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The Hidden Ones by Nancy Madore is a gripping story that weaves mythology, history and theology into a tapestry of intrigue and wonder. Right from the beginning, the writing and mystery keeps you right on the edge of your seat. There are stories woven into other stories as the main character, Nadia, kidnapped by mysterious men who seem to think she has something they need, whether it be information, or possibly her soul, tells them the stories of her grandmother, Helene, stories that had been passed to her mother and then to her.
Helene turns out to be an amazingly strong woman, whom throughout the story I fell in love with continually, in the same manner that I image Nadia did while hearing them herself as child. Helene, as a young girl went with her father as part of an archeological study and came upon some ancient books that were thought to bring back sprits from long ago, including Lilith. Being men of great intellect, they doubted the stories themselves, and performed the ceremony mostly in jest. But if they’re incorrect, the spirit may have a story of her own to tell.
Throughout all this, Nadia comes to view her captives perhaps not as the enemy at all, but as men trying to save the world as we know it. Mankind may have more to worry about than we know, and our government works in mysterious ways. But is she just relating to her captors as a defense mechanism? Besides, isn’t that what Patty Hearst did when her own terrorist captors brainwashed her. How could good people ever do this to her? And anyway, what could her stories from her grandmother have to do with all of this? They were just stories after all, something to replace tales of princesses and dragons, something you tell a child before they go to sleep. Weren’t they?
With gripping, tangible characters, excellent writing and a story that pulls together from through not just generations, but seemingly even different worlds, Nancy Madore uses well-researched history, mythology and theology to create an amazing story of historical fiction that leaves you craving more. It is the beginning book in a series. And after 419 pages, I’m intrigued to find out what other layers to the story could be waiting for me in the next installment. I rate this book 4 out of 4 stars.
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