The Omega Theory: A Novel by Mark Alpert

The Omega Theory: A Novel by Mark Alpert

David Swift, our hero, is a science historian and his wife Monique Reynolds is a quantum physicist, so you already know this is going to be full of science based fact and fiction. In the first book, The Final Theory, David is the one doing the running as he evades the FBI who accuse him of murder. This time around David is the one doing the chasing. His adopted autistic son has been kidnapped because he has a mathematical mind and knows the code for The Final Theory from the first book.

In this book, two scientists on opposite sides of the world have invented a machine that can spot disturbances in space-time and they discover such a shift after a nuclear test in Iran. This all points to someone else knowing The Final Theory. David’s son is then abducted and the chase begins.

We are taken on a rollercoaster ride from North America to Israel, Iran and Turkmenistan as David evades insurmountable odds to rescue his son but eventually all the baddies get killed and David and his small team of helpers save the day though miraculously David, Monique and their adopted son are 3 of not many more survivors.

The science is almost overwhelming yet Alpert manages to make it all understandable and the storyline is gripping, a real edge of your seat page turner. The baddies are religious and believe they are saving the world and everything on it and for the most part, the goodies seem fairly non-religious. Though a lot of the action takes place in the Middle East, the baddies are American that have managed to co-opt other nationals to their cause.

This is good fun to read as long as you take none of it seriously, otherwise certain people may be upset by the stereotypes that are used throughout the book.

One interesting geological fact within the story is the piece set around the Darvaza gas crater in Turkmenistan. I had to check if this was a real place and sure enough I found the Wikipedia entry. Alpert also mentions it at the end of the book.

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The Power by Naomi Alderman.

The Power by Naomi Alderman.

Some slight spoilers, nothing major

What a thought provoking read! Woman in control of men!

I have to say I really enjoyed this book. It gave me plenty to think about. To start with, the author seems to think that eventually nothing would change if women had the upper hand in politics, business etc. Apart from birth giving very little would change at all, one half of the species would be dominated by the other half. Now none of us ‘educated’ people really wants it to be this way but sadly it is and I have to say I see nothing wrong with everyone being equal. Afterall we are all human……aren’t we?

Then there is the religious aspect. For the most part the author blames (if that’s the right word) religion for many of the problems that women faced before the cataclysm. I think she could easily be right too. I can’t think of any modern religion where women head the respected high positions. She then turns this on it’s head so that religion is still the major mover and motivator in her society yet now men are the ones who are mutilated or killed at birth as being seen as unwanted and undervalued. Not a totally different society, just a society run totally opposite to the one before the cataclysm.

I enjoyed how the book was presented in terms of short excerpts from the characters lives but each excerpt was an important part of them coming to terms with the new society. Allie, the abused teenager becoming a ‘messiah’. Roxy, a child that had seen her mother murdered, whose father was a gangster and how she had been drawn into the underworld but eventually saw how everything she was doing was wrong and benefited no one. The others also went through life changing moments.

The finale was a little surprising, I suppose the cataclysm did have to happen and society did have to rebuild from the stone age. I imagine it could never really happen any other way.

A definite read in my humble opinion.

Three Quotes, Three Days Challenge

Three Days, Three Quotes

My blogging buddy, Dave Farmer has kindly nominated me to continue this little challenge. The idea is that you post three of your favourite quotes over three days. Fine, I can certainly find the three quotes but three days, no. I blog once a week, on a Monday.

So, to allow myself to step up to the challenge I will forgo what had started a couple of weeks ago, my rather dull book reviews, and write this instead.

“A generation which ignores history has no past — and no future.”
Robert A. Heinlein, Time Enough for Love

I just love Heinlein and read this book in my late teens. This little line just jumped out at me even though it is quite a thick and heavy read.

“Civilisation is the distance that man has placed between himself and his own excreta.”
Brian W. Aldiss, The Dark Light Years

Another favourite author and for me this line just says it all! I’m not sure if that is a good or a bad thing though.

“Once upon a time there was what there was, and if nothing had happened there would be nothing to tell.”
Charles de Lint, Dreams Underfoot

Finally, a recent discovery for me, Charles de Lint has a way with words and a way of thinking that just appeals to me.

So, the rules if you wish to step up to this challenge are quite simple;

  1. Thank the person who nominated you.
  2. Post one fresh quotation on three consecutive days.
  3. On each of the three days, nominate three folk who have not yet taken part to continue the challenge.

