Beau Walker is a man without a field. Teaching at a backwater university after being dismissed from a government project because of his ethical concerns and bureaucratic maneuvers on the part of a one-time friend, Walker is an academic pariah until two soldiers appear one day. His former friend needs Walker’s expertise, and the professor—who is haunted by both his empathic abilities and the memory of the one time they failed him—has little choice but to cooperate
In the Russian city of Podol’sk, a project partially based on Walker’s work has gone horribly awry, killing thousands and leaving traces of mysteries that threaten humanity’s scientific understanding. Discovering what occurred, and how to prevent it from happening again, falls on Walker and his new friends…But as secrets and revelations accumulate, the team’s combined knowledge and abilities may be inadequate to stop what’s coming.
What happens when science kicks open the door for humans to reach god-like powers of creation and destruction? When human consciousness is made so powerful that it annihilates a city of thousands and impacts the moon’s orbit? Blending the paranormal and science fiction in a thrilling mystery, Walker and his team race to find the key to SHIVA facing military intrigues and supernormal assassins. What is at stake? The eradication of life on earth by thought alone.
Are you equipped to face the unthinkable? – Goodreads Synopsis
The Shiva Syndrome Review
The Shiva Syndrome has all the typical elements of the type of thriller I normally enjoy, with the bonus of having a diverse protagonist (half black, half native american). By rights, I should have loved this book, but… I didn’t.
The thing that kept catching me up, and pulling me out of the author’s web, was that the character interactions with each other were just not believable. The rest of the book was on point. I loved the exploration of ESP and other paranormal abilities. But the cheesy thoughts the main character has, the seemingly strong attraction that somehow develops between him and an absolute jerk with weak sob story, the overly dramatic interactions whenever any sort of emotion was displayed, etc, just didn’t work. When you find it impossible to like 2 or 3 of the primary cast, and the interesting ones are relegated to non-entity status for most of the story… I bought the story, the setting, the ideas… I just didn’t buy the characters, and that killed it for me.
The last ten percent of the book or so became a speech on how we must overcome, play nice with each other, etc. It took the book from an interesting foray into the paranormal, and shot it straight into “Woo” territory for me, so I definitely wasn’t a fan of the ending. Kind of went straight to eye-rolling, and “Okay, can you just be done already?” But, it ties in to what I spoke about earlier with the over-dramatizing thing.
Overall, The Shiva Syndrome was an interesting read, but took a turn for the woo-rse (I have no shame when it comes to opportunities for puns) towards the end that I just just couldn’t get behind. For people who are strongly religious, the book might go over a bit better with them. Try it. You might like it. I just didn’t.