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Recommendation: if you haven’t read THE K2 VIRUS, then put that book on the list of Scott Rhine novels to acquire. His ability to use his intensely scientific mind as a resource for facts while painting his fascinating novels populated with ultra-contemporary mannerisms and dialogue makes his books both unique and irresistible. About QUANTUM ZERO SENTINEL Scott has made the comment, ‘The idea came when my Dad sent me a DNA test to help find the family tree for my deceased mother, who was adopted. My first four tests came back with errors, which happens in less than one percent of the population. I started to wonder if I was an alien or something. I added in my research on programming quantum computers, and Maia's story took shape.’
For those of us fairly unsophisticated in quantum physics, survey the follow tidbits before reading this amazing book: ‘Quantum mechanics (quantum physics or quantum theory), including quantum field theory, is a branch of physics which is the fundamental theory of nature at small scales and low energies of atoms and subatomic particles.’ ‘Quantum computers use the power of atoms to perform memory and processing tasks.’ And even more pertinent is this bit form BBC: ‘Some scientists think we already understand what consciousness is, or that it is a mere illusion. But many others feel we have not grasped where consciousness comes from at all. The perennial puzzle of consciousness has even led some researchers to invoke quantum physics to explain it. That notion has always been met with skepticism, which is not surprising: it does not sound wise to explain one mystery with another. But such ideas are not obviously absurd, and neither are they arbitrary. For one thing, the mind seemed, to the great discomfort of physicists, to force its way into early quantum theory. What's more, quantum computers are predicted to be capable of accomplishing things ordinary computers cannot, which reminds us of how our brains can achieve things that are still beyond artificial intelligence. "Quantum consciousness" is widely derided as mystical woo, but it just will not go away.’
Not to overwhelm, but to aid in full enjoyment of this book – the story of Maia and her twin brothers Johann and Wolfgang and a sentinel encounter and its sequelae – the synopsis clarifies – ‘The FBI gets a tip about the sale of quantum computers to criminals and spies. Due to a freak accident, Maia Long is forced undercover to catch the culprits. Then she stumbles upon the cornerstone of a new technology. Disruptive changes are coming, threatening the US economy and national security. The first thing her instructor taught her in quantum physics was that everything they’ve taught you before was a lie. As she follows the clues, nobody turns out to be who she expects them to be, not even herself.’
Gilbert and Sullivan describe Scott’s talent in The Mikado – ‘Art and nature, thus allied go to make a pretty bride’ (the ‘bride’ in this case being his exhilarating novels. All parts of his brain marry to make these delectable tales. To be continued...Grady Harp, February 17
I voluntarily reviewed a complimentary copy of this book.
I can honestly say I've been a fan of Scott's books for years, but this new one is a twist into a new storyline that sucked me in from the first chapter. The main character is reminiscent of Rhine's main character from Jezebel's Ladder, a powerful female heroine who strives to do the best with what she has, which happen to be abilities even she doesn't know about or understand. The story also has technological advancements and deals with world-wide reaction to those advancements like the Jezebel series, but there the similarities stop and Rhine's creativity carries on, full tilt. It's another great start to a phenomenal new series.
As we follow Maia down the rabbit hole, she is forced to react to those attempting to capture her and her family. Like the incredibly smart woman she is, she plays her adversaries like pawns on a chessboard. However, smarts don't counteract naivety and a lack of experience. Nothing is as it seems, and as you follow Maia down this journey, you will certainly get caught up in her ride into corporate America, espionage, revenge, and even mythical gods. Each twist is exciting and adds another layer of complexity that you mind can't help but wonder about, enthusiastically. Be forewarned though, there is a lot of techno-talk. The story is great and one I highly recommend.
Fans of strong female characters, myths, and futuristic technologies will enjoy Quantum Zero Sentinel immensely. If you've read any of Scott Rhine's previous novels, this one is top tier with the best of them.
Maia Long is a woman with high intellect and the ability to speak quite languages and has been living a relatively peaceful life on a visa, and hopes things can stay that way.
However, a chance encounter with a man that is being hunted down leads her into working undercover for the FBI, who have been tipped off about the sale of quantum computers to criminals and spies, that leads her to discover new technology and finds out that nothing is as it seems, and she must handle the situation before national security and the economy collapse.
I must say, I kind of liked this book.
From the moment that I opened up this book and started reading it, I did not want to put it down for any reason, though I have to satisfy the same needs as every other human and noise pollution has been a bother.
For a reader to really be able to enjoy a book, they must lose the sense of everything around them to the point where they are engrossed with the story, and Scott Rhine seems to understand that quite well.
While Scott has not been able to pull me quite as well as Weston can, especially considering that this title is more fast paced than Spice & Wolf, his writing style did not turn me off at all and helped to make this feel more like watching a movie than just reading a book, which in turn had me engrossed even more in the book.
After seeing the failure of many writers, both from those old enough that their works are now called classics and those who are writing today, I have kind of given up on much of the book industry here, and seeing how I have come across yet another writer with enough skill and talent to actually be able to create this pull on me makes me glad that I did not give up completely on prose fiction.
If writers could understand the importance of needing to pull people in relatively quickly, they would be able to actually please the people the matter most, instead of those that slap the classic label on books that do not deserve that distinction.
Unfortunately, it will be a long time before we even reach that point where people learn that a good story has more than what our grammar and classic literature teachers told us makes a great work, though those same things does help to make it more endearing.
Hopefully, Scott can keep up with this level of quality over the course of his career, because, like Weston, I already want to see him succeed, as opposed to being sent to the trash heap.
