The Tree of Knowledge
by Daniel G. Miller
This title was previously available on NetGalley and is now archived.
Pub Date 30 Mar 2021 | Archive Date 30 Jul 2021
It is said that the greatest chess grandmasters envision a match’s outcome ten moves before it occurs. Imagine a person who could visualize ten steps ahead not only in the game of chess but in every human interaction.
Imagine a person who could see a punch before it was thrown, who could anticipate what you say before you said it. Imagine a person who could see the chess game of politics, economics, and power itself unfold long before it happens.
Imagine a secret that could make all of this possible.
Mathematics professor Albert Puddles is such a person, and as he is thrust into a murder and burglary investigation on the Princeton campus he finds that there is such a secret. The discovery leads Albert to team up with an aging mentor, a curious graduate assistant, and an unusual “book club” on a frantic chase across the country to recover the book’s secret and clear his name.
Through this adventure, Albert rediscovers a woman from his past and is forced to confront his own understanding of love, rationality, power, and the limits of the human mind.
A Booklist Editor's Pick
“The Tree of Knowledge is a dynamite read… reminiscent of Dan Brown’s Da Vinci Code but smarter, sharper and vertiginously twisted. A thrill ride with no seatbelt but what an incredible view.” – Junot Díaz, New York Times Bestselling Author and Winner of the Pulitzer Prize
"Filled with fascinating characters, breathtaking action, political intrigue, interesting riddles, and loads of information about cryptology, this novel grabs one's interest from page one. Miller is a gifted writer who manages to strike a good pace with this mesmerizing thriller... Even the minor characters are strong enough to grab the reader's imagination. With its numerous plot twists, nothing in this work is predictable...This novel is a wonderful read that should please anyone in search of a well-told, intriguing story." -US Review of Books
[A] quirky and engaging debut thriller...[T]he novel teems with historical, scientific, and literary surprises: Miller slips in fun facts about ciphers from ancient Rome to the Civil War and also connects the Tree of Knowledge system with the biblical tree of knowledge...good-natured twists come again and again. With offbeat characters, brain teasers, and imaginative action, readers will be eager to see what trouble [these characters] get into next.--Publisher's Weekly BookLife
"Part mystery, part science-fiction, part action thriller, The Tree of Knowledge is a wholly original adventure guaranteed to make you think!"- Michael Prescott, New York Times bestselling author
"Engaging and deftly paced, readers should buckle up for a thriller that does not disappoint. Peppered with riddles and cyphers, Miller’s gripping and imaginative debut novel is thoroughly engrossing. One of the most promising authors I’ve come across in a long while."-Gary McAvoy, Bestselling Author of The Magdalene Deception
"Imaginative. Compelling. Intriguing. A fine first novel." Carolyn Hart, New York Times bestselling author of the Bailey Ruth series."
"The Tree of Knowledge is a thoroughly engrossing story of power gone awry. It is compelling and unpredictable right up to the end." -Midwest Book Review
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Average rating from 46 members
I could not put this book down, it’s written so well that you get to understand each character and want to finish the book to find out what happens to them. There are some awesome twists that I did not expect throughout the book. Highly recommend. I absolutely love that you got different perspectives throughout the book to really get the whole story
This was one of those books where I sat down to read it and did not get up again until I had finished it some hours later. To be fair, this book was probably bound to be a favorite simply because 1) it's set, at least partially, at a university with professors and students playing the main roles and 2) it is filled with puzzles, riddles and logic (and a bit of chess), which, as a board game and escape room enthusiast, I highly appreciate. The book starts right in the middle of the action, making it a good page-turner quite literally from the first page. The book is, in many ways, a love song to logical thinking and gamification. Casual explanations of the three laws of logic, some Greek mythology and some actual statistical puzzles (looking at you Monty Hall), added a lot of flavor and actual moments of learning to an otherwise riveting and action-packed story. I found most characters in the book to be relatable, their actions and thought-patterns relevant. To be honest, it has been a long time since I felt myself so seen in a literary character.... especially considering it was not the protagonist of this story. One note I would make is that, especially towards the end, a little suspension of disbelief will be required. Yet, I did not find the somewhat fantastical scenes to be off-putting in the least. I do believe that this book will not be everyone's cup of tea, but I 100% loved it. Fellow logic enthusiasts, mathematicians, chess players and puzzle/riddle solvers, if you love a good story, make sure to pick up a copy!
This was intoxicating from beginning to end. The ever-ending riddles, enigmas, and puzzles brought a plot based on rationality to feel like magic. And not only are all those aspects craftingly made but they are explained in a simple tone and diagrams which make you understand every single aspect from beginning to the end. The only disappointing factor of this book, is the lack of people reading it.
A story for lovers of the Da Vinci Code, Logic, secret societies, heists and mathematics. This story follows Dr. Albert Puddles who gets mixed up in something bigger than himself when he discovers the Tree of Knowledge. This story is a fast-paced and engaging story that catches your attention from page one. The reveals were done amazingly in this book and the ending was also executed very well. Miller succeeds in interweaving mathematics and logic into the story and makes it approachable the average reader. The Tree of Knowledge is the most fascinating thing in this story and Miller gives this logic concept an almost magical feeling. Ying is definitely my favourite character and my favourite quote from her is by far "Ying's guard went up when she heard one old white man celebrating another old white man."
A great movie consists of many things. From the production until to the team that would finalize all the details needed before they show it to everyone. But in a book, you only need one person, one great mind that can make a story ten-fold greater than a movie that is loved by many. In this story, a lot of mystery will be solved and a lot of answers unfold along the journey. When Dr. Albert Puddles discover something that no one knew was possible, everything about his life change after discovering the tree of knowledge. It was like he knew and know everything. Answers that are before hard to solve is now within his palm. But he was also involved in a murder. He thought that what he discovered was big enough but now he is also under investigation on things he did not do. This starts the never-ending riddles and mysteries to solve to recover the remains of the book and knows the limits of a human mind.
