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The Laptev Virus by Christy Esmahan

Created by Digital Micrograph, Gatan Inc.
Created by Digital Micrograph, Gatan Inc.

Virus: noun, plural viruses. An ultramicroscopic (20 to 300 nm in diameter), metabolically inert, infectious agent that replicates only within the cells of living hosts, mainly bacteria, plants, and animals: composed of an RNA or DNA core, a protein coat, and, in more complex types, a surrounding envelope.

“We knew that ancient humans were itinerant, and that they migrated over the erring Straits some 15,000 years ago, in pursuit of mammoths, right? That’s how they crossed over from Asia to America. But, if they were successful 15,000 years ago, how long before that did they attempt to find a passage and not succeed? – Tally, Medical Microbiology Research Investigator, The Laptev Virus

As much as the ‘naysayers’ (and Republicans, and all the other stupid people out there) claim that global warming “doesn’t exit” – it is sort of hard to deny when it is actually happening. Lands not seen for millions of years is becoming exposed. Soil untouched and unseen under the ice and snow, buried beneath the tundra. Until, of course, the oil companies arrive. Huge tractors, deep drilling. And people. People, who are about to discover that they aren’t the most powerful beings on the ice. And the beings that are stronger and more deadly than they . . . are too tiny to even be seen.

Laptev Bay, where 30,000 years ago hunter-gatherer tribes ‘chased the mammoths around.’ And with both people and animals, where there is warm blood, there are bacteria, disease . . . and viruses. Viruses that can lie dormant for tens of thousands of years before blooming, moving, and spreading itself. Then there blood, death and insanity. But there is also greed. And no matter how deadly the virus, greed may be what destroys the world.

The Laptev Virus is, for me, a marvelous, adventurous tale based in known science and taken that tiny step farther to a “what could be” story that sends shivers down the spine. It isn’t the thing for every reader – some of the reviewers gave it bad ratings because they apparently couldn’t comprehend the science behind it, or were simply bored to death by it. I happened to love it. Anything that makes me think is worth reading, especially when it has a scientific bent. I was unfamiliar with the fairly recent ‘Frankenvirus’ findings in Siberia and other cold climates, and it is absolutely fascinating. (Click the photo to learn more about Mollivirus sibericum.)Frankenvirus emerges from Siberia's frozen wasteland

The book is free on Amazon, so if the idea interests you, check it out.

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Review – Down: Pinhole By Glenn Cooper #ScienceFiction #Science #FantasyAdventure

Down: Pinhole“I am tired and sick of war. Its glory is all moonshine. It is only those who have neither fired a shot nor heard the shrieks and groans of the wounded who cry aloud for blood, for vengeance, for desolation. War is hell.” – William Tecumseh Sherman

“What’s interesting about science is that we’re constantly discovering new things about the universe, about ourselves, about our bodies, about diseases, about the possibilities of the future. It’s amazing. Science is one of the coolest things about being a human being – without a doubt.” – Joe Rogan

Science as war. The scientists vs. the politicians. The scientists vs. the money-grubbers and the illiterate, the vain and the religious. Science has so many battles to fight. And what makes it worse? When politicians are put in charge of science. That, my dears, is war on a global scale. Because those politicians? They are looking for the glory – not for the safety of the scientists. Or even of the world.

The graviton is the prize. The fate of the world may be the cost when a politician trying to hold his position decides that, safety be damned, it is full-bore thirty TeV, the maximum capacity of the Massive Anglo-American Collider, on it’s very first shot at finding the graviton particle. Let’s not listen to Dr. Emily Loughty, the scientific specialist in charge of the multi-billion dollar project. Nope. Full speed ahead and damn the torpedoes, there is political gain to be had!

That’s what happens in Down: Pinhole. Henry Quint, director-general of MAAC, in order to gain political clout and keep his job as head of the project, has forced Emily’s second in command to push the collider past the twenty TeV cyclic rate all the way up to thirty – two years ahead of schedule. In one fell swoop, he had thrown safety out the window for the sake of politics.

