Hobbs’ (Entangled Realms, 2013) follow-up novel explores the life of a girl with a genius intellect and other remarkable gifts that some would kill to attain.
As two young, single members of a small scientific research team in Antarctica, Susan Macaulay and Nate Stewart quickly form a romantic relationship. After the project ends and they return to their respective lives, Susan is stunned to learn that she’s pregnant. Any doubts or fears she has, however, quickly dissolve at Nate’s elated reaction to the news. When their daughter Fiona is born, Susan and Nate experience fears and doubts of a different kind. Fiona’s internal organs are slightly misplaced, and she has stunningly green eyes. Not only that, but her intelligence develops at an unprecedented rate. Could it have something to do with that mysterious—and classified—green sphere they discovered in the Antarctic? Fiona is, in all other respects, perfectly healthy, so the family tries to pursue a normal life. But people keep interfering: all family members, including Fiona’s dog, must submit to frequent medical tests. More than that, they discover that a trusted friend and adviser has been secretly monitoring and reporting on them to a powerful, clandestine agency called the Channel. With help, the family escapes into hiding. But their safety and anonymity are fleeting, and eventually Fiona must separate from her parents and trust strangers to help her evade the Channel and another, even more sinister group called the Others. From the opening scenes of a terrifying plane landing, Hobbs keeps readers on their toes with thrills and breakneck pacing. But it’s not just a fun ride; he provides technical information about myriad topics including aviation, meditation, ice crevasse rescues, espionage, and quantum mechanics. Fortunately, only a few things pull readers out of the story. For example, the dialogue, though naturalistic, is largely rational and controlled, which may leave some readers wishing more emotional outbursts or personality quirks were thrown in to punctuate the tense atmosphere. Also, some terms, such as percipience and eidetic, are used with notable frequency. These minor issues aside, Hobbs provides readers with a gripping, technologically compelling read that should earn him appreciative fans.
An intelligent, lively thriller.