The Tree of Knowledge - Daniel G. Miller It is said that the greatest chess grandmasters envision a match’s outcome ten moves before it occurs. Imagine a person who could visualize ten steps ahead not only in the game of chess but in every human interaction. This novel is great for mystery and puzzle lovers as the storyline is full of riddles and mathematical problems. The Tree of Knowledge is a secret knowledge of how to anticipate all of the possibilities that one may encounter during any given situation and the ability to manipulate others so that your desired outcome is met. This knowledge has fallen into the wrong hands and it is up to a mathematics university professor, his mentor and his graduate assistant to recover the secret back. The author deals with the enigmas and codes in a really approachable and readable manner that means that even if you don’t like maths or can’t wrap your head around riddles, it is still an easy read. I enjoyed the novel and feel like I could definitely see this being made into a film that I would watch! The Tree of Knowledge is released on 30th March 2021 and it is now available for preorder! Thank you to Houndstooth Books and NetGalley for my advanced copy
Miller delivers a brilliant and thrilling mystery through a carefully-woven narrative with thought-provoking puzzles, enigma and riddles that come together to create a surprisingly impressive plot. This book can be devoured in one reading session with the way the pacing grips you from the beginning 'til the very end. Coming from a debut author, it is impressive how a thought-provoking plot was written in a manner that the average reader would understand while maintaining its magical prose, This is highly recommended to math enthusiasts and puzzle-solvers who love a good book.
Thanks to Netgalley and Houndstooth Books for the Advanced Reader Copy of this book in exchange for my honest review. “The Tree of Knowledge” is a thriller/mystery by debut author Daniel G. Miller releasing on March 30, 2021. This book poses the question that if someone held the power to be able to predict the future, what would they do with it? Would they simply make their lives easier or use it for ultimate power over mankind? The plot follows Professor Albert Puddles whose quiet life teaching at Princeton is disrupted after a murder occurs in the campus library. He is thrust into a cross country adventure alongside his aging Princeton mentor and his graduate assistant to clear his name and thwart the plans of an enemy mastermind. At the center of the power struggle lies the Tree of Knowledge, which is an intellectual weapon that allows one to essentially tell the future. It’s explained like a master chess player who can predict the way the match goes; one can utilize the tree to do something as innocuous as get their way in an argument or as devious as rule the world. There were a few times where I felt the plot almost moved along too quickly. I found myself having to backtrack a little whenever I picked the book back up again, however, this is a small gripe. This book could definitely be devoured in a single reading session and if so, this likely wouldn’t be an issue. Miller’s prose is clear, succinct and fun to read, an impressive achievement for a debut author. The characters he has created are grounded and likable but the setting they’re in is heightened and gives the book a futuristic and otherworldly feel. Also, it seems like Miller is setting things up for future stories in this world and with these characters – so if you like “Tree of Knowledge” there might be more to come! I’d recommend this book for anyone who likes fast-paced thrillers with a touch of the psychological. Overall I give it 🧢 🧢 🧢/5
I really enjoyed The Tree of Knowledge. I was hesitant at first because I thought all the talk of mathematics, puzzles, riddles and theory would be way over my level of understanding but was pleasantly surprised at how easy it was to follow along. I loved the brainy quirkiness of the main characters and their interaction with the more brawny characters. Pure entertainment! This would make a great movie plot! Excited to see more of Daniel Miller’s work!
This has bit of a Sherlock Home and DaVinci code feel, I think I was expecting The White Queen meets Agatha Christy. Still a surprisingly good well written story.
I must say I did enjoy the book. The cover is outstanding, the writing is wonderful, but the story line did not always do it for me. There was action, but the author took away for the story with the rather childish name for the main character. Who could take the name Professor Puddles. The ending was also strange. It was a book that I would say try. You very well might enjoy it.
As a fellow mathematician, I enjoyed the story. It isn’t often we see ourselves as a lead in the story. I look forward to the sequel. Portions of the book felt more like a lecture from a textbook than characters working through a puzzle. The author relied heavily on dialogue to share thoughts and feelings, some of which needed more flesh to really stick the landing. It would have been more interesting if the book had been written in alternating viewpoints.
Thoroughly enjoyable read, with an interesting balance of geekiness and action that gives it a welcome freshness. I’d definitely read the next one in this series.
Enjoyable light sci-fi action thriller. Shy professor turned action hero. Reads much like a movie screenplay. I would have preferred more depth but the story is easy to follow with any scientific aspects clearly explained.
If you’re into mathematics and enjoy puzzles or chess, then this is the book for you. Daniel G Miller’s ‘The Tree of Knowledge’ has quirky university Professor Albert Puddles being investigated for burglary and murder. An unusual teaming up with his mentor, graduate assistant and members of the “book club” makes for an exciting adventure. A gentle crime story with a difference, that builds in tension and discovers heroes in the most unlikely of characters. An enjoyable crime adventure with three-star rating. With thanks to NetGalley and the author for a preview copy for review purposes. All opinions expressed herein are freely given and totally my own.
I utterly loved The Tree of Knowledge. It’s a great suspense filled crime novel full of action, adventure and maths puzzles. The concept is similar to the Da Vinci Code but unique enough that it feels fresh and new. I love the idea that through mathematics and logic people who understand it can almost predict and manipulate the future. Professor Puddles is a brilliant character, exactly the kind of person you can believe gets accidentally caught up in a murder investigation and a mission to save the world. All of the characters are well developed and relevant to the story. The storyline pulls you straight in and moves along quickly, keeping you immersed in it until the very last page.