NEW Season of the Serpent: A Study Guide
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'SEASON OF THE SERPENT: BOOK ONE' A BOOK REVIEW

NEW YORK BOOK PUNDIT
December 14, 2012,
By JB

You rarely come across something as original and compelling as David Nova's `Season of the Serpent: Book One'. It's hard to box it into a neat category, as while it's science fiction, I feel calling it such would be some sort of injustice as the book is a lot more than that--it is a learned, creative, even erudite masterpiece by one seasoned writer. It's something that deftly rakes you in and throws you onboard for a mind-bending journey. And what a wild journey it is.

Everyone can relate with and feel for the protagonist Paul Venturi--after all, he's ordinary--just one young adult who happens to be more sensitive and smarter than the average college student and who's just trying to get by and pay his dues. On the surface, that is, because as the story unravels, there's more to Paul--and to the rest of the universe--than meets the eye. Before long, Paul finds himself in the middle of a power struggle whose sheer magnitude one could not even begin to fathom.

Cleverly written, and with deliciously delivered satirical humor in the right places, the book keeps you entertained and chuckling to yourself on every page, muttering to yourself, "Yeah, that's just spot on!" The author David Nova is undeniably one hell of a talented writer, and he has that amazing knack for presenting a dizzying array of topics as ancient and primal as Yahweh and as modern and esoteric as quantum physics and UFOs and still find a believable interconnection for them all.

Overall, `Secret of the Serpent' is incredibly entertaining, and the multiple layers of meaning it contains lend it that intellectual and literary gravitas you don't often find in a novel of this genre. Two thumbs up for this awesome book!

5 stars.

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'SEASON OF THE SERPENT: BOOK TWO' A BOOK REVIEW

NEW YORK BOOK PUNDIT
November 5, 2013
By JB

Having read David Nova’s ‘Season of the Serpent: Book One’ almost a year ago, I had high hopes for the sequel at the get-go. That’s why when I received a review copy of ‘Season of the Serpent: Book Two’, I eagerly sank my mind-fingers in the thickness of its incredibly intriguing and addictive story. And yes, I was not disappointed—if anything, Book Two is as good, if not even better, than Book One—but then again, comparing the two would be like comparing apples with oranges.

In ‘Book Two’, everyman Paul Venturi makes a comeback, but only to continue his unwitting role in setting off Armageddon. In a universe governed by the forces of dark and light, Venturi is imprisoned in Yang’Ash, yet he is the only one who can put a stop to the deadly cascade of colossal consequences he has started—can he do it, and does he have enough time?

Here again is Nova’s literary gift fully fleshed out—you barely have time to breathe as the story thrusts you right in the middle of the action, but with enough emotional gravitas to compel you to actually care about the consequences. I love how Nova deftly and seamlessly integrates real-world events and believable international politics—such as how the heart-stopping events of the Cold War are machinations of multidimensional forces that influence the actions of world leaders. By blending fantasy and wrapping it with the kind of thriller authors like Tom Clancy and Robert Ludlum are best known for, Nova succeeds in offering us the best of both worlds.

When they say ‘Season of the Serpent’ is an “imaginative” take on the tale of Garden of Eden, they’re actually putting it mildly—this is an astounding, mind-bending, edge-of-your-seat re-imagination, and Nova has pulled it off with that rare majesty and intensity that are the province of a seasoned author fully confident of the breadth of his literary powers.

As with Book One, Book Two is filled with highly evocative imagery—the scenes will look astoundingly awesome on the big screen, which makes me wish someone from Hollywood actually options the movie rights to this series and turns this into a film we can all watch on the big screen. In any case, David Nova again manages to make a breath-taking home run in this sequel—if you like the first book, you will love this even more. Highly recommended!

5 stars

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Acid Tripping Metaphysical Fiction: ‘Season of the Serpent’

TAHLIA NEWLAND
Author, Editor, & Reviewer
November 15, 2013

Season of the Serpent: Book One is pretty much an acid trip. It starts reasonably normal and quite slowly as the author builds up Paul’s character. He’s just an ordinary guy going off to college, meeting another guy called Eric who turns out to be the Serpent and who tempts him into drugs. The story takes place during the cold war and details Paul’s transformation from naive freshman to someone with a vastly different view of the universe. The marijuana expands his perception and awakens latent abilities nurtured by forgotten extra-terrestrial visitations throughout his life. These otherworld beings have plans for him.

The story is written from the point of view of an omniscient narrator, and between the chapters of Paul’s exploits the narrator explains the truth about flying saucers, the politics behind the cold war and outlays a vision of a multi-universe. These sections are interesting if you’re interested in the subject matter, but if you aren’t, they may not hold your attention.