As I said earlier, I am doing the one post with three quotes but you can do it over three days if you so desire. All I need do now is nominate three unfortunates. They are:

Books Bird

Beyond The Sphere

Once

Week 2. The Handmaids Tale and Death Toll

Week 2 of the year is already upon us with two more books have been read by yours truly, they are:

The Handamaids Tale by Margaret Atwood http://margaretatwood.ca/
A chilling story of one possible future. One in which the ‘Elite’ rule the USA. I’m not great at reviews but my emotions whilst reading this were varied. Right from disgust at the way ‘ordinary’ people are treated, especially of course the women but the whole under classes as seen by the Elites of this society, through to confusion at society letting this happen to itself.
I’m certain countries have been run on this or very similar outlooks to this book anyway, which makes it all the more scary. Dictatorships invariably exterminate any opposition to try to keep the masses under their spell, using the fear of renouncement as an incentive to keep quiet.
I found this to be an enthralling read.

Death Toll by Jim Kelly http://www.jim-kelly.co.uk/
Set in Kings Lynn and on the North Norfolk coastline, Jim Kelly has created two very enjoyable characters in DI Shaw and DS Valentine. This is the third book in the series, I read the first two last year.
DI Shaw is the son of DS Valentines former partner who were found guilty of tainting evidence in a murder trial. DI Shaw Senior took retirement and died shortly after, DS Valentine was demoted and now finds himself as the assistant to this up and coming young DI. Both are trying to reverse the courts original decision all those years ago though they are doing it without the knowledge of the other. This is the underlying story of the first three books and through this we learn a lot about their characters and policing methods. I know it means having to read the other books first but they have very good storylines above this continuing under story.
So, Death Toll itself is about the finding of an unexpected body in a graveyard! Shaw and Valentine set about solving this 28 year old murder that no one knew even happened until the excavations at the graveyard.
I love Kelly’s writing and just lapped this third episode of Shaw and Valentine up. Realistic characters set in a fictional but atmospheric Kings Lynn, a town I know reasonably well. He manages to write realistic stories inhabited by realistic characters that live realistic lives.
Read Death Wore White then Death Watch first because there is a completion within Death Toll that means nothing without reading them first, they are all well worth your time and money.

I’m now about half way through Hard Duty by Mark E Cooper, an Indie author, more on this next Monday.

Enjoy your week and let me know what you are reading
Trevor
Norwich
11/01/2016

Week 1 2016, Wool and Security

It has been so long that I’ve written anything for this blog that I almost forgot I had it! Anyway, I remembered my log in and password so here I am.
All I really do that is of interest these days is read! Sometimes two and up to three books a week! I am a member of a Facebook group that encourages reading and offers interesting and new books to read. The website is http://forreadingaddicts.co.uk/ and if you would like to join in our discussions, ask away and I will invite you. Everyone is welcome but please, if you are an author, no self publicity! We are a reading group but the website Admin offers chances to publicise your work. I can put you in touch with the website Admin if you need publicity.
So, on to what I am reading, or more accurately, what I have just read.
Wool by Hugh Howey https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/18626815-wool-omnibus-edition
I understand that this is a collection rather than one novel but the hype woolseems to have run away with the actual story and writing. Not that the writing was bad, in fact for a self published author it is very good. I just felt overall that something was missing from the story. I wish I knew what it was that was missing because the premise is very good and I’m sure the following books are very good too. I just felt that from reading this book I could not justify to myself reading the others. I have so many books I want to read that I already own that sometimes I cannot justify carrying on with a series when I am getting it from the library.
I gave it 3 from 5 stars on Goodreads, which is nether good or bad.
Next up was a short story by Poul Anderson called Security. A short SciFi story. https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/19391653-security
And a fine short it is too. You could easily read it within the hour but it grabs you right from the start, as a good short should. Considering this is probably less than 50 pages it seems full of detail and the story fairly runs along. A great filler on your journey or hanging around, waiting for something to happen. I gave it a 3 from 5 but it is probably nearer 3.5. A good short read!
Over the coming seven days I am reading The Handmaids Tale by Margaret Atwood https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/11506026-the-handmaid-s-tale and plan on reading The Book Thief by Markus Zusak https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/20555501-the-book-thief
I would love to know your reading plans

Trevor
04/01/2016

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