The Rule of Knowledge by Scott Baker
My rating: 4 of 5 stars
Source: I own paperback copy that purchased myself (and signed by author) 🙂
It was one of those days where you just happened to bump into the author at the bookshop… I purchased this book for no other reason than to support a local author. The book has caught my interest a few days prior somewhere online mainly due to the attractive cover and the promising adventure into ancient times. I must admit a partiality to biblical times, primarily due to my faith.
The story alternated in between the present time where Shaun Strickland, an academic nobody, was enticed away from home, and biblical time when Jesus lived, performed miracles, and was about to die. Usually with such alternating stories, I would feel the pull of interest towards one story than the other but not in this case; I didn’t feel the need to skip a chapter first to see what will happen with one storyline. The stories were woven in a way that the information were dropped in the time when we needed it.
In both stories, the main characters have their own mission on which the peace, the security, of the world depended upon. Whilst one was acutely aware of this fact, the other was driven by the thought of revenge. Both faced dangers, from known and unknown sources, which could come at them from any direction. The Rule of Knowledge is a thrilling, action-packed, fast-paced read; full of car chases, shooting guns, explosions, and even disguises.
I was pleasantly surprise with 2 factors: time travel and the favourable lean towards Christianity. I love my time travel stories and I had no idea this was one! If you like your time travel with a bit of a science-y background, this may appeal to you…
‘I understand what you are saying,’ he said. ‘I too do not always understand the way in which the Almighty works, but I know that the limitation is mine. It is I who do not understand in the same way a dog does not understand where or why its master goes away every day, needing to work to pay for the food he comes home to provide. Understanding changes. Knowledge changes, but men were killed for claiming so because the people did not understand. It is the understanding that changes, not the thing. I cannot answer that for you; it is no my place to. Each of us must come to our own conclusion.’
The boundaries of Shaun’s beliefs squeezed outwards under the pressure of the new information. Why was it so hard to, believe? Did he want there to be nothing beyond what he could understand? Did he want there to not be some sort of God? He examined himself and realised that he had shut himself off to even the possibility for one simple reason; it meant that he was wrong.
This book is in a way similar to Da Vinci Code in that it’s a conspiracy theory which involved a worldwide belief, Christianity. It is, I found, dissimilar (aside from the time travelling bit) in the attitude towards Christianity. I was very conscious, in reading Da Vinci Code, of all the kerfuffle it has induced in the world –and therefore noted the somewhat antagonistic view of Christianity where the Vatican was basically just evil. In The Rule of Knowledge, the Vatican has the truly faithful and the power hungry; whilst not perfect, it seems balanced. There were other factors as well which makes me wonder whether the author himself is a believer. The ultimate purpose of time travel here is definitely something we’ve all wondered about!
This book is highly recommended to those seeking a fast paced book with mysteries, pieces of history and bits of time travel thrown in. I, myself, am hoping for more of the kind from the author.