Amazon UK Review
“The Secret of Immortality’ follows the journey of Tom Carrott, a researcher chasing the possibility of immortality. The plot is exciting, totally innovative and original, as Tom and others race to follow the clues to the secret of immortality, left by the man who mysteriously dies just as he is about to unveil it himself. Their success hinges not only on their ability to win out over their adversaries, but also on the test of their own morality.”
“The tone of this novel is great – it’s got all the pace of a thriller, but it was the wit undercutting every line that really kept me reading. The characters are well-developed, and even those with minor roles have nicely distinctive voices, making the dialogue really refreshing to read.
I won’t spoil the ending, but suffice it to say that I stayed hooked to the very last page, and I wish the book were twice as long.”
Author Jeff Bailey
“Such an epic thriller”
“C.J. McKivvik’s latest, The Secret of Immortality: The Tombmakers Village, opens with a bang and doesn’t slow down. For me, the pace was perfect. What I especially liked was the rich ‘texture’ of the story. The side stories and back stories blended so well and so completely that it reminded me of James Mitchener’s stories. I like having the scenes and mental states of the characters completely presented.
The Secret of Immortality follows the life of a mild-mannered college professor after the clues to finding the secret of immortality dropped in his lap. Of course, a secret so big draws a lot of attention: the CIA, Mossad, and assorted evil cabals to name a few. The race is on.
The ending surprised and that doesn’t happen too often. It’s what a mild-mannered college professor would do.
I must give C.J. McKivvik and The Secret of Immortality: The Tombmakers Village a high five stars for a
captivating read and an excellent tale. JAB, author of Not On My Watch.”
Independent Book Review
“CJ McKivvik sets the bar high with this first book of The Secret of Immortality series.”
“The Tombmakers Village introduces us to a world similar to our own, but with a twist where what we think is impossible is all too real. With a real secret of immortality within reach, McKivvik keeps readers guessing with this imaginative and ever-changing story… McKivvik’s witty comedy brings a lightness to some serious situations, and makes the book more enjoyable to read.”
“A handful of artfully crafted plot lines converge in this tightly wound tale that make it difficult to put down.”
“Reminiscent of ‘National Treasure,’ ‘The Mummy’ franchise, and the adventure fiction of Clive Cussler, there is no denying that this is an invigorating and unpredictable read. The character relationships are engaging, the landscapes are painted beautifully, and the ancient air of mystery makes this first installment in The Secret of Immortality series a gleefully guilty pleasure.”
The US Review of Books
“This narrative is clearly plot-driven, an intersection between the adventures of Indiana Jones and the mysteries of a Dan Brown novel … Author McKivvik keeps the action rolling from Cairo to San Francisco, where even the most minor slip up ensures certain death”
“When esteemed professor John Wainwright collapses on the opening night of the International Conference on Life Research, a whirlwind of revelations leaves the Life Research Group four months away from zero funding. It also leaves Professor Tom Carrott perplexed. What initially seems like an untimely demise quickly turns into a wild chase featuring the CIA, Mossad, biotechnology firms, and international professors as they chase the ultimate elusive elixir: immortality.
Prior to the chaos, Carrott is coasting along and in love with Eloise, his fellow academic. At the same time, Eloise’s upbringing, marred by a lack of stability, leads to fears of losing her only element of consistency—her research position. This fear tends to outweigh her genuine affection for Tom. Among many critical characters throughout the novel, Eshe Hayes and her dynamic compatibility with Carrott is unquestionable, particularly when Doctor Prendergast’s disdain for Carrot results in Tom falling into Hayes’ lap as she is spying on Carrott behind a newspaper on a park bench.
Though characters like CIA agent Dirk Dandy are given rather limited responsibilities, primarily conducting surveillance in the majority of his scenes, this narrative is clearly plot-driven, an intersection between the adventures of Indiana Jones and the mysteries of a Dan Brown novel. Finally, Tom answers the call-to-action by pulling out the tubes from the Egyptian chest housing ancient scrolls with hieroglyphics, bracelets, and cryptic riddles. With Mossad agent Eshe Hayes, translator Marty McReason, and Arun, his tech-friend and confidante, Tom tries to decipher what is real and who to trust with a world-altering responsibility as deceit and danger lie around every corner. Author McKivvik keeps the action rolling from Cairo to San Francisco, where even the most minor slip up ensures certain death.”
