UK Publication date: April 2010
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Through out-of-body experiences, Leoni in 21st-century Los Angeles and Ria in Stone Age Spain encounter and are guided by a virtuous being to prevent the ruin of the modern world. In the Stone Age, the evil entity Sulpa amasses an army to eradicate the innocent and good by destroying all the tribes they encounter, especially the Neanderthals. As the lines between the dimensions cross, the opportunity arises for Sulpa to traverse into the 21st century to wreak havoc. Leoni and Ria must battle together across time to vanquish Sulpa.
Verdict This first book in trilogy by the author of multiple best-selling nonfiction books (e.g.,Fingerprints of the Gods) is a solid, fast-moving, metaphysical time-travel tale. The novel is a bit disjointed at first because the two story lines appear to be disconnected. Those who are a bit squeamish should be cautioned as there is quite a bit of violence and torture. For fans of New Age and visionary fiction.-Joy Gunn, Henderson Libs., NV
Adeptly balancing a concern for harsh and complicated realities with a boundless talent for the fantastical, Hancock, author of popular history works such as the bestseller Fingerprints of the Gods, has created a fantasy realm where an epic struggle is underway. Click here for the full review
Two teenaged girls living 24,000 years apart are tasked by a beneficent being with putting a stop to the evil force embodied in Sulpa, a demon who has amassed a terrifying force of Stone Age warriors to carry out his plans. Central to these is the destruction of the Neanderthals, who here are spiritually superior beings with telepathic and healing powers. Hancock's draw on real anthropological and archaeological information is grounding and invigorating, and his supernatural additions are both internally coherent and satisfyingly trippy; one central premise is that out-of-body states such as those induced by certain drugs can actually transport one to other (real) dimensions and times. The march of endless cliffhangers is somewhat tiring, though, and one hopes that the simplistic portrayal of good and evil will be complicated in sequels, as it contributes to a fatiguing effect. Otherwise, Hancock has more than enough mythos, character, and tension to propel two further installments.
Her problems include hunting for food and brutish thugs from a competing family in her own tribe who threaten to rape her when she rescues a hapless crippled Neanderthal from their clutches. Leoni is a modern teenager who lives in LA. Her problems are brutish parents, including a father who has raped her in the past, and drug addiction, which threatens to kill her in the present. A near-death vision takes her into a world that is neither past nor present, but shockingly real. Ria finds herself there soon enough, and both soon realize that their lives are ... entangled.
Graham Hancock is famous — and in some circles, infamous — for his non-fiction, which posits all sorts of history not included in the textbooks. His first novel is 'Entangled,' and it's likely to evoke the same sort of dual reaction.
Hancock's story of mingled times and supernatural threats that span the ages is certainly a compelling novel on a variety of levels. It's a fast-paced story with lots of action and adventure, and more cliffs than the Grand Canyon. The plot flips back and forth between Ria and Leoni, as they realize that they are being brought together by one supernatural entity to fight another that threatens humanity. As noted above, the book does include some unpleasantly graphic scenes of rape, incest and violence that could easily alienate readers. Be warned; and as well that each chapter ends on a cliffhanger, which means you either stay up all night or get really annoyed. I expected the latter but experienced the former. Sure, it's a cheesy device, but it's also effective.
Hancock's heroines are young women who discover a steel-like inner strength, but find they need all they have and more to deal with the perils that face them. I rather liked that Leoni was something of an unlikeable, spoiled brat whom you might hope to see get arrested in shopping mall for bad behaviour. Ria is more obviously heroic, but certainly not perfect either. To Hancock's credit there's a fair amount of gray here, and some men in lesser roles who are neither purely evil nor perfectly good. On the other hand, you will find some examples of knights in shining armor, but since they are in full-charge on white steeds (or bearing life-saving medicine, as it were), they tend to get caught up in the action, along with the reader.
What makes Hancock's work quite different from that of dozens of action-packed fantasy and horror authors is the informed nature of his speculation. When Hancock describes an out-of-body experience, it rings true. He's had one. And when he explores a wildly imaginative and new-age-ish vision of Neanderthal society — in which our insurance-advertising friends are telepathic healers — the world-building is unexpectedly strong. Hancock's surreal interzone is entertainingly filled with peculiar critters that have just the right feel for a supernatural netherworld. Hancock is well-steeped in all the arcane notions he brings to his fiction. For all the wild thrills and cliff-hanger chapter-endings, 'Entangled' has a certain air of authority.
The ARC I had in my hand claims that the novel is the first part of a trilogy, but the author told me in person that this is the first of two books. Though the novel comes to a fairly satisfying conclusion, there's clearly a lot of problems left unsolved.
'Entangled' is both refreshingly free of the usual stuff of supernatural horror or fantasy adventure fiction. Hancock does follow a well-trod thriller formula with regards to his plotting and pacing; there's nothing literarily revolutionary about 'Entangled.' But he clearly wants — and knows how to — let his readers have a good time. 'Entangled' has something in common with the drugs that transport its characters to other realms; if you can take it and survive, you're quite likely to have an out-of-body (reading) experience.
David Wilcock, Divinecosmos.com
"A stunning, time-bending journey ... Hancock has amazed me with what he's done here -- delivered captivating characters, an immediately engrossing storyline, and a narrative momentum that keeps you so glued to the book that you'd better free up a nice block of time before you crack the cover open... The good guys' scintillating new answer to Dan Brown." Read the whole review.
Science Fiction & Fantasy
Entangled is an accomplished novel of scope and depth with well realised characters and visionary in it's descriptions. The plot travels along at quite a pace, switching from past to present as the story unfolds and it is clear Graham Hancock has drawn from his rich knowledge of past ancient history and the supernatural... Great plot, interesting characters and a unique perspective, with somewhat of a cliff hanger ending. Read the whole review.
Entangled has, without doubt, surpassed all of my expectations. It is very well written, there is a depth to the main characters, the plot flows and most importantly, that spark, that oomph is back. Read all Amazon reviews.
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