The SHIVA Syndrome

The SHIVA Syndrome


Fiction - Science Fiction
474 Pages
Reviewed on 11/28/2015
Buy on Amazon

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Author Biography

Alan Joshua (pen name) is a Clinical Psychologist with a background in Forensic Psychology. He has published many nonfiction journal articles.
The Shiva syndrome, his debut fiction novel, is a science fiction/paranormal mystery and thriller.
Always curious about the unknowns of human experience, he is fascinated with creativity and paranormal abilities. This led to his involvement with Psychology and research into Parapsychology.
He has explored paranormal abilities and reincarnation using hypnosis and in-depth interviewing of a wide range of practitioners.
The Shiva Syndrome incorporates his knowledge of Parapsychology and experiences with healers, intuitives, “psychic” sensitives, etc.
Unsurprisingly, he is a science fiction fan. He has been influenced by Asimov, Bradbury, Crichton, Heinlein, Serling, Dick, and Chayefsky (Altered States).
As an avid Trekkie, he is fond of contradicting Gene Roddenberry: “Roddenberry dealt with science and morality (e.g., the Prime Directive”), but avoided matters of religion and spirit. “Human consciousness and its potentials, not space, is ‘the final frontier.’”

    Book Review

Reviewed by Carol Coetzee for Readers' Favorite

In The SHIVA Syndrome by Alan Joshua, we are thrown right into the action with the prologue. A test subject is in a liquid filled cylinder in a basement laboratory in Podol'sk in Russia. During the procedure, he experiences a seizure and chaos ensues in the laboratory. When everything settles down, all that remains in the tank is a formless, featureless black cloud. The cloud totally engulfs everything and disappears, leaving nothing but a massive crater. A team is quickly assembled to investigate the incident and the strange crater. Among these is Beau Walker, psychologist and empath. It is obvious that something very unusual has occurred in Podol'sk. What the team finds and experiences will shock, surprise and amaze you. As events escalate, Walker embarks on a journey dealing with his personal demons and must struggle to save humanity from itself. An engrossing read!

In The SHIVA Syndrome, Alan Joshua cleverly interweaves various genres. We deal with altered states of consciousness, parapsychology, genetics, paleontology, mythology, military intrigue, hard science and religion. This combines to produce a complex and exhilarating tale, twisting, turning and yet racing along at a blistering pace towards an intense climax. This story will certainly challenge everything we know, or think we know, about reality, life and the universe, and lead you to the ultimate conclusion that human consciousness does not end with the flesh, but continues well beyond, and humans have enormous potential for both creation and destruction.

The story is extremely well written, well researched and well-paced, and will keep you turning pages till your eyes close of their own accord. Whilst not a quick read, and containing some new ideas and concepts, for me anyway, there is never a dull moment. Walker is an extremely interesting character, and his empathic skills, as well as his genetic heritage, play an important role in the tale. Each character is interesting, well defined, and has flaws and strengths that are as fascinating as they are realistic. A wonderful read that I would love to see being made into a movie!

Lit Amri

Beau Walker is a man with an interesting internal conflict. Born to a full blooded Native American father and African-American, evangelical mother/healer, he struggles to accept his heritage. He rejects his parents’ wishes, and relies on solid scientific reason to comprehend his inner distress. When Walker is coerced into joining an experiment in Moscow, the suspense element in the story scales up from this point on, taking readers into an unprecedented, gripping journey.

Set in modern times, the string of events in The SHIVA Syndrome by Alan Joshua gears toward the evolution of higher, spiritual awareness. It reminds me somewhat of Carlos Castaneda’s Don Juan series such as The Teachings of Don Juan, A Separate Reality, and The Fire from Within. The premise and plot of the story are ingeniously laced with Castanadian intrigue. Joshua deftly combines science and spirituality, and the result is an enthralling transcendent mind trip.

The characters are well fleshed out. The dialogue is sharp and the story line has twists that you won’t see coming. Joshua brings everything to life with his adroit narrative, making the story believable and highly readable. On the whole, The SHIVA Syndrome is a page turning, sci-fi thriller. The notions proposed in the story are thought provoking and will linger in readers’ minds long after they put down the book. The mentioned possibilities of what the human mind can do are both fascinating and frightening. In essence, this is an enigmatic spiritual endeavor that I highly recommend to my fellow readers.