“The concept behind THE SECRET OF IMMORTALITY is solid… The story opens with a bang… Author C.J. McKivvik has a solid understanding of how to carry that tension into the second act. … McKivvik’s quirky writing style will keep the reader flipping pages.”
“A unique, original, entertaining novel that intricately weaves together different story lines.”
“While the length is longer than many books, it is a light read – great for summer. The overarching arc of the story is the search for immortality – and the novel is the first of four in the series. It is not in any way a fantasy piece of work but, rather, blends science with history, and combines the possible with the range of human emotions we all know so well. Enjoy!”
Author Timea Tokes (United Kingdom)
“Exquisite pictures, great plot”
“The Secret of Immortality started with a shock, and it kept living up to its promise all the way through, providing the reader with blow after blow, twist after twist. I loved the dark humour, the way we got a glimpse of different times and different people, and the chemistry between the main characters was palpable all the way through. This story couldn’t have been easy to pull off, but the author did an amazing job.”
Jamie Michele – Readers’ Favorite
“The Secret of Immortality: The Tombmakers Village is what most authors would proudly call their Magnum Opus.”
“Imagine my surprise when the finish line turns out to be a segue into the next book in the series—and I do mean finish line literally. The writing and characters are good enough to keep a reader going even after 600+ pages. Yes, really. CJ McKivvik knows how to flesh out characters in their authentic and flawed ideals and personalities, and even when the narrative is a bit on the dense side, the development is exceptional. As a San Francisco native who spent many months in Egypt, the engrossing aspect came rather naturally. But what I love most are strong female characters and in this regard, Eshe and her commitment to playing the long game took the cake for me. Throughout, McKivvik balances intrigue and humor with some moments, like a meeting with an old colleague named Marty, leading to laugh-out-loud dialogue. There are also moments that elicit a real emotional response, such as the loss of a character that has been so well developed that it feels personal. This size and style of storytelling are ambitious to say the least, but I believe McKivvik nailed it and I am happy to have had it land in my lap.”
Rabia Tanveer – Readers’ Favorite
“The Tombmakers Village is the first book in The Secret of Immortality series by CJ McKivvik – an incredibly paced action/adventure tale that will take you on a mind-bending journey”
“The Tombmakers Village has everything you will need to enjoy it to the fullest. You have nail-biting mystery, a hero that is determined to bring his life back on track, some bad guys (or not) on his tail to stop him and a pace that will have your heart racing. Tom is the perfect protagonist for the story. He is vulnerable, a little unsure but capable enough to get the job done. He isn’t some overachiever, but he isn’t a dummy as well. Eshe was the perfect companion. She is smart, understanding, and equipped to solve a mystery. Together, they are a force to be reckoned with. The chemistry between the two was brilliant. I enjoyed the subplots and the narrative style of the author a lot. The narrative was lively enough to keep me interested while the atmosphere had my heart racing. I am glad the author has planned more novels in the series because I really want to know what happens next.”
Christian Sia – Readers’ Favorite
“The Secret of Immortality: The Tombmakers Village by CJ McKivvik is a mesmerizing tale, the first entry in a series that explores the theme of immortality”
“CJ McKivvik’s The Secret of Immortality is well-written with an international setting that takes readers across countries and continents, from Ontario to Cairo and Alexandria in Egypt and back to the United States. I loved the cast of characters, including the Mossad agent, Eshe. The plot points are strong. The novel starts with a premise that I enjoyed, a professor dying in a spectacular manner and going to the grave with a secret he’d intended to share with participants at a conference. Mystery and suspense are written into the story with strong historical hints. The prose is gorgeous and the subplots so ingeniously written that they add to the entertainment readers get from this story. I enjoyed the skill with which the author weaves the themes of love, friendship, intrigue, and the quest for immortality into the story. It is a balanced and expertly written page-turner.”
Ruffina Oserio – Readers’ Favorite
“I was pulled in from the beginning of the story by the strong and clear writing… an engaging story”
“The impasse in which the protagonist finds himself: losing a boss at a very important event and the fact that he had a secret that no one knows. But things get even more interesting from the moment the chest arrives and Tom starts looking for answers. The journey that takes the characters to Egypt is wonderful and CJ McKivvik throws some villains into the plot and puts characters in situations of extreme danger. The CIA and Mossad agents, as well as a powerful rich man who wants the secret to immortality, are characters with roles that are indispensable in moving the plot forward and heightening the tension. The setting features beautifully described locales and places that excite the imagination of readers. Overall, The Secret of Immortality: The Tombmakers Village is an engaging story.”