenged, entertained and read for the love of the thrill of it…read the Project series.
Q&A with Author Alex Lukeman
- This book has a controversial subject, do you worry it might upset some fans?
It could, I suppose. But it shouldn’t upset anyone who reads carefully. A careful reader will note that as far as the “religious” element goes, my characters believe in God; do not attack Christianity (although a bad Christian, like my villain, is still a bad person and will be criticized accordingly). The alternate theories proposed for the Exodus, Moses, etc., are not unique to me, nor are the teachings of Thomas in the Gnostic gospels. A reader can agree or disagree, that is their prerogative. These are used her as an element of fiction. You might notice Nick’s reaction to the Ark for a clue as to his particular spiritual sensibility. Nick is fundamentally a spiritual person, but he doesn’t realize it yet, not in those terms. Maybe later.
The Ark of the Covenant is one of those powerful symbols for the West that speaks to our need to believe in a Divine power and how to act in order to be in attunement with that power. The Ten Commandments are good stuff. I believe that there actually was an Ark, that seems historically true. The Ark is no more (as an object) than a means for the Israelites to carry the scroll of law (the Torah) and God’s commandments across the desert, a sacred storage space. As a symbol, it is a great deal more: the container for God’s agreement with humankind. It can therefore be confused with that agreement, which is real and independent of golden containers, even if they have cherubim on the top…
If you are wondering if I think God is real, the answer is definitely yes, with no reservations and experience as the deciding factor.
- Elizabeth Harker has secrets, will we learn them at some point?
- You started on a love interest for Harker’s assistant Stephanie…Where has that gone?
Stay tuned. That reappears in Book Seven, which contains more twists and problems for Stephanie.
- What do you have planned for your readers for Lucky #7?
Can’t tell you. Suffice it to say that AEON is a factor and is still trying to mess up everyone’s life through dominance and control. A clue…are you sure you know what is inside your television set?