Reviewer calls The Illuminati Protocol intelligent, weird, sad, dark, funny, deep tragic...

From the opening pages of “The Illuminati Protocol” I knew it would be different from the books I’ve been reading lately and I was right! Mr. Ristino sets the scene and characterizations in a skillful way that not only pulls us in, but creates great visualizations and elicits genuine emotional investments. I truly cared about the characters’ fates, and was shocked and saddened at certain things (no spoilers). An interesting and diverse cast of characters, along with several intriguing plotlines interwoven against unique international setting makes this a memorable read for me. The way this book was written is different from many I’ve read before, but it totally hooked me right from the beginning and kept my attention throughout. It was intelligent, weird, sad, dark, funny, deep, tragic…  I thought the storyline and the character development to be very well done and thought out. I feel like this level of complexity could have easily ended up badly, but instead I darn near gobbled the whole book down in just a few evenings. There were some pretty disturbing events that may upset some readers but I thought the author handled the sensitive subject matter well. This book will haunt me for a long time, but in a good way.  Recommend for mature readers only. (5 stars) Essie Harmon— Goodreads; Barnes & Noble; Indie Book Reviewers