When the MAAC hits thirty, Emily disappears. Poof, between one nanosecond and the next, she is gone, and a wild man is standing in her place. A man who crashes his way out of the facility, kidnapping and murdering a woman, then going on a rampage of terror across Dartford. And in order to get Emily back, the man has to be tracked down and brought back to the same spot Emily disappeared from. The biggest problem? The man, Brandon Woodbourne, was born 15 November, 1915. He was hung by the neck until dead on the eighth of April, 1949.

“The gates of hell are open night and day;
Smooth the descent, and easy is the way:
But to return, and view the cheerful skies,
In this the task and mighty labor lies.” – Virgil, Aeneid

If Woodbourne is here, then Emily is there, wherever “there” is. And to save her, John Camp, head of Security for the project and Emily’s estranged lover, must travel between space and time in order to find her and bring her back.

What happens next is an amazing tale, dark and brutal, and yet absolutely fascinating, weird and twisted. It was amazing to read about how a collider works. I mean, really think about it. It works using forty thousand tons of liquid nitrogen that cools five hundred tons of helium down to -268.7C. The twenty-five thousand magnets take the temperature to 1.7 K, just barely above absolute zero. Colder than outer space. Magnetic coils wrapped in niobium-titanium filaments seven times thinner than human hairs that would stretch to the sun and back twenty five times. Then? Proton particles circle the one hundred eighty kilometer long tunnel eleven thousand times per second. When the protons collide? Temperatures five hundred thousand times hotter than the center of the sun.

I mean, come on. Who figured that out, anyway??

Getting Emily back, however, will require John’s skills. John, the ex-military sniper, warrior and Krav Maga specialist, will find his skills tested to the maximum as he arrives in a place called only “Down.” Down, eternally populated by those who’ve committed the most unforgivable acts of evil during their lives. Oh, yeah. Hitler is there. But also Caravaggio.* And you know what?

People don’t change. What a surprise.

If you like fantasy, science fiction, adventure, heck, if you are a hard science junkie with a bent for history, you really should read this book. It was, in a word, mesmerizing.

Down: Pinhole is available for free through Kindle Unlimited, or for purchase for $2.99. This is part one of a three part series.

About the Author:

Glenn Cooper is an internationally bestselling thriller writer.

Glenn was born in New York City and grew up in nearby White Plains. He attended White Plains High School before enrolling at Harvard University in Cambridge, Massachusetts where he graduated from Harvard with an honors degree in archaeology. He then attended Tufts University School of Medicine and did his post-doctoral training at the New England Deaconess and the Massachusetts General Hospitals becoming a board-certified specialist in Internal Medicine and Infectious Diseases. After practicing medicine, Glenn began a research career in the pharmaceutical industry which culminated in an eighteen-year position as the Chairman and CEO of a biotechnology company in Massachusetts. Glenn began writing screenplays over twenty years ago and his interest in movies prompted him to attend the graduate program in film production at Boston University. He is currently the chairman of a media company, Lascaux Media, which has produced three independent feature-length films. In 2006 Glenn turned his hand to novel-writing. His debut novel, THE LIBRARY OF THE DEAD, the first in a trilogy, became an international bestseller and was translated into thirty languages. All of his seven published books have become top-ten international best-sellers.

Glenn currently lives in New Hampshire.

NOTES:

*Caravaggio was a brilliant painter whose works were much prized by the Catholic Church, and especially by the Pope. However, Caravaggio was a vain, self-centered, violent man who, on May 29, 1606, murdered a young man in a brawl and fled Rome with a price on his head. It didn’t change his ways. After major brawls in 1608 and 1609, a severely injured Caravaggio died in Porto Ercole in Tuscany at 38. His works were hidden away by the church and his name forgotten until the 20th century, when his works were rediscovered. There is no telling what he could have accomplished had he not been a complete and total jackass. What a waste.

** Think what the US lost when the politicians couldn’t quit fighting over where the Massive Collider would be located in the states – so it was moved to London… Politicians. Gack.

