Monday, March 15, 2010

Douglas Preston's Thoughts

The Destiny’s Damned series by Shawna Ryan is an outstanding trilogy -- shocking and fast-paced, full of interesting characters, twists, turns and surprises. I highly recommend it.

Douglas Preston, author of Blasphemy

Monday, October 5, 2009

Triumvirate Surpasses the Predictable Formulaic Religious Conspiracy Thrillers

Shawna Ryan expertly juxtaposes the supernatural genre with historical fiction in the concluding volume of her Destiny’s Damned trilogy. Triumvirate of the Damned is a multi-layered story that surpasses the predictable formulaic religious conspiracy thrillers that currently glut the market.
Cutting quickly from scene to scene like an action-adventure movie, Ryan’s novel begins in the present-day Vatican City. A faction inside the Church follows an edict called the “Issue.” This ancient document contains Emperor Constantine’s instructions for setting in motion clandestine machinations to reveal the true nature and purpose of the Church, which is “to see that the Roman Empire survives in the Church” and is one day reborn “to enslave the world.” In Ireland, a group of women are imprisoned by the Roman Empire within the stygian depths of the “Sequenti.” They maintain a secret that can thwart the Church’s insidious plans. A select few of these women know the location of an artifact, called the “Christ’s Remnant,” that would topple the Church’s power structure. A pagan goddess named Sybil gathers her forces to stand against the faction within the Church. She picks individuals like reporter Alex Caldwell and Kevin James, a professor of Mythology. These courageous men search Turkey for the original Christ’s Remnant. Also called into Sybil’s fold is Alicia Cook. She is investigating the disappearance of Patrick Bodowski, who is being tortured and held as a prisoner by the Church’s Inquisition for trumped up heretical practices. Alicia is taken prisoner, and the women in the Sequentia entrust her with their secrets. Unaware of their role as pawns in a kind of predestination, Sybil’s chosen ones join together in an epic battle between good and evil.
Ryan’s novel is written for sheer entertainment. Pseudoscience and revisionist history is not passed off as fact here. Her prose isn’t bogged down with history lessons, and she doesn’t require the reader to take silly leaps of faith away from logic. Her characters’ actions flow logically and naturally. The premise behind her novel is unique and the characterization is excellent.
Three stars out of five.
Foreword Clarion Review

Thursday, August 27, 2009


Triumvirate of the Damned by Shawna Ryan is the third book in a series described as being as "original and insightful as anything in the genre." Within the bowels of a timeless subterranean prison, a child, her face blistered, her hair burned away, stares at the body of a woman thrown inside. Sacrificing their lives, the women and the children in the prison are hiding from the Church a document personally dictated by Christ, which contains His last instructions to mankind. The woman is half naked. Her hands are tied. Dried blood is crusted beneath her nose and in her short, blond hair. Bruised and battered, she is the first new inmate imprisoned there for hundreds of years. With her and in her wake, come forces that would steel Christ's document and enslave the modern world.

Triumvirate of the Damned is now available at bookstores everywhere and from Amazon.com. It will soon be available as an ebook.

Wednesday, May 6, 2009


In this second installment of Shawna Ryan’s Destiny’s Damned series, our heroes, Alicia, Patrick, Kevin, and Alex, work to uncover the truth about the New Testament—namely, that it’s a fictional work created by a Pagan in order to enslave the world.
Of course, the Catholic Church isn’t too happy about their work and might have something to do with the attempts on their lives and those close to them that occur as the story unfolds. Despite the immediate similarities to the works of Dan Brown, Ryan has created a truly thrilling and entertaining series that is as original and insightful as anything in the genre. Ryan’s style of writing is far more straightforward and less complex than most mystery and thriller writers, but her prose is inspired and carefully penned, making the story easily enjoyable for all readers.
Set largely in Ireland, the story offers detailed and accurate descriptions of many real locations, such as the library at Dublin’s Trinity College and the Abbey of St. Ide located in the Burren on the west coast. Ryan hits the nail on the head with her wonderfully layered and detailed descriptions. Setting the story in Ireland offers myriad ideas, locations, events, and even characters that help mold the story into another stunning thriller by this talented writer.
The protagonists find themselves in a variety of colorful situations: Alicia joins a convent in order to help bring the church down from the inside, while Kevin and Alex work closely with librarian Mrs. Shanahan in the moody and atmospheric Old Library in Dublin. The situations abound with Sherlock Holmes-esque moods and settings, while the storytelling moves forward with careful planning. Everything is kept tight and intact in this story, as multiple storylines unfold in each chapter and allow the entire work to come together in a climax that will have readers scrambling for the third installment in the series.
The only real downsides are the unprofessional cover and the lack of dialect employed by some of the characters. The story would have been more believable and entertaining if the Irish characters spoke as if they were actually from Ireland. Nevertheless, Satan’s Scat is a solid historical thriller.

ForeWord CLARION Reviews

Friday, November 21, 2008


There are two invisible worlds on this earth, one of the premises of the DESTINY’S DAMNED Thriller Trilogy.

