I don't normally buy books by self published authors, although if you are not a celebrity, go to a small publishing house or already published, this seems to be the only option left open to new authors and some have gone on to be picked up by the larger publishing houses, hopefully the same will happen with Ben Hammott, as the book is actually a very good read. As others have mentioned, his writing style is refreshing and makes for an easy read.
Beginnings is an archeological thriller, a name shoved onto many books recently, but Ben's book is exactly what it says on the tin, well the cover, but you know what I mean.
I was so engrossed in the book I read it through in one setting and thoroughly enjoyed the experience. The story is interesting and exciting enough to keep you hooked to the last page, and further. I will also buy the second installment when it is released later this year. If it is as good as part 1, Ben will go even further up my favorite authors list, maybe even to the top. I have now read Hammott's Lost Tomb of the Knights Templar non-fiction and WOW was is a great read.
Beginning's starts with the building of the Temple of Solomon and continues through time pausing at the Fall of Jerusalem and the writing of the copper scroll, I really enjoyed this part and the way Ben interweaves fact with fiction, as he does throughout the book, to bring alive what may have taken place. It's hard to say too much without giving the story away, but the outcome was something I didn't see coming. Then the story moves to the 1st crusade and then on to the Catacombs beneath Roslyn chapel. I loved these chapter most of all.
There are funny one liners and events that will make you laugh, which all adds to the enjoyment of the book.
I had already purchased and read the paperback version, but bought the Kindle version to read while I was on holiday. It was just as good the second time around.
Another review mentions the repetition of words during the temple mount battle scenes, but that is the way it happened, blood splatters, etc. I did not notice as I was so engrossed in the action. I also disagree with the reviewers comments on Hammott's non-fiction Lost Tomb of the Knights Templar, (see my review) I actually loved Hammott's journeys to and from Rennes-le-Chateau and were some of the funniest parts of the book. Yes it might upset the more academic minds who just want to get to meat of the story, but for me it made the book more human and a much more enjoyable read.
I will now be buying other self-published books in the hope I will find another gem like Hammott's Beginnings.
I have awarded this book the maximum 5 stars and if I could award it more I would. Congratulations Ben on your first novel and please make the next part, the Priest's Secret, just as exciting and enjoyable. For the kindle price you can't go wrong and once you have read it I am certain you'll be buying the second installment.
I just noticed that at the moment Hammott's books in paperback format are only available from his website or Amazon UK.