Review: The Aeschylus by David Barclay

  • “What would an ocean be without a monster lurking in the dark? It would be like sleep without dreams.” ― Werner Herzog

    I believe there are monsters born in the world to human parents…. The face and body may be perfect, but if a twisted gene or a malformed egg can produce physical monsters, may not the same process produce a malformed soul? – John Steinbeck, East of Eden, 1952

    “Man is the cruelest animal.”–― Friedrich Nietzsche

    It began in Stockholm, Sweden in 1938. Pearl Buck won the Nobel for Literature, on the same stage where Enrico Fermi received the Nobel for Physics for his work on the artificial radioactivity produced by neutrons, and for nuclear reactions brought about by slow neutrons. And outside the stage door, Max Feldt and his wife, Ada, are about to be murdered by Nazi Gestapo agents for the location of a single man. Dominik Kaminski.

    This is the beginning. But it is not the end.

    In the present, Kate McCreedy just lost her father – who happened to be the Vice President of the United States. Her father the VP, her brother the high powered Security Analyst who couldn’t even find time to make it to his father’s funeral – and Kate the secretary. Well, an administrative assistant, but she did just get a promotion to media relations executive – for Valley Oil, one of the four largest oil companies in the world. Her brother got the lion’s share of their father’s estate. The condo on Independence Avenue and summer home in Connecticut. The yacht and various other rich man’s toys. Kate? The deed to her father’s Mercedes. The family china and a few nick-knacks. She doesn’t really care, she is happy with her life. But this too will change – with far reaching and deadly effect. For when she is called to her godfather Godfried’s home she learns two shocking facts. First, her father left her, privately and with no fanfare, all off his stock in VO – stock with a ‘bit’ over $32 million dollars in value. She is now the biggest oil shareholder in the country. Second? There is a problem at the Aeschylus Platform, the two-point-two billion dollar engineering marvel deep in the southern Atlantic Ocean. Communications are down. The platform is damaged. It is a disaster – and there are no answers.

    The company is sending in Black Shadow – the second largest mercenary group in the U.S., with orders to find out what happened to the platform, and to the two hundred and thirty-eight missing workers. Someone from media relations has to be onsite, to record what happened for the board, as well as helping restrain the fiscal panic inherent in any disaster of this magnitude. Kate won’t put anyone else in danger – especially when her godfather presents her with photos of the disaster, and indicates that her father knew before his death something was wrong, and wanted her to handle the issue herself. She can’t let her father down, can she?

    What starts out as an information gathering and rescue mission soon becomes more, much more, as the story moves back and forth through time – from the kidnapping of Dominik and his family by Gestapo agents and their enslavement on a tiny island in the South Atlantic, to the modern day as Kate, nine members of a Black Shadow team, with Mason Brubaker, ex-military and now full time killer consultant/troubleshooter-for-hire in the lead. AJ Trenton, Security Chief on the build for Aeschylus, disgraced and fired from the project for questioning the higher-ups about possible problems that the company was ignoring, but still the most knowledgeable of VO’s personnel, and his buddy Dutch who AJ won’t travel without round out the group.

    Get in. Save the personnel. Get out. Or at least that is what Kate plans. But Robert Burns said it best: “The best laid schemes o’ mice an’ men / Gang aft a-gley.” And gang aft a-gley, in this case, is an understatement. For what they find on their arrival is more terrifying, stranger and more deadly, than anyone, even the members of a hard-ass private military corporation like Black Shadow, have ever faced. For the platform isn’t just damaged – it is overrun. Overrun by what can only be described as black tentacles growing up from the ocean floor, covering and infesting everything it touches. And when the members of the group are attacked, they find that it is not only the platform that is infested.

    The Aeschylus is a fast paced novel of the lengths beings – whether corporation or government – or even a single man – will go to control the unknown in a single-minded pursuit of glory, power and money – and a brutally practical look at politics and corporate manipulation on a massive scale. It is also something much more – a warning, a threat, about the things we do to hide the most horrific of atrocities. And finally, it is about the things that are hidden still, the dark places and things of the world, and about the folly of human hubris.