There is the world of those already damned, for which there is no salvation either in this life or in the next. And, there is the world in which the rest of us live. A world on which the damned pray. This concept is based loosely on St. Augustine’s often misinterpreted and abused notion that there are two invisible societies intertwined on this earth. Those elected to go to heaven make up one invisible society and those destined to be damned make up another. Notice there is no gray area for those of us not ready or willing to be either.

Augustine based his idea on an argument made by St. Paul in Rom. 9-11. According to St. Augustine, “no event in time can alter settling of God’s will toward any human soul: his elect are chosen before the foundation of the world. God knows not before, but apart from, the time process - how each individual in the course of time will respond to the particular form in which grace is offered to him; and the elect alone receive the grace that will win their acceptance.”*

In the DESTINY'S DAMNED Trilogy, a savage serial killer already damned for murders committed in previous lives, as well as those he is committing in this one, reincarnates. The evil builds up inside him as he carries his sins with him through each life until he becomes evil itself. Becoming not only the slave of Satan but the embodiment of Satan, he joins the church where there resides others of his invisible world. His ultimate ambition is to lure every Christian on earth to damnation.

The serial killer in DESTINY’S DAMNED actually deserves to be damned. Once damned, there is no getting out. No going back. There is no forgiveness. There is only the compounding of the evils he’s committed through each of his reincarnations. Every life he lives is an existence in hell, and he will live in that kind of hell for eternity.

© Shawna Ryan
books stores and libraries

*Encyclopedia Britannica.

Tuesday, November 11, 2008

Man Not Web of Life, but Merely a Strand


The earth does not belong to man. Man belongs to the earth. All things are connected like the blood that unites us all. Man did not weave the web of life, he is merely a strand in it. Whatever he does to the web he does to himself.

Chief Seattle

Wednesday, November 5, 2008


From a scientific point of view, there is no death. There is no time when life ceases. How would we even recognize the cessation of life? We don’t know what the source of life is. All we know is that a being as we knew it, no longer looks or functions the way we’re familiar with. Death is our “notion” of the end of life, not actually the end of life.

Our bodies are “matter,” which is anything that has weight and occupies space. “Matter is neither created nor destroyed, but it can change form through physical or chemical means.” BODY STRUCTURES & FUNCTIONS, pg. 13. When someone “dies,” what we see are dramatic changes in their form. Those changes in form are what we call death and decomposition.

Einstein determined that matter could be thought of as a form of energy. Mass and energy are equivalent to each other and are interchangeable. In other words, mass is a form of energy. RELATIVISTIC ENERGY AND MASS. Our bodies are made of cells which store energy. The source of that energy is in the atoms that make up our cells. BODY STRUCTURES & FUNCTIONS.

The authors of THE PARTICLE EXPLOSION, published by Oxford University Press, dramatically illustrate the longevity of those atoms:

“Take a deep breath! You have just inhaled oxygen atoms that
have already been breathed by every person who ever lived.
At some time or other your body has contained atoms that were
once part of Moses or Isaac Newton.
If atoms could speak, what a tale they would tell. Some of the
carbon atoms in the ink on this page may have once been part of
a dinosaur. Their atomic nuclei may have arrived in cosmic rays,
having been fused from hydrogen and helium in distant, extinct
stars. But whatever their various histories may be, one thing
is certain. Most of their basic constituents, the fundamental
particles-- the electrons and quarks--have existed since the
primordial Big Bang at the start of time. "

Quite a picture, isn’t it?

If the source of life is the energy within these atoms, then life is eternal. But then, that’s the mystery of life, isn’t it? That’s what draws many of us to believe life continues after the event we call death.

Joseph Campbell, renowned mythologist, observed:
"The source of life--what is it? No one knows. We don't even
know what an atom is, whether it is a wave or a particle --
it is both. We don't have any idea of what these things are.

That's the reason we speak of the divine. There's a transcendent
energy source. When the physicist observes subatomic particles,
he's seeing a trace on a screen. These traces come and go, come
and go, and we come and go, and all of life comes and goes. That
energy is the informing energy of all things. Mythic worship is
addressed to that." Joseph Campbell, THE POWER OF MYTH WITH BILL MOYERS, pg. 132

According to Joseph Campbell and others, the belief that life goes on after death originated as far back as 50,000 to 60,000 BC. Maybe that belief isn’t as far-fetched as some would think.

by Shawna Ryan


BODY STRUCTURES & FUNCTIONS by Ann Senisi Scott and Elizabeth Fong, Delmar Cengage Learning, 10 Edition (March 1, 2003)

Relativistic Energy and Mass

THE PARTICLE EXPLOSION by Frank Close, Michael Marten, Christine Sutton; Oxford University Press, USA (April 9, 1987)]

MOYERS, Doubleday, 1988, P.132

Joseph Campbell, TRANSFORMATIONS OF MYTH THROUGH TIME., Mythology Limited, 1990, Reissued in HarperPerennail in 1999.

Chapter 5. Is Religion Intrinsic to Our Human Condition?

“DEATH RITES” http://www.britannica.com/oscar/print?articleId=109494&fullArticle=true&tocId=66354