Gregory Ness is a man with a brilliant mind!Antioch is uniquely rich with history, beauty, mythology, and science! This novel is simply breathtaking!
Antioch, by Gregory Ness, contains a little something for everyone. You can find science, science fiction, mythology, romance, religion, philosophy, history, and psychology all wrapped into approximately four hundred and twenty-seven pages. At the end of the novel, the author provides related sites for additional information on the concepts and history within the book. I found this to be extremely useful to utilize before I began reading. Although I am fairly versed in science and philosophy, my knowledge regarding mythology is lacking. I especially found learning the mythology behind the pineal gland to be particularly helpful before reading the novel. Upon further inspection, I found Antioch to be quite researched in both its scientific and mythological roots. However, I feel without basic background knowledge, this novel would be quite difficult to follow. I would like to spend special attention on a few of the elements I have listed above.
There are scientific concepts within this novel that stand alone, as well as in conjunction with the field of psychology. I must say that I appreciate the scientific topic of the pineal gland. Recently, I have found out that I have a pineal cyst and have taken close interest in this particular gland. I once read an article on the effects of sodium and chloride mutating the pineal gland, however, I was not aware of the deep mythological link this gland holds between the physical and spiritual world. Upon further research, I learned that the pineal gland has been considered a third eye, even containing similar retinal tissue. I found this to be both highly appropriate and clever in playing a key factor within this novel. As someone who has studied both psychology and literature, I find the symbolism to be brilliant! I also enjoyed Ness’s foundation between dreams and reality in regard to finding this link to dark energy and means of exploring DMT. It appears as if the main character is struggling to reach a level of consciousness in a waking state, the way he managed to explore it within his dreams. The use of a magical fish verses a technological advancement demonstrates the stark difference between reality and dream, past and present, and science and mythology. Another reference I enjoyed was the examples pertaining to sharks. I have always been fascinated with the species and an avid watcher of Shark Week since I was only two years of age. Sharks have been around about four hundred million years and are vastly intellectual and superior in regard to their survival instincts. Ness’s knowledge and examples when referencing sharks are very fitting. Sharks rely off of electric magnetic fields, much the way the theory of pineal gland suppression could affect human sensory.
Gregory Ness’s main character is a man wrapped in science and dystopia, struggling with past, present, future, identity, and religion. My greatest enjoyment came from submerging myself into the main character’s dream states. Dreaming was often regarded in mythology as a means of incorporating a super ego, a sense of wholeness, purpose, and true self. Roman mythology believed that dreams symbolized one’s struggles throughout quest or occupation. This also holds true for dream interpretation in regard to psychology. However, without giving away too much, the search of identity and religion also plays a significant role in the idea of reincarnation. This is an important factor to further consider when reading this novel.
Another vitally fulfilling element within the dream states, was the ability to experience romance. Although often debated, I do believe reading without emotional connection or arousal tends to be rather dry. The romance between Agrippa and Samia allowed the time period and it’s history to become alive and universal. Any reader will find themselves falling in love with Agrippa, Samia, and their journey together. Their story is told in a way that allows the reader to grow and learn along with the characters; ultimately becoming shocked at each turn of events. Overall, this novel will leave you craving to seek the truth and how the story will end!
By Gregory Ness
CLIMB INTO A DYSTOPIAN, HARD SCIENCE FICTION RABBIT HOLE.
Set 8 years in the future and 2000 years in the past, Antioch combines the history of ancient Rome and ancient Egypt with futuristic dark matter and dark energy research and cyber technology to weave an intense, immersive and intimate story of entanglements between past and future, from the destruction of the Great Library of Alexandria to the rise of cyber crime and cyber terrorism.