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The Know: Preservation Kindle Edition
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Zinging back and forth in time on strings more tenuous than rubber bands, this story jump starts all manner of possibilities for mankind’s abilities, past and future, while keeping the reader grounded and fascinated. Only those in the “Know” are coming to realize just how far-reaching and desperate every action can affect the possible destruction of earth, each vary in abilities and quickly become so much more than one dimensional characters. People are flawed, evil is personified by one of the most insidiously Bondesque villains ever and the fear – is - real.
John Preston is dying. But this isn’t a depressing death book, by any means. The reason Preston is dying is tied to his unique genetic heritage, the same heritage that allows him to just Know things he shouldn’t be able to know. In a bit of Matrix-fu, he can see where bullets will be in time to dodge them, and where his target will be at the precise moment he pulls the trigger. But every time he uses his ability, he grows weaker.
One day, passing out from the pain, he finds his mind traveling thousands of years into the past, where he meets the first one with this Know ability, a woman named Tril. Tril has seen a catastrophe take place in the distant future, and has devised a plan to prevent it. This plan begins with the first great human migration from Africa and across the world.
First off, I love when authors play around with human evolution. Kurst gives us glimpses of various descendants of Tril, and how they carried on the Know and the directive to spread out over the world. These descendants Know basically what Tril Knew, but also have their own unique situations that help or hinder the big plan.
Because of his little time travel walkabout, Preston blips on the radar of others with the Know ability. On one hand, a group of scientists experimenting with a CERN-like device, headed by an unknown descendant of Albert Einstein himself. On the other, the Consortium, a cabal of ruthless people using their ability to control the world. Once Preston gets roped in, the conflict between these two factions escalates. They Know the catastrophe is imminent, but while some hope to stave it off or avoid it altogether, others are trying to use it for personal gain.
Preston uses his tactical experience to aid the scientists in defending their lab and preserving Tril’s plan to save the world. This is an action-packed book which doesn’t skimp on exposition but maintains a good balance with both. There is a good bit of intrigue, with people on both sides playing double agent, and some cool tech toys thrown in. Things ramp up when Preston finds that the only way to proceed is the most dangerous path for them all. But after all he’s been through, and all he Knows, putting his life on the line makes the most sense for him. With the catastrophe drawing near, it’s not the time for half-measures.
As far as the science of it all, I’m no expert, but within the context of the book the science makes sense and nothing I read jolted me out of the story. The intrigue kept me guessing, not knowing whom or what to trust, and Preston is an engaging protagonist. I really look forward to what comes next in this series.
Overall, I found myself growing a bit impatient with the pace after the half-way point in the book. The book could have been completed with 10% less volume and fewer cliff-hangers. And I found some of the characters one-dimensional. The villains are more than a bit "too villainous", and some of the "save the world" plot comes across as a tad hysterical. The sexuality is more gratuitous than genuine (a sort of bodice-ripper parody translated to science fiction).
A word of advice to the author: if this book is ever going to make money in regular sales, then you need many more reviews than you've gotten so far, and you need them in a hurry. Otherwise, Amazon will bury your book without a trace in their search engine.
Fair disclosure: I received a free copy of the book in return for writing an unbiased review.