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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!