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Reviewed by Jack Magnus for Readers' Favorite
Breach of Consciousness is a psychological thriller written by Peter Castillo. Fourth-grader Marco Torres was determined to be one of the guys, but the stabbing migraine headaches that afflicted him made it hard to keep up the act. This was especially true when it happened while they were riding bikes and the pain made him pass out. His friend, Randy, knew about the headaches and helped Marco research migraines to find out what was happening and what he could do about it. Most migraines, he learned, last about four hours, while his were maybe about a minute in length. Was it a tumor? While Randy suggested he go see a doctor, Marco was not convinced that was the answer. Then a drunken homeless man accosted him in the street and spoke into his mind. How had he done that? While he wondered, the police came up and arrested the man, who they called Seymour. He had thrown a rock through a shopkeeper's window for calling him a name, but the thing that stood out for Marco in the account was that the shopkeeper hadn't spoken aloud. Marco thought hard and spoke to Seymour, asking what he was, but Seymour answered that he didn't know. Whatever had just happened, however bizarre, seemed to signal to Marco that the headaches and other strange things that had happened to him were some sort of incomprehensible psychic phenomenon.
Peter Castillo's psychological thriller, Breach of Consciousness, examines the impact that psychic abilities can have on those who have the gift as seen through the experiences of aspiring author, Marco Torres. While he had the support structure of his mom and dad at first, his mom's untimely death and dad's overwhelming grief afterwards leave him adrift, except for the uncle who counsels him to join the Navy and provides him with a home. Castillo's plot is credible and moving, and seeing how Marco makes a life for himself in San Diego and finds mentors who have similar gifts is a grand experience. From the body builder at the open-air gym and the psychics on the boardwalk to the mysterious blind man who stalks Marco and his mentors, the author peoples his tale with authentic, living characters. Marco's visit to the haunted hotel room on the tenth floor is eerie and genuinely spooky and ramps up the atmosphere of this entertaining and fast-paced novel. Breach of Consciousness is a brilliant and probing debut novel, and it's most highly recommended.