Sunday, March 20, 2011

José Rodrigues dos Santos - the Seventh Seal

World famous cryptanalyst Tomás Noronha is approached by Interpol agent Alexander Orlov, who hires him for a strange investigation. Two scientists were killed a few years ago, both on the same day in the summer of 2002: an American in Antarctica and a Spaniard in Barcelona. Both were well acquainted with Filipe Madureira, an old high school friend of Tomás. Filipe has since disappeared and Interpol wants Tomás to track him down. Orlov also wants the cryptanalyst’s help to decipher a message left by the assassins near the victims’ bodies - an ancient biblical mystery: “666”
The Number of the Beast.
To solve the killer’s biblical riddle and to find his long lost friend, Tomás tries to trace Filipe’s last known steps. The investigation puts him in the track of humankind’s biggest challenges in the next few years: global warming and the end of oil.
Based on true scientific data about climate change and genuine Aramco documents dealing with the major problems facing world and Saudi oil production, The Seventh Seal takes us on a daunting journey to the impending disaster facing humankind and our planet.

Comment: This portuguese author is actually more known for his career as a journalist. He's the pivot of the national station newscast and to be honest that's the first image of him that reaches my head when I think of his name and not the fact he writes books.
I wasn't very eager to read his books, I usually don't like much when a reporter turns to writer, there's always something off in there. Anyway, in this case I'll go further and confess I only picked it up because it's from the public library...

Well, the story is quite actual, it's mostly about the close end of the oil as a fuel to the world and how the planet is reacting to the diferences on the climate and the pollution. I think the premise is very serious and everyone should worry about the future and the author certainly included a lot of fear because of it. I, as a reader, am now even more frightned about my planet and future. This is a work of fiction but as the author states in the first page, the historical information is all true.
The characters...well, that's what one can discuss...I don't think he created the most intriguing characters ever, they feel like a copy of something already seen, but in the end it suited the genre.
I was waiting for something better, considering he's area of work is communications, but at the same time, writing fiction isn't the same thing as fiction, no matter how good one is with words.
In the end I feel conflicted, I liked reading the book, but I'm not passionate about it. It's good to read between genres, the ones one really likes, but sometimes we need to change in order not to overdue something and ruin it.

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