    Ancient societies had anthropomorphic gods: a huge pantheon expanding into centuries of dynastic drama; fathers and sons, martyred heroes, star-crossed lovers, the deaths of kings – stories that taught us the danger of hubris and the primacy of humility. – Tom Hiddleston

    Eighty years ago, the Nazi’s absolute certainty that they could manipulate everything within their purview, turn it to the glory of Germany, of Hitler and the Nazi party, opened a door. A door that remained open, though its denizen slept. Now, it is awake. And the world will never be the same.

    There are many things to admire about David Barclay’s novel. It is powerful on many levels, from the twisted brutalities of people who would, without the pressure of the Nazi regime, have been perfectly ordinary human beings to the cold, calculating viciousness of those who are willing to do whatever is asked simply for the money. Do it and move on, never to think about it again. Political intrigue and corporate rapaciousness are handled with a deft hand, but the thriller aspects kept me turning pages nearly faster than I could read, to find out what happened next. Scientifically and historically, Barclay also did his homework, making a fiction work blend seamlessly into historical happenings with both a scientific and science fiction bent that speaks to the devastation of the Earth by the unlearned and unwary. I recommend it.

    I received this book from the publisher in exchange for a realistic review. All thoughts are my own.

Review: Project Lachesis By Nita DeBorde

23000904And he smote the men of Bethshemesh, because they had looked into the ark of the LORD, even he smote of the people fifty thousand and threescore and ten men: and the people lamented, because the LORD had smitten [many] of the people with a great slaughter. – Samuel 6:19

(Those Christians really know all about smiting, don’t they?)

It began as a dark, fast moving fog bank moving in from the south and pouring over the Galveston Island seawall. Relentlessly working its way across the world, by the time it dissipates a week later, over 90% of the world’s population is dead. Is it the wrath of god, wiping its disappointment from its eyes? The Mother, cleansing the plague of all-destroying humans from her skin? Maybe it is aliens, clearing the fields before a new crop can be planted, a crop which won’t rape and pillage the land and its creatures. Or maybe…

I am become death, the destroyer of worlds. – J. Robert Oppenheimer

Nah, that’s all right, Dr. Oppenheimer. You can rest quietly in your grave. Because you’ve got nothing on this shiny new toy. For you see, it is really quite odd, isn’t it, that only the politicians and military survived in the US. Well, and the medical personnel. Because you really do need a nurse sometimes.

“… while madness in individuals is relatively rare, it is virtually a prerequisite for a certain sort of political leader.” ― Joyce Carol Oates, The Accursed

There are of course shadows of Stephen King’s The Stand here (I own the ‘Complete and Uncut edition’). As well as The Demon in The Freezer and The Hot Zone. Richard Preston did a great job with those. But while King relies on a supernatural basis for his story, and Preston uses a light hand in his works, Nita DeBorde rips off the bandages, tears off the scabs, and runs full bore into the glaring, painful light of reality. Hitler, Pol Pot, and the American government that chose to drop the bombs on Hiroshima and Nagasaki and to conducting biological, chemical and radiological experiments on American citizens, is no more than dabbling a toe into the demonic waters of biological and chemical warfare compared to this small group of politicians and military personnel.

From Tuskegee to Project F, the Guatemalan Experiment, MKULTRA and Dr. Robert MacMahan’s 1969 request for funds for synthetic biological agent to which no natural immunity exists, to the 1995 confession by Dr. Garth Nicolson that biological weapons used during the Gulf War were not only manufactured in Houston and Boca Raton, but were tested on Texas Department of Corrections Prisoners (Ha! Take THAT Iraq, Iran and Afghanistan! You can’t do it, but WE CAN! Goooo America!!!) the American government has shown all the moral and ethical solidity of a three-year-old handed an Uzi and set amongst his fellow babes. But this time? The safety is off, the gun is locked and loaded, and the whole world goes down. And you know what?

They aren’t done yet.

