THE BOOK OF GENIUS BY HAROUT GHUKASSIAN

3dh
A novel / Edge / 2019 / 384 pages

Arratians are the offsprings of beings that descended from the constellation Orion. Thousands of years ago, Orionites had arrived to Earth and established the town of Arrata. Their main goal being to hide the Book of Genius in a peaceful place led to ruthless wars waged throughout the universe. The Book of Genius has existed since prehistoric and was a result of the universe’s collective wisdom, while forms of existence wandered in cosmic energies. Also, a Genius has always maintained and taken care of the book. But as the story begins the Book has been laying dormant for a long time, and only the Genius of the Book is destined to save the Universe from the Great Catastrophe and to make the book speak again.

Zakura, Lord of the Universal Black Britherhood order, fought with the Orionets to acquire the book once and for all. The Orionets were victorious and locked Zakura in a vacuum where neither time nor location existed. Yet, the rumor that some of the Zakura’s order were still working to claim the book and free Zakura. Kazamos, a powerful magician, is one of those faithful.

He would visit Arrata once every one-hundred years and, for reasons unknown, abduct each and every nineteen-year-old boy, the compensation Arratians paid to live in a near utopia. This was the deal struck between the Orionites and Kazamos. The boys would never be heard of again. Whenever someone would confront or cheat Kazamos, he’d retaliate by destroying their homes and murdering their family. No one could escape him.

The novel begins with Kob Berd, who will soon turn nineteen, on his way to a celebration in the town square. His mother died giving childbirth to him, and so Kob lives with his father and grandfather. Kob attended the school of magicians as a child because his family are traditionally magicians. Yet, he decided to drop of school and pick up a hammer to help construct temples, his family’s practice.

When Kob returns home early in the morning, he accidentally overhears a conversation between his father and grandfather, who is sick and feels his end is close. His grandfather also reveals the secret that Kazamos will come soon to Arrata for the boys, and Kob will be one of them. After the grandfather passes, the father tries to hide Kob by taking him to the mountains. Kob, unexpectedly, feels his own magic emerging which conveys that he, unfortunately, cannot be saved and that his father as well as his brother’s family will be endangered if he tries to run.

Kob chooses to leave his father in the mountains and secretly returns to Arrata to face his destiny. Without explaining a thing, he breaks up with Sena before she learns she’s carrying his unborn child. When Kazamos arrives to Arrata, about twenty boys and their families are gathered in the town square.

Kazamos abducts the boys and destroys some of the town by fire. Lima, the speaker for the Board of Immortals, witnesses the atrocity and decides to inform the father, who in response summons the other two members for an impromptu meeting. During this conversation, it is revealed that the Book of Genius, which at this point seems to be a myth to the people of Arrata, actually exists. The book has been kept underground for many centuries.

The last time it surfaced, the Black Adepts, allies of the Black Brotherhood Order, fought to take it, and did succeed. However, since the book’s alluring power of being able to see the future lay dormant, the Black Adepts left the book in Arrata. Since then, the Board of Immortals and the Orionites have hidden it because of their concern for Kazamos’ and the Black Adepts’ intentions to return for it and use it for evil rather than good. The father is suspicious and afraid that Kazamos’ centurial visits could lead to freeing nefarious Zakura as well as a way to get their hands on the Book.

The Board of Immortals decides to arrange a meeting between the Father and Kazamos at the Crossroad of the Times. Kazamos delivers a warning that a great war is near, predicts Arrata’s complete destruction, and that the Black Brotherhood will cease the book.

In the meantime, Kob wakes up in a cave, where he battles a dragon that just killed several contending young  to be the chosen one. Kob is the lone survivor and who manages to escape the dragon. He leaves the cave and encounters Emza, a bat woman, who tells him that he’s the chosen. They spend several months talking where she mentors him about life and universal wisdom, as well as about the Book of Genius’ powers. She enlightens him that the Boards of Immortals has deliberately kept the book away from other creatures of the universe.

