First a summary: If you are interested in the possibility that extraterrestrials had a hand in our creation, and if you are open to the possibility that the gods of earth's religions might just be beings from other planets, then this book as is good as any to tie it all together in a hypothesis. Buy it, read it with an open mind, and ruminate on all the possibilities.
Details: I have read several books written by Zacharia Sitchen, and much of Michael Tellinger's book is based on Sitchen's work and theories. Sitchen's theory is that beings similar but superior to us came to Earth, performed genetic engineering on the primates that were here thereby creating a new species, and that species is us! I am fascinated by it all, but also aware that Sitchen has detractors who think his translation of ancient Sumerian texts recorded on clay tablets are incorrect. Assuming Sitchen's translations are even close, the characters are clearly trying to create a new species, trying to blend the characteristics of one with another, and their successes and failures are captured. Many historians dismiss these texts as myths because we "know" ancient man could never have accomplished this. (Never mind that the texts make clear it wasn't ancient "man" that was doing the experimentation!)
Here's where it gets interesting, and it gets controversial. An old established myth is not called a myth if it is supported by a major religion! Is it myth that Jesus rose from the dead, or a fact? You would be considered anti-Christian to call it a myth, but to an outsider it is a myth. And so it is with ancient "myths" in many cultures that describe gods on the earth, mating with humans and producing demi-gods, and so on. To today's scientists and historians, this is myth. But in the history of many cultures throughout the world you find these same "myths" over and over, which suggests they are rooted in a common truth of some kind.
If you enjoy explorations of this kind, this book is filled with them and you will likely enjoy it. The author attempts to tie together traditions and "myths" of religions throughout the world and demonstrate that the root of them all is actual history involving ET's from the planet Nibiru (about which Sitchen has written more than a dozen books). The author presents and associates scores of intriguing facts of history with "myths" that actually do a fair job of explaining this history. And along the way, non-speculative facts emerge, such as the first few books of Genesis being an abridged version of an earlier and much larger Sumerian text. I love this stuff, and loved this aspect of the book.
I will add that in my opinion, this unifying theory does a better job of explaining how we got here, why our various cultures believe what they do, why there are so many similar megalithic structures around the world (read Graham Hancock!!), and how civilization appeared as suddenly as it did, than anything our religions or orthodox history has to offer. It's fantastic, yet perfectly logical. So if for no other reason, if you are looking for one work that attempts to tie it all together and you can overlook exclamation and hyperbole, and can accept storytelling and speculation to fill in the gaps between the hard evidence, then you definitely want to read this!
So why only three stars? I found the presentation to be disjointed at times, especially in the first half of the book. The author repeatedly mentions what is coming up, even describing in detail what is coming later in the book, to the point where it seems that a reorganization of the material is in order so it unfolds in a more linear fashion. At times it felt quite repetitious. The later chapters seemed to flow much better to me. The last chapter, 100 pages or so, is a fascinating read that ties together all the groundwork of the preceding 444 pages into The Story of Humanity. The book might be worth the price just to read this chapter, which is a very engaging read.
I think the book might be too long, where a condensed and better organized presentation would make for an even more riveting read. In his defense, there is an immense amount of material here, and it is definitely a challenging task to clearly tell the story, substantiate the story, and not constantly interrupt the story as it goes along.
Second, there are no footnotes or references to points made as he goes along. While there is a suggested reading list at the end, the book is chock full of unsubstantiated claims, speculation and hyperbole- and that's OK. Because, let's face it- a book on a topic like this is going to be filed under "Speculation" in a bookstore, so that doesn't bother me. But he blends accepted fact, claimed fact and speculation interchangeably, such that you're confused as to what is bankable and what is the author's imagination. So this is not a scholarly book per se, or a provable history book, or one that historians would debate, for lack of documentation. What makes this disappointing is that it is full of rarely considered facts, and the authenticity of these facts gets lost in the context of the necessary speculation.
Third, there are more than the usual amount of editing errors, especially in the first half. It's almost as if one person edited the first half and someone else the second. 'Nuf said.
Fourth, the author can't help himself from inserting irrelevant modern-day political digs from time to time. Did you know that (George W.) Bush was a heinous killer in the same league as Hitler, Mao and Stalin? That US drone attacks are in the same league as a nuclear attack? I'm no fan of Bush or his Middle East wars of choice, but this is silly detraction from why the author wrote the book in the first place, and severely undercuts credibility the author may be building as the reader progresses.
Having said all of that, (you may have stopped reading by now), if the topic interests you, I would definitely read the book. If the groundwork-laying gets tedious, then skim. He really hits his stride in storytelling in the last chapter, where you get a much less-interrupted read of how all the pieces fit together. And that is FASCINATING and makes an incredible amount of sense!
Hint- Read the Old Testament, and every time you see "Lord God" or "God" or "YHWH," replace it with a ruler's name such as "King Marduk." Remove the religious overtone from the "almighty" and see the player as an earthly ruler. Tellinger refers to him as the vengeant god (which honors the Bible as written: "'Vengeance is mine!' sayeth the Lord"), and does a masterful job of showing the brutality of this vengeant god. This little exercise will COMPLETELY reframe how you will interpret what you may have been reading for years in the Old Testament.
So all in all- very much worth it- perhaps not great literature, but an enlightening theory and a great story!