I also liked how I felt everything that I expected from a thriller work.
When Scott gave me this title, in exchange for an honest review, he made it quite clear that he does not really do crime stories, which he probably thought because of how much I talk about them, especially when it has some revelance to what I am talking about.
However, I usually determine what kind of story I am reading for myself from the contents and judge based on that because there are works out there, such as Boku Dake ga Inai Machi, that are not what they have been advertised to be, though I am grateful he did tell me what he usually writes, so that I did not need to run a check on him like I did with John Grisham.
And from my actual reading, as well as the comments from Scott himself, I found that I got everything that was expecting from a work of thriller, which does sometimes cover what he tries focusing on. Those feeling spanned almost everything from those of suspense, excitement, surprise, anticipation, or anxiety, and it ended making the the whole book that much more interesting to read, even with the one thing that kept me from really being able to enjoy this work.
If I had to say why Scott Rhine was able to succeed, it was because, unlike John Grisham in The Whistler, Scott was able to maintain that element of mystery that makes works of fiction so great to begin with, by leaving me with so many questions and how they all link together, as well as not ever shifting perspectives to what the antagonists were up to, though this is not always a major problem if it does happen, as Weston Kincade was able to make it work out in his own work.
This is how a thriller should been written, and, whether or not Scott intended it to be one, he was able to deliver quite well. Nice job, Scott.
Another thing that I liked was how the characters themselves seemed to be quite interesting.
One of the things that I hated about The Whistler was how John Grisham had characters that were not quite as interesting as his plot and tried to make things interesting by having them go through mundane stuff that felt mundane, to give them life outside the plot, and it only made his book worse.
Here, however, Scott Rhine was able to create some fairly interesting characters that made me kind of interested in the daily lives, though probably still not quite interesting enough to make side story where nothing happens just as enjoyable as a story with plot like Lawrence and Holo could in Spice & Wolf.
If I had to say why they seemed interesting, it was because they were actually fleshed out and Scott did not try to present them as interesting people, though it would have been really important to do so if Scott opted for a slow paced story, and made it that much more easy to follow the story without falling asleep.
The thing that I liked the most though was how the book focused mostly on the plot.
Not all stories out there are the same, though people get ideas from stories that already exist regardless of whether they are in public domain or not, and the key to writing a great story differs greatly based on what it is being present and what kind of pacing works for the story.
For some, such as Spice & Wolf, which is slow paced, the audience must be interest by both the things that have relevance to plot and the mundane stuff that you would expect to happen every day, and is why it works for titles that have characters go on some kind of journey in a world that is fairly close our own.
However, a fast paced story, such as this book, and many of the titles Weston Kincade wrote, must focus mostly on the plot, without going away from what the audience wanted to read, and is both a necessary element for work of thriller and one of the easiest things to pull off, and Scott seems to have recognized the importance of this quick pacing for the story.
If he was not able to even do this much, I would have written him off as a novice, in spite of his half a decade of experience in writing because I would not be able to overlook as many problems with this book as I can right now, and that I feel like giving him a nice round of applause. I am not sure if this is some kind of fluke or not, as this is the first book from him that I read, but he certainly does deserve to be recognized as a competent enough writer that I would possibly want to check out more of his work.
Outside of those things, I cannot think of anything else that I particularly liked, at least without spoiling too much.
Because my interest was captured relatively quickly and held right up until the end, I got the feelings that I expected to find in a thriller, which had me even more interested in reading the book, the writer kept to the plot, as should be expected from a fast paced story, and the character were not presented as somebody they were not, this one one of the best books I have read so far.
Although I liked the book, there are some issues.
However, aside from things that are too minor to talk about, such as typos, only one thing really bothered me.
While I had no troubles getting into the story, I could not really picture everything that was going on.
With fictional works, there are many different mediums out there from visual, which include live action films or television dramas, to printed, such as comics, magazines, and novels, and each one requires a different method of pulling the reader into the world.
In the case of this work, which is the kind of prose fiction found in novels, the reader needs to be able to have enough detail to draw images inside their head, and if they cannot create those images it takes a bit longer for the reader to become fully immersed in the story, and the way that this book started up did not create that necessary mental image.
Now, some of you guys may be thinking that I am asking Scott to put in enough detail that the audience sees images as intricate as the most realistic works out there, but I am not because too much detail bogs down a story and makes it worse, especially when the story is fast paced like this one.
In fact, what I think could have helped Scott here was if he did not assume that everyone has seem what he was picturing in his mind, and put in enough details so that the image can be created, such as the car, which was only described the Mom-mobile. Scott did a good job of describing what everything else looked like, but not the car itself, since it was not the kind of term everyone uses or is familiar with in some way.
If he had done that, he would have practically had a book that would have been as close to perfect as possible, and would have been worthy of a five star rating.
Unfortunately, because Scott could not continually create images in my mind, it took a bit longer for me to become immersed, and kept it from being good enough to where I could overlook every possible problem that this book had.
While there was only one real problem with this book, the issue was not bad enough to hurt the quality of the book too much, and, thankfully, does not make me want to rip Scott or the people who helped him put the book together a new one like I did with Yen Press and their release of Judge Volume 6.
Considering that there was so much to like about this book, though it was kind of difficult to draw any pictures in my head, this was definitely worth reading.
I recommend this to fans of Scott Rhine, those who like to read a good thriller, or those that cannot deal with any story with a slow pacing, as they will be able to enjoy this the most.
As for everyone else, this might be worth giving a try, as familiarity with Scott Rhine's other work is not necessary to enjoy this.
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