Immediately following the meeting with the Father, Kazamos visits the land of the Gundus, who live beneath the earth. They are one meter tall, hugely headed with one eye on the forehead, are small nosed but with big mouths and sharp fangs sticking out of their lips. Their arms are ape-like, incomparably longer than their legs, which gives them an advantage on the battlefield. The Gundus’ army stands devoted to Kazamos. Zakura is kept in the underworld of the Gundus, locked inside a crystal ball. As Zakura can communicate with Kazamos from his prison cell, he requests that he bring the Book of Genius along with a new Genius, who will soon be found by the Chosen one.

Kazamos meets Koeb and shares with him the story of how the Orionites came to capture the book and have it remain in Arrata. The Book was created to belong to each civilization in the universe. For a period of time, they would have a chance to develop and become connected to the universe’s wisdom. However, when the Orionites captured it, the book became dormant, which led to every creature in losing their connection, and many of these civilizations ended up regressing. This story changes Koeb’s mind about the Board of Immortals. He now holds them in contempt for endangering the safety of the Arratians. Kazamos explains to him that the book’s process to obliterate the universe has now started and only the new Genius of the book can stop it. It is now up to the Chosen to locate the Genius, who it has been said was born in Arrata. When the Genius is found, Zakura will invade his mind to stop the book from carrying out the process of destroying the universe.

Kob becomes trapped in a maze, his next obstacle to overcome. He finds his way out and reaches Emza. Kob discusses his conversation with Kazamos. Nothing is purely good nor purely evil, as good intentions can result in malicious acts.

At the same time, both Sena and Saga, Koeb’s sister in law, give birth to boys. Immediately after, Saga receives a vision that urges her to switch her baby for Sena’s without her knowing.

Koeb and Emza hit the road to the Bridge of Time. While on their way, they become terrified when they see a colossal army of Gunduns marching towards Arrata.

The Father heads north to search for recruits, and during his journey the Orionites conjure up a wind to direct the Father to where they live, Hidden City. It seems the Orionites haven’t left Arrata, as others expected of them, but rather stayed to guard the book. Armagis, the Orionites’ leader, informs the Father that the book doesn’t care whether the Dark or the Light possesses it; both the Dark and the Light were born by Universal Wisdom. However, the last time the Genius of the Book was born, the book became a slave to his wishes.

It is revealed at this time that Kazamos was the last Genius. Zakura/Zakour used Kazamos to rule the book as well as the world by using its powers. For this reason the Orionites hid it and threw Zakura in prison. Now Zakura’s plan is to find the coming Genius and take control of his mind to use the book once again.

In Dead Valley, Kazamos is also forming an army with Zakura’s allies: Centaurs, Snakes, Two-Headed Giants, Black Adepts.

Koeb needs to cross the Bridge of Time to become an immortal. Once he reaches the other side of the bridge, all his connections with his own humanity will be cut off, and he will gain the ability to transform his looks to resemble any living being. He will also be able to easily reach Arrata and find the Genius. This is when Emza advises Koeb to make his own decision based on her teachings and his instincts. Koeb goes into the Pyramid of Time and becomes immortal. He then reemerges as Kazamos and heads for Arrata. Emza tells him to kill her, as there is an old tradition where the newly trained warriors kill their teacher upon the completion of training, which transfers the teacher’s wisdom to the pupil. Even though Koeb is now immortal, he still feels human and has sympathy for his teacher, making him not want to murder her. Nevertheless, he kills her.

As Arrata’s preparing for the battle, the Grifon and Orionite armies arrive to the city at night. The Father has gathered all of his allies for a meeting to discuss battle strategies. During the meeting, they receive a message from Kazamos to release the book without a fight so that Arrata doesn’t suffer severe destruction, but nobody agrees on Kazamos’ proposal. This battle will be decisive in either the survival or end of the universe – that’s what they decide.

