Friday, 1 June 2018

Hannibal Fogg and the Supreme Secret of Man by Tahir Shah

Hannibal Fogg and the Supreme Secret of Man centres around a mysterious device that Alexander the Great took with him on his campaigns over 2,000 years ago, and which reputedly gave him an advantage over his enemies, often in spite of overwhelming odds. When the intrepid explorer and visionary Hannibal Fogg found out about the device, he was determined to locate it and determine its secrets, which he realized could be of world-changing magnitude.

Unfortunately, however, Fogg disappeared in mysterious circumstances on an expedition to Manchuria, and to compound matters, the British establishment sought to discredit Fogg and — in what came to be known as the Great Foggian Purge — virtually all trace of his life and work were deliberately and systematically erased.

By what turns out to be far more than a stroke of good fortune, Hannibal Fogg's great-great-grandson, Will comes to inherit what little appears to be left of Fogg's estate — an old iron key — which, though he doesn't know it at the time, opens up a whole new world of possibilities for him, as he becomes determined to discover more about his mysterious ancestor and the intriguing ancient device that had come into Hannibal Fogg's possession, with a string of clues to guide him.

FTC disclosure: I received an advance copy of the text for proofreading purposes and I later received a copy of the book, free of charge, as a thank you for that proofreading. Having enjoyed reading the book, I decided to write a short, fair and honest review of the work.

I found Hannibal Fogg and the Supreme Secret of Man a rich, compelling, exciting and fast-paced read, and greatly enjoyed being carried along on Will's epic globe-trotting adventures, and drinking-in something of the vivid description and local cultures with which Tahir Shah (also being a travel writer) has expertly infused his work.

When I first heard the title of the book, I did pause and wonder how and whether Tahir Shah would be able to pull off something as lofty as the revelation of the "Supreme Secret of Man", but having read the book to its conclusion, I was delighted to find that the author actually did "pull it off" in a wonderful and poignant way, and it was at this point that I saw great possibilities in a sequel or series of sequels and — who knows? — perhaps even the prospect of being made into a film to rival the likes of Indiana Jones or Philip Pullman's Northern Lights (aka The Golden Compass).

Well worth ★★★★★.

All-in-all, then, I have no hesitation whatsoever in giving the book a well-deserved five stars, and I very much look forward to reading more.

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