Thomas Locke’s new series, Fault Lines, begins with a prequel, Double Edge, and then continues with Trial Run. The back cover says, “What you don’t know can kill you.” Despite the cover come-on, I must admit that the beginning of the novel did not hook me. The first few chapters are confusing until Locke gets all the characters introduced and the backstory told. Once we can figure out who the good guys and the bad guys are and what is at stake, the story takes on a life of its own and draws the reader in.
Locke is smart to introduce one of the main characters, Trent Major, as a troubled but brilliant scientist in quantum physics, who is “given” an algorithm that will revolutionize game theory. Any gamer who picks up the book is going to read further to see what happens in the game world. Trent’s partner in “crime” is Shane Schearer, a business maven working on her advanced degree, but bored out of her skull. They make the perfect foils to play the rest of the novel against.
Enter good guy, Dr. Gabriela Speciale (you know she’s special because of her last name), who is trying to create and control out-of-body-experiences that go beyond the normal boundaries of space and time. And Charlie Hazard, the bodyguard/God figure in the series and an ex-special forces guy Gabriela has hired to protect her and her scientists from all “hazards.”
Next enter the bad guys … Kevin Henley, who is employed by one of those “mysterious” ultra-secret government organizations, and Reese Clawson, a security expert who also has the ability to run human consciousness experiments like Gabriela, but whose goal is to control and destroy the opposition.
How they all interrelate, how they operate, the experiments they perform and succeed or fail at, is the stuff of the future come to the present. Locke obviously has a fascination with quantum physics as parts of the processes are described in mind-numbing detail—at least to those of us with a non-technical brain. I liked the byplay among the characters. I liked the theme of rescue and redemption that plays throughout the novel. I did not like the ending—too many strings left untied as an obvious hook to the next book in the series, as yet unnamed, coming the summer of 2016. A generous four stars.
To purchase Trial Run, click here: Trial Run (Fault Lines Book #1)
Thomas Locke is the pseudonym for Davis Bunn, “the award-winning novelist with total worldwide sales of seven million copies. His work has been published in twenty languages, and critical acclaim includes four Christy Awards for excellence in fiction. As Thomas Locke, Davis is also the author of Emissary [an excellent five-star fantasy].” To learn more, or to download Double Edge, go to www.tlocke.com.
Revell Books made sure I received a copy of Trial Run in exchange for my candid review.