Koeb, in the form of Kazamos, makes his way to Arrata to find the Genius. His instincts bring him to his brother’s house where Saga and Sena are with their newborns. He sits on the roof, waiting for a new revelation to show him the reason he’s there. Soon enough, he feels that he’s been brought there because of the newborns.

Kama, a creature with a cat-like face and woman’s body, arrives to Arrata. She the only one left alive from the Armhazds, creatures created by Sacred Fire when Light and Dark hadn’t yet divided, are the only creatures to fully comprehend the Book of Genius – it is said. She meets the Father and discloses that another Book of Genius exists and that Zakura possesses it and intends to use it for evil purposes. Zakur has engineered a plan for the Book of Genius to swallow the other Book of Genius. If he gets Genius under his command, he’ll become the sole guardian of the Book.

After meeting the Father, Kama goes to see Koeb on the roof of his brother’s house and tries to convince him not to obey Kazamos. She encourages him to act independently where he could play a decisive role in saving the universe. Koeb doesn’t know who to believe.

In the early morning Sena convinces Saga to run away the children to hide in a safe place while Arrata is at war. Koeb follows as they do that.

In the recent days the sky is darkening, thunderstorms are numerous, and heavy clouds are striking lightning onto the earth. The countdown to the Genius eightieth birthday, when it is predicted that the Book of Genius will destroy the universe.

Before the battle’s commencement, as the armies are taking their positions in and around Arrata and its mountains and caves, Kazamos brings Aspram a hostage and tells him about the second book, as well as the nearing end of days. Kazamos thinks Aspram should convince the Arratians to give away the Book of Genius without a fight, which would spare Arrata from destruction and prevent the end of the universe. Only then Kazamos would allow Aspram to return to Arrata. Aspram is angry and blames the Orionites for holding the book secret from Arratians until now, when everything is going to be demolished. The Orionaties and Griffons are now against the Arratians, who prefer the universe be destroyed rather than to allow the book into Zakura’s hands. The clashes begin, and shortly after the Father takes the book out of the Cathedral of Board of Immortals. As the Father is handling the book, he becomes weak, for the book has sucked most of life out of him. The Father demands the book be taken out of Arrata, but the Orionites don’t want to give in. The Father is killed, but before his last breath he reveals an important wisdom tied to the universe’s survival, “The base for everything is the sacred right of choice. The people, the Arratians, don’t want to die for the book; and no one should force them into it. The book itself has made it own choice, and we shouldn’t go against it.” Aspram takes the book and demands the Orionites to leave Arrata.

Kazamos stabs Aspram, takes the book, and orders Snakes to destory Arrata. Kazamos and his allies bring the book to Nao-Gun, where they plan to have Koeb to be with the Genius. Yet, Koeb has already entered the cave where Zakura is locked inside. When the book and the newborns are beside the crystal ball, Kazamos takes out the second book and uses it to appear like a ten-year-old boy. He has no hair, smaller facial features, and his eyes are lit like fireballs.

Zakura penetrates into the newborns’ subconscious to find out which one is the new Genius so that Zakura can get control of the book. He checks both of them then announces the Genius is neither of the newborns but Koeb himself. After the trainings of Emza and crossing the Bridge of Time, Koeb, the new Genius, needed to maintain his humanity, so the book created the myth that the Genius was one of the newborns, which distracted Kazamos and helped Koeb to remain in human feelings.

Koeb takes control over the Book and now everyone has to accept this new reality and submit to the new Genius. Everyone returns to their daily life, before war and when everyone could use the Wisdom of the Universe.

Koeb announces that Zakura and his armies will be released from prison and sent to a faroff planet. All other creatures that suffered will receive a share of the book and get back the wisdom of their ancestors.

The Book will remain on Earth, in Arrata, all those from other planets will leave, and the book’s wisdom will be available for all creatures, always.

Koeb marries Sena and becomes a strong protector of the book. Nearby Arrata he builds a town where the book is kept and available for all civilizations from all planets. There is peace again in the Universe, and the preliminary cycle of the Book of Genius and its Genius recommences.

For character and location guide click here.