It's 2025 and 48BCE
In Memphis, at the height of the ancient Roman Empire, a long-lost temple is discovered in an underground vault. Behind the door with arcane markings, Marcus Agrippa and his Egyptian priestess lover discover strange maps, deadly snakes, rooms filled with tablets and a ritual which will change them forever.
Fast forward to the near future and scientist Roy Swenson begins conducting dream viewing experiments in Prague, in the hope that he will finally discover dark energy.
But when another fragment of his past appears at a surprising moment, Randall discovers a new technology that allows viewers to enter their subject's dreams. And it propels him towards something completely unexpected.
Desire, ambition and greed combine, as two incongruent timelines begin to merge and their boundaries become blurred. What will it mean for two ambitious men, both seeking power they do not understand?
The future is close to the precipice and neither one knows whether they are on the side of good or evil.
Recommended for 18+ readers due to sex, violence and mature language.
FIVE STARS: "Most highly recommended" - Reader's Favorite Feb 2017
FIVE STARS: "A Dystopian Science Fiction Masterpiece" - Book Viral
FOUR STARS: "Intense... enjoyable... fascinating." - The US Review of Books
"FIVE STARS: The best of all genres... one hell of a ride!" - Ellie Midwood, Author of 2016 Historical Fiction Gold Medalist: The Girl from Berlin
Poignant and incredibly powerful, Ness not only entertains but leaves us deep in thought.
A long lost temple is discovered underground in Memphis, behind a door with strange markings. Among strange maps, snakes and rooms filled with tablets is a ritual that will change Agrippa and Samia forever.
In the near future Roy Swenson begins the dream viewing experiments, until another fragment of his past appears at a surprising moment. Randall discovers a new technology that allows viewers to enter their subject's dreams.
Entertainingly blending the best elements of Dystopian Science Fiction, Alexandria proves a scintillating sequel to Antioch with Ness quick to immerse his readers in an intricate and superbly crafted plot. Shunning the archetypal tendency for overly elaborate tech and exposition in contemporary science fiction and returning again to a world in turmoil as we straddle disparate timelines. Underpinned by extensive research the historical aspects alone make for compelling reading with scene after scene conveying a prevailing sense of authenticity. A world imbued with good and evil, where characters revel in the intricacies of power and subterfuge.
Written with fluid prose and a discerning eye for detail, the narrative is sophisticated and faultlessly executed with Ness fully embracing the devices of intrigue and suspense, but it’s in his dalliances with dreams that his sequel truly distinguishes itself. A commonly used plot device in science fiction and fantasy fiction he uses his dream medium to explore human nature. Desire, ambition, greed, strength, millennium’s may separate his timelines but through Swenson and a host of eclectic supporting characters, we come to realise that little has changed and the future hangs precariously on a knife edge.
Poignantly powerful with unerring social commentary that echoes the global challenges we face in real life, Alexandria proves another masterful release in the Science Fiction genre and is recommended without reservation.
Reviewed by Jack Magnus for Readers' Favorite
Alexandria: The Sword of Agrippa, Book 2 is a time-travel science fiction novella written by Gregory Ness. Alexandria is set in the near future; Roy, a physicist and his partner, Renee, are at home and settling in to watch a video of Jakub's dream. They are living in Prague now after Roy’s research into dark energy was considered too much of a threat to the American way of life and the Big Oil cabals. Things are getting frightening in the United States as people become increasingly wary of high tech and the supposed threat it poses to their jobs and lives. As they watch the vivid scenes, Jakub's dream seems more of a past memory to the biologist and her physicist boyfriend. While the Vienna Accords strictly forbid sharing the records of dream viewing with the sleepers, both of them wonder at the implications this form of sleep viewing could have for Roy and his dreams. While Jakub's video was just a test to see if the helmet was working and fine-tune its responses to the energy pulses in the water, there was a controlled beta test already set up with six volunteers chosen out of the hundreds of volunteers. What the first subject would "dream" was entirely unexpected.
Gregory Ness's thought-provoking time-travel science fiction novella, Alexandria: The Sword of Agrippa, Book 2, tells two stories: that of Roy the scientist studying dark energy and its applications, and the account of Caesar's friend Agrippa’s activities in Egypt as he and his beloved take part in an ancient ceremony while enclosed within an ancient Egyptian temple. While this is the second book in Ness's series, I was quickly involved in first Agrippa and then Roy's stories. I loved sharing in the excitement of exploring the newly reopened temple and enjoyed seeing Cleopatra, Samia, Agrippa and Caesar interact as they examine the ruins. The application of dark energy with respect to dream monitoring was an even more exciting storyline, especially when Roy encounters unexpected confirmation of the dreams he's long lived with. Alexandria is marvelous. It's beautifully written and immerses the reader in a succession of realities, each more real than the next.
Alexandria: The Sword of Agrippa, Book 2 is most highly recommended.
"You're in Prague to study people's dreams and a strange man appears who knows too much about you, gives you an old coin and plays a flute that hypnotizes you into a dream state. Abnormal? Yes."
Roy, a physicist, and his girlfriend, Renee, have moved to Prague after being ousted by their lab at home in the United States. Roy's research on dark energy has been deemed too dangerous to continue. His superiors claim Roy's findings will threaten the world order and in particular the dependence on fossil fuels. As Roy and Renee continue to study the dreams of "sleepers," they begin to wonder if the visions they are seeing are actually scenes from the sleeper's past life. One of the dreams takes Roy back to ancient times inside a sealed temple in Alexandria. There, Samia and Agrippa enter into "The Isis Rite of Eternal Bond," a ritual that will bond them for eternity as each other's spiritual guides. After witnessing this dream, Roy will have to consider if the trauma produced in bridging the conscious with the subconscious might be too much for the human mind to experience.
Part erotic, part dystopia and part science fiction, Ness' book delivers a wealth of storytelling from ancient civilizations to future societies. His characters are simultaneously unique and convincing. The concept of playing dreams back to the conscious dreamer forces both the characters in the book, and the readers to grapple with the moral ethics of interfering with the subconscious mind. Blurred prophesies, dream sequences, and reincarnation are a few of the topics that this highly imaginative author brings to his reader. Although the content is intense, Ness' writing flows easily and succeeds in keeping the reader's interest throughout. This is an enjoyable and fascinating read.