You may recall Mike from his guest-blogging visit last summer, when he reviewed a book way outside his comfort zone (and which I still haven’t gotten around to reading myself!). Please welcome him back again with another review; this time, the book’s outside my comfort zone. Mike occasionally talks about books on his own blog, Everything Under the Sun, but he talks more often about the weird things he sees on late-night TV and in the pantry at his mom’s house.
Here’s how the back of the book would read, if I had not read the Kindle version:
Thirty years ago, in a facility buried beneath a vast Wyoming emptiness, an experiment gone awry accidentally opened a door.
It is the world’s best-kept secret—and its most terrifying.
Trying to regain his life in the Alaskan wilds, ex-con/ex-cop Travis Chase stumbles upon an impossible scene: a crashed 747 passenger jet filled with the murdered dead, including the wife of the President of the United States. Though a nightmare of monumental proportions, it pales before the terror to come, as Chase is dragged into a battle for the future that revolves around an amazing artifact.
Allied with a beautiful covert operative whose life he saved, Chase must now play the role he’s been destined for—a pawn of incomprehensible forces or humankind’s final hope—as the race toward Apocalypse begins in earnest.
Because something is loose in the world.
And doomsday is not only possible . . . it is inevitable.
I first heard about this book a few weeks ago when I saw a write up on the next book of this series on sfsignal.com. No, don’t run away! Let me explain. The reviewer there mentioned how they missed this book because it is listed as a thriller by the publisher and, if you look at the description above, that is exactly what it is. But, they also leave something out. See, the best-kept secret is they have opened a portal, The Breach, during an experiment. The scientists have no idea what it is, or where it leads, but for some reason things come out of the portal. Strange devices, called Entities, that are not of this world. Some potentially extremely dangerous and a few that are quite useful.
The government ends up creating a task force, called Tangent, that is run by a conglomeration of nations. Their job is to study what comes out of The Breach and make sure nobody ever uses an Entity that could potentially harm people, or just plain destroy the Earth. I’m sure the publisher was looking for a wider audience, so they played down this part of the story, but you know what, this is such a small part. Sure, Entities are used throughout the story, but this is definitely a Thriller with some minor SF nuances.
The main story is Travis Chase, former bad cop, fresh out of prison, finds a crashed 747 and while there are no survivors, he does find some that are being held captive a short distance away. He is able to save Paige Campbell, a leader in Tangent, ends up carrying her to safety several miles away.
This sets him on a course to be swept into Tangent to help them find a man who stole a device called Whisper and could potentially take over Tangent and do a lot of damage. I’m not going to get into more details so I won’t ruin anything, but let me tell you this, it was not easy to stop reading this. There were so many twists and turns, and an ending I didn’t see coming. I don’t generally read these kind of Clancy-ish books, but this was so well done (and many pages shorter than a Clancy novel) that I can’t help but recommend it. Plus, some of the Entities are cool. I’ll let you read about them for yourself, but I can think of some things I would do with them. Unfortunately there are no Star Trek-like phasers. Actually, that’s probably a good thing.
So, if you are looking for a good time, something to read to take your mind of the day, I suggest reading The Breach. I think you will enjoy yourself. I know I did.