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Book Review: The 34th Degree by Thomas Greanias

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During the Second World War, Hitler and his cronies searched for an ancient secret text because it contained the formula for creating Greek Fire. The original formula came from Atlantis but was secretly encoded in one of Saint Paul’s testaments to the Thessalonians back in New Testament times.

With Greek Fire the Nazis could have won the war. Its unique thermodynamic formula would have allowed Hitler’s regime to light afire any/all water that touched allied harbors. All ships, men, and harbor cities they could have turned into a holocaustic conflagration. But this text was kept hidden by monks deep within a secret monastery high atop one of the mysterious Meteora mountains in Greece.

Now Pentagon officials want Sam Deker to locate this text to keep it from falling into terrorist hands because if misused, it could possibly bring about an apocalyptic event ending human life on our planet. Because of the mental torture he survived while serving in the Israeli Army, Sam Deker, who now lives in the United States, is chosen by the Pentagon to help find this lost biblical document because of what he had endured

According to The 34th Degree, in order to find the formulaic text, Deker must travel back in time to infiltrate the Nazi regime where he will use the same clues they used when seeking the text. This is a story about backward time travel. Author Thomas Greanias has devised a clever method of studying the German mind during the last two years of World War Two.

Found preserved for posterity is the brain of Hitler’s top henchman, SS General Ludwig von Berg. By systematically cutting through his brain tissue with almost microscopically thin slices, information contained on those slices will be fed into Sam Deker’s brain and reassembled. He will be able to analyze that past data and rethink in mente the ideas of the dead Nazis who had allegedly located the doctrine, but not in time to perfect it and use its power.

For readers who like thrillers, this could be the book for you. But you will have to place aside any sense of reality considering all the bizarre elements assembled to make this story work. The tale includes: Atlantis, ancient Jericho, an encoded letter of Saint Paul, an atomic bomb, the Nazis, Masonic symbols, Greek Fire, brain information transference, secret texts, secret monastery, doomed submarines, text predicting the demise of the world.

Needless to say, I did not find the book exciting because its characters are far too unreal. The first few pages are crammed with too much information needed to explain the predicament the Pentagon is in. It seemed to rush through an explanation of what Deker was up against just so it could get to the real story in 1943-45.

Within a very few lines, Sam Deker accepted his fate and readily climbed into the electronic apparatus that would insert probes deep into his brain so that information transfer could begin. Any concern for life or death at the hands of this experiment Deker merely brushed off.

All in all, as much as I like thriller stories, The 34th Degree was 34 degrees too far into the realm of the outlandish. Although I think it a major feat to include so much in a fictional undertaking, perhaps there is a point beyond which any sense of belief fades away in favor of the preposterous.

About Regis Schilken

  • SBarker

    I read this book while in the Rocky Mountains of Canada. The story like the view here is “Out of this world”. I therefore like both the story and the scenery!