Monday, July 16, 2012

The Radiance by John Robinson: MY REVIEW

The RadianceOn a warm September night ... the transformation of the world begins.

An extraterrestrial force of unknown origin is causing the minds of every living creature on Earth to begin expanding at an astounding rate. No one knows when it will stop … or if it *can* be stopped.

Complete at 93,000 words, The Radiance concerns the effects of this unseen anomaly, focusing the story on two estranged brothers: industrialist Cale Walker, one of the richest men in the world, and his younger sibling Travis, a struggling farmer and former Army Special Operations combat officer. Behind the scenes Cale assembles a task force he dubs the Radiant Project, a select assembly who are asked to find a way to combat the phenomenon. The tycoon then recruits Travis for this crew to give his “everyman” take on things. Reluctantly he agrees, but as the effect intensifies, the former Ranger stumbles across its true origin, the discovery of which will lead to a radical rethinking of everything he thought he knew.

4 Stars

An elite panel of specialists joins together under the leadership of Cale Walker, a wealthy entrepreneur, to study a perplexing phenomenon they call The Radiance. Over the course of just a few years most of Earth’s population has become smarter. The cause is undetermined, and it is unknown if the mental improvements will be temporary or permanent.

As the story begins Cale’s brother, Travis is a near-broke farmer struggling to hold onto his farm. His childhood friend and ranch hand Lester has always been mechanically inclined even though he is no mental giant. Lester, though, miraculously undergoes a transformation that Travis never expects and is at a loss to explain. Later Travis undergoes a similar experience when he discovers he has learned an entire new language over the course of a few short hours.

Travis receives a summons from his estranged older brother and ends up reluctantly joining The Radiance Group. As frightening projections about the breakdown of societal structure become reality the group quietly prepares for the worse.

This unusual, thought-provoking story is entertaining and well-told. At times it stretched my capacity to suspend disbelief to its limits, but still, I anxiously clicked through my kindle screens because I had to find out how the story would end. The ending was satisfactory, but certainly left me craving a sequel.

Reviewed for Night Owl Reviews

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