The present novel is indicated as Avanti Centrae’s first book in the series about a super-secret division of the CIA. This group is dedicated to investigating possible harmful activities of people or groups with an initiation into the past. Centrae begins the novel in Spain with the description of a battle fought in the year 1057 led by the King of Aragon and against an invading army of Moors. He captures a secret weapon first wrested by the conqueror Alexander the Great.
The scene then shifts into the present time when Maddy Marshall and her twin brother Will Argones attempt to visit their estranged father who has summoned them. They hear shots when approaching his house and in an ensuing attack both their father and Will’s wife who was with them are killed. Immediately after the battle is over Maddy, Will and a friend that appears on the scene are sent by their father via his will on a mission to find the lost secret weapons of Alexander. In the course of the action, they travel to Spain, then to Israel and then rapidly elsewhere. In Israel, they are forced to undergo testing which involves a contest of kill or be killed in order to continue. Why they submit to this trial and other dangerous tests is beyond me but does form part of the novel’s plot.
We learn that the hiding of the secret weapon the Spanish royal family of Ferdinand and Isabel were involved and many of their descendants were killed in the search for the secret weapon. Employing a good deal of literary license that certainly stretches the imagination Maddy, Will and their friend move forward in the search. The novel is a fast read though not by any means an all-nighter. It is something to pick up for the idea postulated and enjoyed on that basis.
11/19 Paul Lane
VAN OPS: THE LOST POWER by Avanti Centrae. Black Opal Books (November 9, 2019). ISBN 978-1644371596. 376p.