An offbeat novel about a group of spiritually gifted beings that discovers a means to bring their peaceful message to other planets.
Scherer’s debut is a crafty, bizarre hybrid of science fiction tropes, New-Age didacticism and old-fashioned conspiracy theory. In 2013, archeologists Carla and Norman Wallace discover an ancient spiritual library lost deep in a jungle. Seven decades into the future—with a blessed lack of exposition—Talia Jensen sits in a room and explores the world using only her spirit, which is unattached to her body; she’s one of only a few people who have mastered the higher techniques of the Wallace Doctrines, lessons discovered in the jungle library. On her astral-projection journey, however, she has a run-in with a soul trap, which almost catches her. She quickly gets a team together, including the handsome Robin Sanford, to locate the soul trap in the real world. Although Robin is hardly a master of astral projection, he’s bold and bright; however, the author doesn’t prolong Talia and Robin’s cheeky romantic subplot, and this thoughtful brevity keeps the story moving. The team manages to disable the soul trap and gives it to a group of scientists to reverse engineer. They don’t know who has placed the traps or why, but the new technology allows them to quickly develop the ability to travel to other star systems, and they hope to spread the Wallace Doctrines throughout the galaxy. They also discover a wicked cabal, headed by a family called the Withermites, that controls banks, media and political leaders. Readers may find the plot a bit absurd, but the novel has a self-reflexive tongue-in-cheek style that makes it all good fun. The novel’s political and spiritual messages are unguarded: peace over war, harmony over greed, truth over deception. Such messaging sometimes pulls readers out of the plot, but in general, the prose is so precise, and the story so concise, that readers will forgive the overt ideology—and anticipate the sequel hinted at on the final page.
A breezy sci-fi saga that will delight aficionados of both science and spirituality.