Diana Hunt, the U.S. military's most accurate remote viewer - a psychic spy - devotes her talent to keeping Dr. Wilder alive. Yet the forces behind the lethal multi-tiered battle are far greater than mere mortals could suspect, and will culminate in a devastating conflict. A taut, suspenseful story that keeps the reader riveted to the pages until the very end. -- Midwest Book Review
Unseen Forces is a terrific debut novel that literally has something for everyone, and it deserves to be on the bestseller lists. It's unique enough to stand out from the supermarket crowd, but not too out-there that it alienates its readers. -- The Daily Grail
"I couldn't wait to get back to it after I put it down. Kovacs covers some serious philosophical questions within the framework of a potboiler." -- Major Paul Smith, U.S. Army (ret.), author of Reading the Enemy's Mind
"Nobody said a treasure hunt was easy." --Maverick archaeologist Sky Wilder.
Sky Wilder is an archaeologist walking the edges of academia, mocked by his peers for pursuing the alternative. When he breaks a code that could locate Ancient Egyptian stone tablets holding the key to immortality, more than just his academic reputation is at stake. Secret forces in the world, who have been manipulating global governments and finances for millennia, will stop at nothing to possess the key to eternal life ... and Sky Wilder is in their way.
This is the basis for Ed Kovacs' explosive debut novel Unseen Forces. Conspiracy buffs and alternative armchair archaeologists will rejoice at the sheer number of fringe topics Kovacs has managed to weave into a plot that is as exciting as it is believable. Secret societies, corrupt billionaires, military psychic programs, Ancient Egyptian magick, Burmese refugees, Navajo sarcasm ... this book has it all.
Assigned to help Sky Wilder - or so it seems - is Diana Hunt, one of the American military's best psychic warriors, and a stunningly gorgeous woman as well. She could easily have become the Bond girl of the story, but Kovacs constructs her personal story with depth and feeling, and she quickly becomes a character that is vital to the book.
Perhaps the most important part of the book involves Wilder and Hunt's foray into the borderlands of Thailand and Burma - the infamous Golden Triangle of military corruption, drug trafficking, and human rights abuses. Kovacs draws on his own personal travel experiences in the Golden Triangle to create a thought-provoking and deeply moving part of the story that can seem a little bit at odds with the novel's James Bond-like ending. The plight of the Burmese people is a real one, and this is where Sky Wilder draws upon his inner resources - courage, conscience, and sheer guts and determination - to fight the greed and corruption of the Burmese Junta. -- Rick Gned
From the Author
Ed: I worked very hard plotting the book, and believability is important to me. The book isn't fantasy or science fiction, even though there are characters who dabble in the occult. I structure carefully--an old habit learned from my screenplay work. Mystery writers like the late Donald Westlake, who could write a novel off the cuff without plotting it out first are rare birds. In terms of characters, unusual juxtapositions intrigue me. When I stand back and look at my life, I see a pastiche of disparate elements that don't necessarily go together logically. I like dichotomies, and I think it makes for more interesting characters in fiction.
Interviewer: Any male reader who has a pulse will be enamored with your heroine, Diana Hunt. Are 60% of the CIA's female field operatives really chosen for their seductive good looks?
Ed: What I referenced in the book is that 60% of all international assassins are female. That was an Interpol statistic I came across years ago, so the percentage may be different today. I wanted Diana to have a dark past, to have been exploited by her government in a sexual way. Unattractive females don't make for very good bait in honey traps!
I did meet a former military female remote viewer. She was a career intelligence officer, both in and outside the remote viewing unit. She was no femme fatale, but an effective officer. I'm sorry to say she was tragically killed in an auto accident several years ago in Russia. The paranoid part of me would like more information about how exactly she was killed.
Interviewer: Apart from the action and conspiracy theories, your novel also deals with the very real and tragic plight of the Burmese people. I've been following the story of Aung San Suu Kyi for many years, but the drug trade in the Golden Triangle has remained largely unreported in the West. Tell us about your experiences in Thailand and Burma (Myanmar), and how it affected your novel?
Ed: I'm a sucker to support the underdog, the average guy. I'd been following the genocide against Burmese ethnic groups for a long time, and wanted to give some ink to their plight. For me, the best way to do that with veracity is to go there. I made both legal and illegal incursions into Burma, in the Golden Triangle, to see things for myself. I also spent time down in Mae Sot, what was then a very dangerous border town. I visited Burmese refugee camps on the Thai side of the border that were shelled and attacked by the Burmese army, until driven away by Thai Rangers.
In the Golden Triangle I traveled with different guides. One day in Mae Hong Son, I was told I was suspected of being DEA - not a good thing in an area where everyone is dealing dope. I was strongly advised to leave the area immediately for my own safety. I'm gratified to hear from so many readers who tell me the chapters set in Asia are their favorite part of my book.
Interviewer: Sky Wilder is a man with an interesting past. Is there a little bit of Ed Kovacs in Sky Wilder?
Ed: Perhaps I'm most like Sky Wilder in that I'm a person who, once I decide to do something, I go out and find a way to get it done. I'm decisive, methodical, and enterprising. I also have plenty of foibles, and I look forward to complicating Sky's personal life in future adventures with the kinds of problems that are the stuff of life.
Interviewer: Wilder's childhood friend, Professor Frank Bacavi, is a Navajo. How did his character evolve, and will we see more of him in the future?
Ed: Frank will play larger roles in future books; most certainly in the next one. Los Angeles is such a melting pot. In my old neighborhoods Caucasians like me were the minority, and I'm quite comfortable with that. I have mixed-race children and two former wives, both from a different race than myself. I always populate my fiction with people of color because that's how my world is populated, but a character like Frank is an ethnic whose ethnicity is immaterial. I hope he's an interesting character, who just so happens to be Navajo. He's intelligent, successful in his field, stylish to the point of vanity, and much more skeptical of paranormal stuff than Sky. I didn't want him to be any kind of stereotypical 'Indian,' but nor did I want him to be 'whitewashed.'
Interviewer: You've written quite a few screenplays. How does novel writing compare to writing for the big screen?
Ed: I learned discipline and plotting from writing screenplays and that helps me a lot with my novels. I work out the story and sub-plots in a three act structure much like I would a script. The story and plotting are of course more complex than if I had been writing a script. I write five pages, single spaced, about each main character and their backstory. In a novel you can allow a story to breathe and explore tangents. There's not much allowance for that kind of thing in screenwriting. I so enjoy writing novels that I don't care if I ever write another script.