on 27 August 2016
I came across this book whilst researching and, for the first time ever, neglected to check reviews before purchasing. I had thought it was a book on the study of parapsychology, so when I started reading it and it seemed like just another light scifi story, I shelved it until I had time for recreational reading.
Two months later, I decided that maybe "The Science of Psionics" might have some basic scientific background I could Google for myself, so I opened it to the bookmark on my Kindle, continued reading and promptly got hooked.
It does start out a bit 'campy', but you realize that the science behind the theory of psionics/parapsychology is not neglected in the book. Without being overstated and dry (except for the dry wit that is used a lot in dialog!), the bits where the male protagonist, Mark, tries to explain the odd abilities he and his lady love, Linda, have acquired, does indicate a fair modicum of research (yes, poetic license was taken, but what the heck! It's fiction!).
The tale is told of an anomaly during a lightning storm wherein Mark and Linda somehow find themselves in the midst of an electrical field of sorts. Its effects on them are described in rather comedic dialogs back and forth between them and throughout a number of monologs that make up the story.
On the morning after the storm, when he discovers he has somehow developed telekenetic abilities, Mark goes in to awaken Linda to tell her about his new found powers. When he finds her still asleep over top of her sheets - 18 inches over the top - he chooses to wait for her to join him for breakfast to breaks his news. This he does by just showing her what he can do, and suggesting she was also affected.
Of course she's shocked, but not nearly as much as when he tells her about finding her floating above the bed as well! They spend the rest of the morning trying to outdo each other by levitating, remote food prep and other antics...I chuckled all the way through this part.
I would have waited to finish the book later, but couldn't bring myself to go to bed! I'm glad I went back to it, too, because around Chapter 7, it was no longer just a fun jaunt into science fiction, and by Chapter 8, there came an "Uh oh..." moment when I knew things were about to get serious.
Enter an over-the-top, hard-core, Army Ranger 'friend' who thinks the couple's abilities should be tested against weapons and explosives, all with the goal of being shared with the powers that be for possible military use, and you now have a volatile and fast paced story on your hands.
A note here: that main antagonist is Sid, and you get the impression that he's lost touch with reality somewhat, after a few harsher than usual deployments...maybe. His wife is former military as well (also a Ranger??) and just as hard-core, only she appears more jaded than actually 'lost'. Their relationship seems to be based more on common experience than love and companionship, hence the ease of betrayal on his part, and her anger, rather than pain, at that betrayal.
Another observation here: it's sad when the military is made the bad guy, but renegades can be found amongst many civil occupations...and in this case, the story fits and paves the way for the continuation of this series. And while these parts of the book might seem to border on the contrived to some, again - it's fiction.
Back to the book - even though you can understand the theory behind the abilities these two have, without a lot of science-speak (no distractions, which is something I loved), there are parts that are a bit far-fetched to be believable - but then, that's what makes it a fiction of science and also what kept me reading. I mean, who doesn't enjoy a good flight of fantasy now and then, pun intended!
The only issue I had with this book was that a better understanding of the relationship between Sid and his wife, as well as his psychological issues, would have been in order. I agree with others that it sounds a bit odd that two such obviously "Army Proud" individuals would be able to turn on one another so quickly and completely. I had to give myself my own reason to believe it possible (see above). If there is ever another edition, I truly hope that those issues will be expanded, if only by a few paragraphs.
All in all, though, a really cool read for a stormy day...but stay away from the windows if it's lightning, unless you're in the mood to find out how much of this tale could be true!