Saturday, March 2, 2013

Veritas Ex Machina?

Writing is a lonely endeavor, yet Preston is one of those rare writers who thrive in collaboration but straggle when writing alone. When writing in tandem with Lincoln Child more often than not lightening strikes (The Relic, The Reliquary, The Ice Limit to name a few). In contrast, his previous solo efforts (The Codex, Tyrannosaur Canyon) fall just short of their mark. Blasphemy goes a bit further.

Isabella is the supercollider that American particle and high-energy physicists dreamed about (but Congress killed in 1993 - why waste money on Science when we will be going at war to help our oil companies make even more billions, right? ). Anyway, in this novel it is actually built, not in Texas but in Arizona. In an abandoned coal mine, under a Native American burial grounds. And if these were not ominous enough, when it is run at full power, all heavens seem to break loose.

Navajo medicine men and frothing tele-evangelists; a lonely pastor driven over the edge and a cynic ex-monk turned deniable-PI for the government; a president risking riots only to protect his legacy and a Nobel-prize winner scientist with a severe Messianic fixation. The science may be half-baked and the characters underdeveloped and monochromatic but the story will keep you turning pages well into the night.

A particle beam worth a ride.

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