Paul West was born and raised in New York City; he currently resides in Harlem, where he has lived for much of his life. After graduating from NYU with a B.A. in History, he worked in the education and nonprofit world for many years before switching lanes and working in advertising and then fashion.
First Cause was conceived as a screenplay idea in the early 1990s, when West was still an undergraduate; he shelved the project for nearly a decade, and began work again in 1999. Paul West is a sports enthusiast, a student of people, a lover of music, a voracious reader and a fervent believer in human possibility.
Paul is also a writer for Through The Fence Baseball, primarily covering the NL East and New York Mets, and a recurring guest on Fox Sports Radio. To follow Paul's Through The Fence articles, go to http://throughthefencebaseball.com/author/paul-west/ and for Paul's other sports writing, visit PDub's Sports Hub at http://pdubssportshub.wordpress.com/
To follow Paul on Twitter, go to https://twitter.com/firstcausenyc
The title of this review is the subtitle of the book but I believe it is a simple, yet genius, notion that really comes to light in Paul West's first novel. I like the other reviewer did not read anything about this book or the plot (besides the back cover) before delving into it and I was not disappointed. First Cause was an exciting page turner and extremely thought-provoking in a positive way. I loved that the book was written partly in flash-back sequences in to build interest but segues into real-time about half-way through to keep it from becoming too confusing. The author uses a fictional human race (Luceri)that has been removed from Earth for quite some years to offer an outside point of view of our society as a whole that I believe is spot on, but rarely recognized by any of us "terrestrials," those of us still living on Earth. The way his characters discuss human nature and its flaws is something that we all know to be true but tend to overlook or we too often reserve those negative opinions for other humans, races, ethnicities, etc... but never admit that we possess the same qualities ourselves. I found this book to be truly enlightening and thought-provoking, not because he came up with anything new and unheard-of necessarily,but rather because he brilliantly brought to light something that is right in front of our noses yet most people rarely take a second to realize it's there. The only negative thing I have to say upon finishing the book is that I am left wondering what the future holds for the characters and the world. While I realize that resolving all of the conflicts of this story would be too much like proposing a solution for all of the world's problems, I still hope there is a sequel to come. Great Job Paul!
I know it's cliche to say that I couldn't put this book down, but this is one of the few times that it's actually been true for me. Usually books that keep one this engaged are thick on suspense and short on meaning, but First Cause actually pays as much attention to the motivations and philosophies of the characters (who serve, in my reading, as proxies for various elements of society as a whole) as it does to the machinations of the plot - and for the most part does so without defraying the tension (though a few times we get to hear a bit too many of the main character's fears and insecurities). As with some of the best science fiction, the most "sci-fi" part of the book is the premise, which merely acts to set up a world co-inhabited by "aliens" in which an altogether human drama takes place. Definitely recommended.
To begin with, I received this book as a contest prize from Goodreads First Reads. I had no idea what it was about, nor did I look it up anywhere. I didn't even look for any reviews (which I normally do before I read a book).
With an explosive beginning, this book kept my attention to the end. At first, I thought it would be a book about the United States being attacked by Islamic terrorists (since that is what everyone has on their minds). However, my beliefs were dispelled a short time into the book when it was revealed that an offshoot of humanity was attempting to gain a foothold and return their populace to Earth.
As we discover from Angela, there is a colony of humans known as the Luceri on one of the moons of a neighboring planet they named Lucero. They left Earth in the 1930's to escape the conditions at the time. She is a part of an advance "defense force" sent to Earth to begin the process of their return. The Luceri believe they can bring peace to the world and advance humankind.
The Luceri "terranauts" as the defense force is called, sets events into motion that test the morals and ethics of people around the world. Explosions that rocked every major city on the planet within a few days of each other had the peoples of the world blaming each other for attacking.
The United States government is decimated and run by a "cabinet" chosen to work with the provisional President. Martial law is declared to help calm everyone down. Unfortunately, there are those in the group who have their own agendas.
Angela decides to help against her own people and becomes prey for the other Luceri on Earth. She manages to stay hidden for a time with Adam (who helped her understand that there is more to humanity than she was taught).Read more ›
I am someone who generally hates any writing with even a hint of futuristic or science fiction elements, but this book really opened my mind to a new genre. I was drawn to the honesty and depth of the characters and I grew to really care about them. I got caught up in the unique plot, and was excited to see what was going to happen. The themes and ideas of First Cause have surfaced in many of my recent conversations, as they certainly connect to our daily realities. This book is written in a genuine, authentic, and passionate manner.
I really enjoyed this book! If you want a well written piece on human Utopian society, mixed with Marxist overtones and alien invasion- read this book! I felt that this was really a page turner. With a gripping plot and twisted characters, West hits home on his first publication. A well done piece of work!