I received Project Lachesis from the publisher in exchange for a realistic review. All thoughts are my own, including the thought that I am going to be stalking Nita’s Nook, the author’s website, hoping to be there when she needs a beta reader for her next book. This woman is AMAZING!!!!

About the Author

Nita DeBorde is a published author and professional copyeditor and translator from Houston, TX. Nita taught high school French for fifteen years before leaving education in 2014 to focus on a freelance writing career.

Connect with the Author

• Nita DeBorde’s Website
• Facebook Page
• Follow @ndeborde913 on twitter

Big Bang Gravity Waves Discovered!!

Dancing around the room —- how unbelievably amazing is this?!

This universe is so amazing. So much more than most people can even truly comprehend.

Eyes of the Many – Free Today on Amazon!

eyes of the many
You MUST read this stunning novel of intrigue.
Click for your FREE copy from Amazon!

Dr. Frankenstein: I’ve been cursed for delving into the mysteries of life!

Dr. Pretorius: Sometimes I have wondered whether life wouldn’t be much more amusing if we were all devils, no nonsense about angels and being good. – The Bride of Frankenstein (1935)

Kelly Graham is one of those unusual authors – those who can make you think, while not even realizing it.

Eyes of the Many is in most ways an evocative thriller. The story of a man, a police officer in Los Angeles who, after losing his wife in an inexplicable accident, spirals into the wasteland of his mind, longing for answers, and for the wife he has lost.

Four years later, now an investigator for a private firm, Trayton Benett is a lost man. He has given up his friends, and lives from day-to-day, just paying the bills. And then, something remarkable happens. His wife isn’t back – but is she possibly still alive?

What follows is a thrilling book blending thriller, mystery and suspense with an undercurrent of science which will open your mind and leave you thinking deep into the night.

Bad Leiah wants to tell you all about it, and what I felt about the scientific bent to the story, but I don’t want to ruin it for you. Rather, I will simply encourage you, very strongly to read the book.

Highly Recommended!

Review: Wormholes: A Novel by Dennis Meredith

wormholes-3dsml
Click to order the book.

Sometimes, a book is defined completely by the knowledge and experiences of it’s author. Oh, some can write books about subjects about which they have no real knowledge. It isn’t like any of us actually live in an Urban Fantasy world, right?

Wormholes is a book of another colour, however. It’s author, Dennis Meredith, is an expert in his field, and it shows in his work. Mr. Meredith’s has been a science communicator at some of the country’s leading research universities, including MIT, Caltech, Cornell, Duke and the University of Wisconsin. He has written well over a thousand news releases and magazine articles on science and engineering over his career.

The funny thing about Wormholes is how well written and believable it is – while also being, as the writer puts it, “The work of a liar and a thief.” But that is OK!

According to Mr. Meredith, his original question was, “What if holes were to suddenly open up into other universes?” The development of Wormholes is based on this question, and explained beautifully in his article about the book. As Mr. Meredith puts it, the book isn’t ‘real’ science, but was written to encourage interest in science by those who may never have been interested in science before.

dennismeredith
Click to read the article

In my case, I absolutely found his work fascinating. My Kindle copy is brightly coloured, with all sorts of highlighting, meant to encourage the question, “Is it real, or is it Memorex?” (OK, not really, but you get the point). Mr. Meredith not only knows his physics, he knows how to communicate. Even though the physics may not be based on ‘fact’, as per his article about why he wrote the book, his story is based on so much actual knowledge that even though there is a lot of unreal physics, it feels so fully real it holds your attention without fail, encouraging the reader to be not only fascinated with the story, but encouraging you to want to learn more about what truly is real science.

The story takes the idea of wormholes and alternate universes, both scientific facts, and puts a spin on the concepts, writing a brilliantly creative book that stretches known boundaries, reaching beyond known scientific thought into a world of science fiction that kept me up until three in the morning, “just one more page, just one more page . . .”

If you are interested in science, or science fiction, this is a must read. And if you are into unusual thrillers? Well, you may find this book just as fascinating as a science geek like me. Either way? Read it. You won’t be sorry!