As the story progresses, we come to realise that in Paul’s world – supposedly our own – there are far deeper layers of existence than what we perceive. About half way through, the setting flips and Paul finds himself in a decadent realm of extra-terrestrials where he discovers that the earth is merely a simulation, a kind of game for the alien/gods. They are engaged in their own war, one that mirrors the two sides of the Cold War, and ultimately the battle between order and chaos.

This is metaphysical fiction, and the metaphysics were thought-provoking and, when Paul travels into mental worlds, visually interesting, especially at the end. The vision is of a hierarchical multiverse where a nuclear explosion on earth would also irreparably damage the other less physical realms, so everyone has a vested interest in stopping the bomb. Synchronicity is a reoccurring theme and the story links events in the extraterrestrial realm to events in the history of the time in our world.

There’s a lot of interesting ideas in this book, including one way of viewing the Christian story of Adam and Eve and the tree of knowledge, as well as some parallels with Alice in Wonderland. Even if you can’t quite follow the details you get a sense of a reality much vaster and more complex than we presently perceive, and as in all good metaphysical fiction, the ideas are integral to the story’s structure.

I felt that the long prologue was unnecessary, and quite likely off-putting for some due to it’s telling style of writing. It would also have limited appeal to anyone not familiar with Dark Side of the Moon by Pink Floyd. I think it would have been better as an appendix, a kind of optional extra.

Though it has some lovely phrases and the author clearly has great potential, the prose, though more immediate in the second half of the book, would be much more engaging had the author shown the story rather than told it. In general, the ideas were well expressed—mind you, I am used to such concepts—but I feel the plot became somewhat confused and a little repetitive after Paul arrived in the extraterrestrial realm and before his ‘testing’. I suspect that this is largely because I found the strange names hard to remember and differentiate. The end is unexpected. It leaves me wanting to read the next installment. I am interested to see where the author could go from there.

I recommend it for old hippies interested in physics or metaphysics, particularly those pertaining to the nature of the universe. I particularly liked this description of the physical universe: “a perpetual unfolding, multidimensional manifestation of living consciousness.”

I really like the cover too.

4 stars.

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Extraordinary: 'Season of the Serpent: Book Two'

TAHLIA NEWLAND
Author, Editor, & Reviewer
November 15, 2013

Season of the Serpent: Book Two completes book one in more ways than that of a sequel. It doesn’t just follow it in sense of time, it complements it in terms of ideas. Book one (see my review here) focused on the realm of Chaos; this one introduces us to the realm of Order, and it is as twisted in its way as that of Chaos. Take order to its extreme and personal freedom goes out the door.

The descriptions of the world are superb, in terms of their vision at least. The author takes us on a journey from the lofty pure white heights of Order to the darkest depths of a hell that rivals those of Dante and Bosch.

Our hero Paul is increasingly disillusioned with the level of reality in which the forces of Order and Chaos are in a constant state of war, and as he awakens more to the truth of the situation, he senses that there must be someone else behind the games. As the story progresses, and Paul passes through a series of psychic experiences echoed by physical counterparts, he comes to know who he is and eventually to accept his own power to stop the cosmic game that holds so many souls in bondage.

This is a vast vision with well thought out metaphysics, though ones that I suspect many Christians would find challenging. Layers of analogy and symbolism relate to Jungian and philosophical ideas prevalent in the sixties and seventies, and even contain references to Alice in Wonderland, all set against the backdrop of the Cold War. This book is superb in many ways, and I love the way the end connects with the beginning. Only at the end, did the reason for the prologue in book one become clear.

I would like to have seen the end taken one step higher, beyond even the most subtle formless state and sense of personality, but I should be grateful that at least the author stepped beyond the battle of good and evil, and even with its limitations, the words did evoke a sense of inspiration for the larger possibilities for the human soul.

I would love to give this 5 stars for the richness of the vision and the comprehensive nature of the ideas alone – and the writing is much better than in book one – but it still falls short of fully manifesting its potential due to a tendency in the prose to favour passive over active verbs. With a little more skill in writing, this extraordinary work could be truly brilliant.

As it is, though its multiple layers of overlapping realities may be too bizarre or confusing for many, these two books are a must read for any serious fan of metaphysical fiction, perhaps even if the passive writing has the editor in you rewriting sentences in your head as you read – it is rather distracting. The very aspects that confuse some will delight the philosophically inclined, and I am the first to admit that the lack of sophistication I see in the prose will not be noticed by the general reader. Certainly the offending sentences are surrounded by some beauties that cloak them quite well.

4 stars.

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