and the 4th Timeline
by Don Mardak is a thrilling ride from the first page. This science fiction novel combines time
travel, spiritual themes, a fascinating mix of characters and modern intrigue to
create an unputtable down novel.
meet the CIA Director, Scott Cunningham, a former Navy SEAL, and his Assistant
Lori Colbert, addressing a meeting after a terrible terrorists attacks. We also meet husband and wife Kathy and Eric
who are in Lhasa, Tibet, on a spiritual quest. Through Eric's time
travel, both worlds intersect. Mardak's premise throughout the novel
is that there "is a spiritual universe, and mankind has the ability to
rise into a higher level of consciousness where all conflicts can be resolved
peacefully without resorting to wars, or threatening a nuclear holocaust.”
Mardak's Armageddon and the 4th Timeline
is a science fiction novel,
containing elements of time travel. It
is set in 'the Present' with a clear aim of trying to reconcile what is
happening. There is a definite sense of
good and bad in the novel. Mardak’s
fascinating use of the scriptural characters of Paul and Silas to both examine
Christianity, and to change the future, is an amazing read. How Mardak structures the novel is
particularly well done, so that the ending is both satisfying, works in a
science fiction way, and races to the finish, all at once.
novel examines the various tenets of a number of the main religions (Christianity,
Tibetan Buddhism, and Judaism) using them as plot devices: e.g. Paul's
Missionary Journey. This exploration of
religion is quite a wild ride, but worth it.
first third of the novel introduces us to the characters: to the CIA, the
issues related to Eric and Kathy, and to the Himalayan mystic Shimahn. This first third also introduces broader geopolitical
issues, as well as setting up the 'four dimensional world of space time'. In
the second section of the novel the actual time travel begins. We see its
effects from Eric's point of view. He is an interested participant. In this section Mardak makes good use of
structure to make his point, but also to move the plot along. The last
third of the novel brings everything together: the time changes and the new ideas
and perspectives. There is an ending
which is in some ways surreal, and which is beautifully realized.
of the main themes of this book is religion. It's a fascinating book because I believe many
people see Religions as having "Truths" and this novel certainly
plays with some of those. Anyone who
believes that the Bible is the written word of God will have a difficult time
with this novel. That said, it is far
from Mr. Mardak's aim to make anyone annoyed about this. I feel, quite the contrary.
novel discuses time travel and how it can save the world. What difference would it make to war? Mardak also asks what kind of world are we
creating? How do we cause and prevent nuclear holocaust? Armageddon
and the 4th Timeline is also about an attitude of
helping and working together to create change.
relationships that are explored in the novel illustrate personal growth and
caring. Kathy and Eric, Colbert and
Cunningham, Paul and Silas are all studies in how we see, how we relate, and how
we can change. The focus in Armageddon
and the 4th Timeline is how this happens.
minor quibble about the characters is the character of Kathy. I didn't feel that she had very much to
say for herself, and was a little too passive for my liking. Eric,
however, is well written and his relationship with Kathy is nicely drawn. The CIA group are depicted as a good bunch. They sounded quite different to Eric and
Kathy: they were exciting and gung-ho. They were well drawn.
scenes in the desert were particularly evocative and the relationships depicted
there, though brief, remind the reader that some of the central ideas of the
novel are relationship and awareness. The different families in the desert remind
the reader that families have many different shapes. In terms of diversity and families there are a
range of families: Lori Colbert is a divorced mother, Kathy and Eric have been
married seven years and there are the families in the Sinai desert. There is also the relationships between
Shimahn and Eric and Kathy, and between Paul and Silas. Mardak also emphasizes diversity by depicting
various religions and mixing those religions in unique ways.
novel runs along at a fast, fast pace. At
times it fairly gallops. It has
fantastic ideas about time and space and makes the reader think.
and the 4th Timeline
has a thoughtful purpose, but is highly readable and action packed. Mardak's
plot is well structured and he makes good use of characters. From the
first' gloomy Thursday in Langley…' I wanted to read on, to find out what was
happening, what was going on. The
science fiction genre makes a twist with a spectacularly good ending. I am happy to rate this novel as 4.5 out of