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on 3 September 2013
Very cleverly crafted, full of excitement and action passing through the realms of the arcane, mythological, biblical, historical, witches, monsters, monks and maidens. All of this and not a word of bad language, in fact my only criticism is the very occasional modern phrase (eg, 'No worries' - surely not medieval)
You may need to read the final 10% twice as it all goes a bit frantic and your brain just can't keep up with your eyes racing across the page....plus you have forgotten to breathe.
This is a mega good read which must have taken a lot of research - absolutely amazing for a debut novel. As it was written relatively recently I expect that we have quite a wait for another from this author, shame
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on 15 May 2013
Wow! What a wonderful ride!! Where to begin... First, the entire time I was reading the story I was also hoping that the author would separate fact from fiction at the end. And he did not disappoint. I love learning while reading a terrific book.

The characters in this mesmerizing historical fantasy were unforgettable! I just loved all the monks; some were evil, some were good, some were kooky, and some were brave. Brother Ciaran, the young monk whose point of view is one of the primary throughout the story, was quite believable and likeable. I didn't find one thing annoying about him. The emotions he felt were relevant to the whirlwind of events he experienced. The reader also gets the chance to watch Ciaran grow as the story unfolds.

There were several villains in this story, which is another reason why I enjoyed it so much. Multiple bad guys just multiply the fun!

The plot--flawless. Brother Ciaran and his assembled gang of unlikely cohorts are traveling around trying to find a device that will help save the world from meeting its end. The journey is peppered with not only people trying to kill them, but demons summoned to hunt them and kill them. Yikes! Each obstacle encountered was realistic because not everyone makes it out alive.

The flow of the story is another plus! There is something going on in every page and I just didn't want to stop reading until the action stopped. But the action never ceased so whenever I had to stop reading, I was in physical agony!!

A great read. I recommend this book to anyone who enjoys getting lost in the fictional world, navigated by a superb author.
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on 27 August 2014
I really enjoyed this debut novel. It is a fantastical re-imagining of events that took place in the late 10th century and, as far as I know as a layman, remained true to actual events and to the important customs and practices of the time. The writing style and characterisations kept me interested right the way through. I'd happily buy a sequel.
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on 15 August 2013
A cross between raiders of the lost ark and the Devinci code I really enjoyed this book and look forward to a sequel. Well written it kept me turning pages instead of catching up with my work! A great debut novel.
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on 8 June 2013
This book was great! It was a fast paced, dangerous, mysterious adventure that kept me guessing and also wanting to read on to find out how everything came together. You will love this book if you like a mix of history and fantasy. My only criticism, and the reason I only gave it 4 stars, is the ending is quite abrupt and you want more! But don't let this put you off a great story!
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on 29 October 2015
I have just finished reading this book and couldn't put it down! It's the best story I've read in a long long time - a riveting read, full of action and adventure and extremely fast paced. I can heartily recommend this book to anyone who enjoys great fantasy fiction. Brilliant!
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on 3 August 2013
Finley's debut novel was a surprising delight. Sure, detailed, and well-wrought placed in a setting the Author has done his homework in, and it shows.

It was interesting to come to an apocalyptic book where the fears of the coming Patmosian encounter are some thousand years in our past. While I know that such fears have plagued man since the dawn of civilization, it was refreshing to hear voices from the distant past echoing our current fears, albeit in a slightly mythological and magical setting.

The twists and turns of plot, while necessary for any "thrilling page-turner" did not necessarily feel forced. Most grew naturally from the setting involved, and from the events at play. While I did debate some of the developments while reading, I knew that some were primarily FPS (for purposes of story).

My one critique rests somewhat squarely in one area. It is a small thing, but one that didn't help to attract notice, and it was in terms of the narrative only, seperate from plot and character.
Descriptions of characters at times lapsed into a very quick form of emotive description, particularly the agents of the forces of darkness. Eyes that were "cruel", or "cunning" or "flashing", descriptions that give us trait-markers before the characters display any particular action that would show them as being cruel, or cunning, or any other marker. Being guilty of this myself, it's not much to take someone to task for, and to be honest did very little to detract from the pacing, however the shorthand must be noted.
As well, I would have loved to see a little more of the final battle at Brosse. There is a conflict in the faerie realm, and while it is well imagined, the struggles of men against men is also of prime importance to the text (since while the fae involved in this book are indeed involved in a primeval struggle, they do need agents of mortal flesh in order to work their will) and so I had hoped a little more of that mortal world struggle would make itself clear.

All told, however, I had a fine ride with this book. The philosophical musings and religious backdrop were well balanced with a bit of oomph and muscle and lots of running about. What "Enoch's Device" sets out to do - open a door of possibility and magic in a well researched historical setting - it does very well. I am curious to see where Finley takes us next in the twists and turns of the "Dark Ages", and look forward to his next work. A wonderful debut from a writer I will be looking forward to hearing from again.
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This is a cracking good yarn. If you like a good fantasy adventure buy it. Loved every page it kept me hooked. I got this book for free!!!!!!! I would have paid good money for it. But for freee!!!!!!!!!!!! Mint. If you have to pay for it you wont be disapointed. Quality book. Yee haaa.
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on 25 May 2013
Ireland, the year 997 AD. The monks at the local monastery watch in awe as a ship arrives from France, carrying a host of armed men and the bishop of Blois, a man called Ademar. Among the monks is a young man called Ciaran, and he is shocked to hear why the Franks have arrived: Ciaran's friend and guardian Donall stands accused of witchcraft and heresy.

This marks the beginning of a fast-paced adventure that takes in half of Europe, encompassing magic, fae, religion, legends, demons, the offspring of fallen angels and much, much more, yet it never becomes muddled. History, fantasy and existing legends - sometimes religious, sometimes not - are interwoven seamlessly, and the whole makes for a wonderful ride that often has you on the edge of your seat. The heroes are likeable, the villains suitably loathsome, and the story is never boring.

I'm still not entirely sure how plausible it is for a tenth-century monk to be as enlightened and to have as much knowledge as Donall, but his background is plausibly written, so I was happy to accept it. The only real gripe I have is that the ending was rather abrupt, but other than that I really, thoroughly enjoyed this book. I'd definitely recommend it.
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on 7 August 2013
Very enjoyable , good pace of myth with a twist would recommend Will certainly look for more from this author
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