The Secret of Immortality

The Tombmakers Village

Fiction - Mystery - General
646 Pages
Reviewed on 06/28/2020
Buy on Amazon

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Author Biography

CJ lives in a small village in southwest Ontario, Canada with his partner, their three children and some cats and chickens. When he is not writing he is thinking about writing, and/or running, and/or swimming and/or walking in the fields and forests. Like many Canadians, he is passionate about hockey and has a love-hate relationship with winter. If given the opportunity, he would live full-time on a tropical island, and would weave numerous visits to Canada and traveling the world into the island life. He likes coconuts, the ocean, tigers, the color blue, the number 10, science and Indie music.

    Book Review

Reviewed by Christian Sia for 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. Professor John Wainright is scheduled to be the keynote speaker at the International Conference on Life Research being held in Kingston, Ontario, Canada. But he dies at the podium, a tragedy that has everyone baffled and a great loss to Tom Carrott, who belonged to his university research group. The professor was about to divulge a secret when he died, a secret so big that he didn’t write anything about it ahead of time in case his notes were discovered. Tom’s life is in tatters, but when an ancient Egyptian chest is delivered on his doorstep with a strange note, he sets out to uncover the secret to immortality. But it is a secret coveted by many and a billionaire who will stop at nothing to lay his hands on it.

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.

Rabia Tanveer

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. Tom Carrott was part of revolutionary research that came to a crashing halt when the director research dies under very strange circumstances. Desperate and out of his mind, Tom has no idea what he will do now. However, help came in the strangest way possible to his doorstep. He received an ancient chest that had treasures beyond his imagination. He might have the secret to immortality in his hands if he can only figure out the mystery. It is not going to be easy and he knows there aren’t many people he can trust. Does Tom have what it takes to solve the mystery and learn the secret to immortality?

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 what to know what happens next.

Ruffina Oserio

The Secret of Immortality: The Tombmakers Village by CJ McKivvik is a story that begins with a crisis. A professor who is supposed to deliver a keynote speech, and who apparently has a very important announcement to make, dies on stage. He takes a secret with him to the grave, leaving the audience dumbfounded. But one person who is present on the first day of the International Conference on Life Research in Kingston, Ontario, and who gets hardest hit is Tom Carrott, the Associate Director of Life Research group. Professor John Wainright, his boss, has left him stranded; that is until an ancient Egyptian chest is delivered to his door, accompanied by a disturbing note. He sets out on an adventure to uncover the truth about immortality, an adventure fraught with danger and companions he can’t fully trust.

I was pulled in from the beginning of the story by the strong and clear writing as well as 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.

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”

"I myself am made entirely of flaws, stitched together with good intentions."

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.


“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.”