If you make the background ‘need to know’ information too lengthy then you run the risk of deterring the reader before they have even started to become engaged in the plot. Owen’s Invisible College Trilogy manages to tread that fine line as he confidently walks the reader through some fascinating and unexpected material in his dark and dystopian thriller. Owen does not talk down to the reader and (where a character may, occasionally, pontificate) you can be sure that there is a reason for the information - even if it is just to explain why the hero might feel inclined to ignore the advice - or the speaker! To ensure that all the very bleak mythologies that fuel the dogma of the warring factions within the novels are believable, involved Owen in some serious research. The list that follows is a taster, of some of the material which Owen used to make sure that all his characters had solid, 3D backgrounds for their belief systems. In his own words... Ancient Mysteries Marvin W. Meyer It was in “The Ancient Mysteries” that I discovered the Aretalogy of Isis, which is one of the texts quoted in the novel, discovered in the Hidden Book. It provides numerous phrases that relate to the prophecy and hints at the continuity, through history, of the conspiracy that is slowly uncovered. The Ancient Mysteries led me in turn to The Refutation of All Heresies by Hippolytus of Rome who, too, provided consistent pointers to the conspiracy. A very readable and interesting book.