The Phoenix Elite: Sacred Blood

C.T. Clark

Publisher: C.T. Clark Books Pages: 438 Price: (paperback) $16.99 ISBN: 9781962600002 Reviewed: June, 2024 Author Website: Visit »

C.T. Clark’s novel—the first of a projected series—is an adrenaline-fueled fusion of science fiction, apocalyptic thriller, and Christian speculative fiction. Its premise is fantastic: What if scientists could covertly clone, and modify, historical figures to combat evils that endanger humanity?

Although the Phoenix Elite Initiative was terminated by the United Nations decades earlier, those top secret “cases” have grown up around the world not knowing they’re clones of legendary figures like Albert Einstein, Joan of Arc, and Nelson Mandela. When the former head of the now-defunct cloning program, geneticist-turned-outlaw James Bricker, reemerges as head of ARK, a terrorist organization that wants to essentially destroy the world to create a new one “atop the ashes,” the clones are gathered together by a U.N. official and told the jaw-dropping truth of their origins.

After ARK abducts a group of scientific prodigies, it starts its endgame by dropping nuclear bombs on some of the world’s most urban areas, like Shanghai and Paris. The results are devastating, not only in terms of lives lost but also in culturally significant symbols destroyed: “A gigantic, disfigured iron corkscrew lies atop demolished buildings. The leftovers of the Eiffel Tower.”

A key to Bricker’s plans is a young boy who allegedly was cloned from Jesus’ DNA left on the Shroud of Turin. As the world falls further into chaos, the unlikely cloned heroes must find the boy before there’s nothing—and no one—left to save.

There’s much to like here. The premise has great potential, the action is nonstop, and the pacing is breakneck throughout. Also, the subtle religious and political commentary will undoubtedly resonate with many readers. Some of the major characters, however, come off as cardboard (which might be remedied in future installments), and the terrorist organization’s mission makes little sense as they destroy the planet with nuclear weapons.

Still, this is a fun, fast-paced, globe-hopping science fiction adventure—with a tantalizing teaser at novel’s end.

Also available in hardcover and ebook.

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