Highly recommended.

Review: Life’s Blood by Gordon Gumpertz – FIVE Stars

life's blood
Click to purchase this book. You really should. I mean it!

Swenson’s Law:  To avoid deprivation resulting from the exhaustion of non-renewable resources, humanity must employ conservation and renewable resource substitutes sufficient to match depletion.

 Any future scenario involving the continuing indulgence or coddling of fossil fuel interests is delusional.  M. King Hubbert ‘Nuclear Energy and the Fossil Fuels” [1]

Suggesting that a reduction of the addiction to oil is cost-effective is cute. What is the difficulty with recognizing that nature no longer gives us a choice in the matter? [Editor]

Set America Free: A Blueprint for U.S. Energy Security, from the Institute for the Analysis of Global Security (IAGS) [2004 September 27][2]

As long as SEC regulations inhibit IOCs from reporting 2P reserves, and as long as OPEC quotas prevent members from accurately reporting reserves, reserves data will be flawed. Proved reserves are financial (SEC) or political (OPEC) data and should not be aggregated or used in forecasts about the future. Only proven plus probable estimates should be used and only annual production of mature fields is required for a good estimate of reserves, irrespective of all published estimates. Every country should release complete historical field annual production and most disagreements on reserves will disappear for those ready to plot the decline and to extrapolate it. Unfortunately it does not work well when field production is constrained by OPEC quotas or investment. But now quotas are less and less followed and investments are plenty from IOCs for countries which do not deny signed agreements as Venezuela, Bolivia and Russia.” Jean Laherrère [Petroleum Africa, 2007][3]

 ______________________________________

I admit it. I am using footnotes in my book review. How geeky is that? However, this book deserves the footnotes, and so much more. Because once read, even though it is a fiction book, I cannot see anyone on this planet not wanting to learn more about oil reserves, and the quickly diminishing worldwide oil supply. As I told a friend back when the financial crisis was in full swing, “weasels are running the chicken ranch and all us hens are pecking around ignoring the huge chunks of sky that are raining down around us.” In this instance money, greed and power are the same principles (if principles is really the word to be used here – the people involved have no principles.) And the outcome on the horizon is horrifying.

This book is a thriller, and a very well written one at that. Set in present time, and taking into account what must have been an amazing amount of research on the author’s part, Life’s Blood is also a horror tale – an unimaginable tale of where we are going from here in regards to world finance and the swiftly approaching time when oil reserves are a thing of the past – when the world will have to grow up, open their eyes, and realize that through our own greed and thoughtlessness, our own purposeful ignorance, and the greed of a few powerful men, we are looking at a crisis of global proportions with no answer in sight.

Set through the eyes of two CIA R&D agents, the story delves into the misreporting of oil reserves by a small group of controlling parties intent on stockpiling billions of dollars of personal wealth – then getting while the getting is good, before the world economy collapses like a tissue paper balloon as oil supplies run out. And when the supply runs out? The Ponzi scheme run by Bernie Madoff, the largest financial fraud in U.S. history and the lynchpin for the market collapse that destroyed so many lives and fortunes around the world will seem as a time of growth and prosperity.

It is always hard to write a review about a book that hits me so hard on a visceral level. I want to talk on and on about why it engrossed me so, what parts I loved, what parts terrified me the most. I am always afraid I will get caught up in the review; I will give it all away. This is definitely one of those books. The characters are highly believable, as is the action in the book. The characters are far from perfect, which makes it highly believable. Toward the end I wanted to throttle one of the “good guy” characters myself, as he was acting pretty much like an idiot. But even that was interesting, and led depth to the character.

I can’t recommend this book highly enough. Gumpertz has written a book of depth and knowledge in a fictional manner which grasps the reader, pulls you in, and offers a view of a world on the teetering edge of calamity, in a sci-fi style that kept me awake through the night and into the afternoon as I focused up his work to the exclusion of all else. Buy it. Read it. Pay attention to it. It will change your world.

