Science Fiction is only the background for this psychological page-turner, which tests your perception of what can be achieved by the human race. While some books will create a far fetched story involving extra-terrestrials, First Cause sets up a very plausible scenario that the reader can relate to, because it takes place in modern society, and the human interaction is explained in detail. It also forces you question your everyday existence, by introducing the possibility of an out-of-this-world disturbance, and it makes you think about what you would do given the various circumstances. A great deal of time is spent on character development, which at first glance may seem a bit unnecessary, but it helps us understand people's reactions in certain situations, and also lets us feel a more personal connection with everyone.
I understand that this book was originally written as a screen play, but I do not feel that Hollywood could do it enough justice. There are not many "special effects" scenes outside of those which are necessary to keep the story moving. Movies nowadays don't spend much time on character development, and this aspect is crucial to First Cause, as the author puts the reader inside the minds of everyone involved. It could be made into a motion picture, but this would be one of those "you have to read the book before you see the movie" films, and just let the big screen bring your imagination to life.
I don't want to give away much plot in this review, but my 5 star ranking is based on the fact that I felt like I was part of this story, and I could relate well to it. It spends a little time on action, and a lot more time on reaction, as we feel in touch with the characters and see how they respond to a state of affairs that is beyond their control. The one negative I found with this book is that while it has a definitive ending, the novel doesn't quite conclude, and it leaves the reader wanting more. As this is the first book of a trilogy, we will eventually get to read more, but we have to wait until the next book comes out.