After all, who could put a price on immortality? — Key to Eternity
Rated 5 out of 5 by distinguished reviews, Key to Eternity, an occult fiction book written by award-winning author Mallory M. O'Connor is an exciting sequel to the 2019 paranormal or eco-thriller Epiphany's Gift.
A lifelong social justice advocate, writer, art historian, musician, professor emerita, and admirer of all things Asian, aside from being a master's degree holder in American history and Art history from Ohio University, O'Connor has published two non-fiction art history books and five novels. Among the distinctions the author received in 2018 were the Northern California Publishers and Authors: First Prize in the Fiction Category; Florida Authors and Publishers: President's Award for Fiction; Literary Titan: Silver Medal in Fiction; and 2019, the Literary Titan, Gold Medal in Fiction for her book American River: Tributaries that was published in 2017.
O'Connor, who grew up on a walnut ranch near the American River in Northern California, said that art, nature, and culture are the pillars of her life. Her high school artworks often depicted migrant workers and the homeless, and as an art historian and university professor, she took delight in bringing art history to her students and encouraging them to 'dig deeper' through study and travel. In the 1960s and '70s, O'Connor took part in the Women's Strike for Peace and the Women's Caucus for Art. Currently, she supports numerous environmental and progressive organizations while residing in Gainesville, Florida. She believes in Allan Watts' real secret of life— "This is the real secret of life—to be completely engaged in what you are doing in the here and now. And instead of calling it work, realize it is play." Also, in Lao Tzu's "Care about what other people think and you will always be their prisoner."
She mourned for the loss of so many objects from the earliest chapters of civilization when the Baghdad Museum was left unguarded by US troops during the invasion of Iraq and regarded it as a crime against humanity. This inspired her to write the Key to Eternity. According to the author's research, art theft and looting are the largest and most profitable black market worldwide after weapons and drugs.
Species extinction is also a prime topic of the book. Here, O'Connor binds the story flow using the epic poem of Gilgamesh with its universally appealing themes of friendship, mortality, and the nature of the gods. As it goes:
"The immortal Utnapishtim told Gilgamesh, the King of a plant that grows at the very bottom of the ocean that will make him young again. He obtained the plant by binding stones to his feet to walk on the sea's bottom. He plans to use the flower to rejuvenate the old men of Uruk and then use it himself. Gilgamesh saw a well wherein the water was cool. He stepped into it and bathed. A serpent smelled the sweetness of the plant and darted out, took the plant away, and sloughed its skin as it turned away." — Mallory M. O'Connor
The King did leave his home in search of immortality. Self-Publishing Review describes Key to Eternity as an "interesting cross between a Dan Brown thriller and an environmental call to arms . . . a fascinating crossover between paranormal and eco-friendly fiction."
As the story chases the stolen Gilgamesh tablet, it slowly unveils environmental issues on endangered species and extinction with human greed and unappreciation, making the end very unpredictable.
O'Connor's Key to Eternity will definitely make the reader "….go back and read the first book and look forward to seeing more of the series," as stated by Tuyet Mai of the OnlineBookClub review.
Who could put a price on immortality? Grab a copy of Key to Eternity and find out! Visit the author's website at www.mallorymoconor.com