by Miriam Knight May 20, 2015
A secret Russian mind research laboratory explodes in a big way, leaving a mile-deep crater and a host of unanswered questions about what happened - and that's where parapsychologist Beau Walker enters the picture, becoming a reluctant part of a SHIVA investigative team fraught with political tension.
At first glance one would think this to be either a sci-fi saga or perhaps a thriller: technically, that's correct; but it's so much more. Its focus on untapped human potential gone awry in a deadly experiment also lends to its enjoyment by new age readers or any interested in the paranormal - and let's not forget the reader who enjoys political intrigue and a bit of spiritual reflection in their reading.
Few other books cross as many genre lines as The Shiva Syndrome - and few can do it as deftly, logically, and skillfully, as well. Tension is well-done, protagonists are well-drawn, and the juxtaposition of neuroscience, psychology, and political tensions are exquisitely detailed.
There's solid action and adventure to compliment contemplation on the nature of reality itself, which means that thriller readers won't be disappointed by an ethereal dose of introspection while ethereal readers will be drawn in by close encounters and dangerous events: "The crater floor groaned, then shifted under them, followed by ominous cracking. A wide cleft split open near Kampmann.
Putting out her arms, she teetered on its edge as a large chunk of earth dropped into a chasm under her foot. She screamed as her leg began to slide in."
Lots of action, intriguing concepts, and examinations of belief systems and the greatest opportunity in human history to reshape the world: that's the essence of a powerful saga in The Shiva Syndrome, which is not only highly recommended 'as is', but would translate well to the screen.
It's very highly recommended, indeed; especially for thriller and sci-fi readers who have become deluged with too much predictability and who seek cutting-edge action, believable protagonists, and action that is solidly intense throughout.