Highly Recommended.

__________

[3] What’s Wrong with Reserves? by Jean Laherrere 14 March 2007

Review: Shimmer In The Dark: Rogue Genesis by Ceri London

rogue
Click cover to purchase the book. Do it! You KNOW you want to!!!!

Ceri London has written, in Shimmer In The Dark: Rogue Genesis one of the most powerful science fiction/fantasy novels I have read since Dune. Well, actually, it is better than Dune. More creative, with a wider range and depth of reality, that is approachable to all readers. This is, without doubt, a science fiction novel, but it also has strong ties to military-political intrigue in the present day which grounds the novel in a level of believability even when the “fiction” portion of the science asks you to stretch your mind into new levels of belief.

Some, I suppose, would lean more towards calling it ‘fantasy’ as there are no space ships and Earth colonies on other planets. If you are one of the ‘hard sci-fi geeks’ that some of my friends are, you might be disappointed by no space rockets blasting around, I suppose, but that should in no way deter you from reading this jewel of a book.

Unlike many, I have no problem stretching credulity to new levels. I don’t expect a science fiction or fantasy book to stay within the realm of ‘probability’. I expect to be taken to a new place, a new level of existence, while I expect that existence to still feel believable. I expect to be charmed into a new sense of reality for a short while. Something that Ms. London has done brilliantly in this, the first of a four-part series.

Niall Kearey is a very special person, with a very special family. As has been described by the blurb on the book, he can, with is mind, reach out across galaxies to what he thinks is a ‘dream world’ – a world “racing towards annihilation” – a world soon to pass into alignment with Earth, with unknown outcome. Here on Earth, there are power brokers, secret societies, power-hungry and amoral politicians, and a corrupt U.S. Military. A military and power structure that will do anything, including the destruction of Niall’s beloved family, to bring him under their control and use him for world domination. Of this, and possibly other worlds . . .

London, in my estimation, did a beautiful job of making me feel her characters. I actually understood, and admired, Niall. My admiration was not only for his special abilities, but also for his love of and deep commitment to his family. In the face of horrific circumstances, he stands by his family and continues to fight for them, when everyone around him is betraying his faith, his honour and his commitment to country. The very thing that Niall has fought for, and watched his friends die for, is pulled into the light, and that light shines upon a dark and venomous snarl of greed and xenophobia that would happily watch whole civilizations die, accepting only the technology and power that those cultures might provide. In all, humanity at it’s slimiest, humanity who would sentence millions to death, while gobbling up their scientists to live as virtual prisoners, slaves to the military-industrial complex. Yep. Humans all right. Humans who would imprison a decorated military man under “correct supervision”, using him as a lab rat to assure his “asset to this nation” status.

Yes, a lot of the book made me sick. I want to howl in despair at the horror of the reality of what humans truly are, what they are truly capable of.  Of human avarice, hatred, brutality and vicious self-aggrandizement, the truly black and horrific souls within. Sick, in that everything that London writes is so very gut-wrenchingly believable in so many ways. So real within the fictitious world that she creates. Amidst the black holes, space-time jumps, dark matter universes and other fascinating and well-researched portions of the book, London delves into the human psyche, and lays bare its soul. And proves, beyond a doubt, the very reasons that, even if there are other civilizations out there, my view of how they would view Earth is “That poor, beautiful orb, filled with the trailer trash of the universe, vicious, dangerous creatures to be avoided at any cost.”  I can see the signs hanging in space now:

DANGER

Overall, if you are a lover of science fiction style fantasy, I cannot recommend this book highly enough. It was on my back burner for a while, a lot longer than I had wished for it to be, but I am so very glad that I finally sat down and read it. It was well worth the time. More than worth it. This book needs a lot more attention than it is getting right now. Go out and buy it. I can guarantee you that you will be recommending it to your friends. It’s very creativity of concept makes it a standout in the field. That should draw you in. What will keep you there is the writing, the characterizations, and her deep understanding of the human psyche will keep you reading, and watching for the next in the series.

Highly recommended.

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