The Fire Seekers (The Babel Trilogy Book 1) - by Richard Farr
Posted on February 28th, 2015
The book is a fiction story written in first person narrator called Daniel Calder, "not-as-bright" son of two "geniuses".
His father, William Calder, is a proeminent linguistic expert in essentially all ancient middle eastern languages, famous professor at the University of Washington. He is what is called a Babbler. Can talk at least 10 different languages and picks new ones up very easily/quickly.
His mother, Iona Maclean, is a brilliant technologist who figured out how to store information in something similar to DNA with capacities about 1000x better than any other storage information solution out there. She founded a company who made them millionaires and decided to retire at the age of 36 to dedicate herself to her son and other personal projects.
We start of knowing little about any of this and just figuring it out by Daniel's description of a trip in Crete when he was 10 years old with his father. It fast forwards quickly to another trip, this time with his mother when he is 17. His father is absent due to a last minute call to join Morag's parents in an escavation that might have found the library of Babel. Morag's mother was very good friends with Iona and Morag was born the same day as Daniel so they consider each other twins. Morag is a young genius who happens to also be a Babbler and admires Daniel's father a lot.
In the 7 years between the trips, Daniel's father had a student called Julius Quinn who suddenly became a sort of priest in a new religion he founded called Seraphim that is growing madly. The idea of the religion is that the Architects (gods) are coming and need us to unlearn our languages and learn only theirs. If we do so, we will transcend into becoming infinite, endless beings, other Architects. The matter upsets Daniel's father, a die hard atheist, while intriguing his mother who his father describes as "still shopping for a religion".
During the trip, an accident happens. But one that Daniel doesn't believe to be caused simply by natural causes. This is when our story truly begins. The rest of the book follows Daniel, Morag and Rosko (Daniel's best friend - also a Babbler) in what becomes a mix of Indiana Jones, Harry Potter (with Daniel being Harry, Morag being Hermione and Rosko being Ron), young super smart secret agents/tomb raiders in voyages around Greece and Eastern Europe teaching the reader about some historical events surrounding the Phaistos Disk, the Babel myth and its origins along with a few more things.
Overall, the book stretches a bit long and too much in terms of those young heroes. Details are often provided in between long conversations about history or details of a specific event or technology. Events are set up very far from their actual pay off and the book turns quickly into a description of this new religion with many mystical events just being the reality. I wasn’t a fan.