Ebook review: In the Shadow of the Earth (The Gods in Hiding) by J.P. Borders

When this author got in touch the nerd in me was interested in his academic record and fascinated by the headline statement science meets magic, and the true nature of reality is revealed!
Physics has always fascinated me but I chose to go with one of the other natural sciences and get into pharmaceutics rather than an uncertain future in high energy collisions.

Published 13th November 2013
About the author: “J.P. Borders started reading SciFi & Fantasy when he was 8, but never really believed he could write fiction. After taking a seemingly inordinately long time to get a PhD in physics (while working on one of the two experiments credited with the observation of the top quark), he discovered a passion for computers that pulled him into the world of programming. He has now been developing enterprise applications in the financial world for 20 years, using C++, C#, and Java.
It was almost by accident that he started writing stories of his own, and has begun an ambitious cycle of books, The Gods in Hiding. The series is based upon physics, computers, and the direct manipulation of reality by the human mind. Unfortunately he can only claim expertise in two of these three topics, but hopes you will overlook his inexperience with the third.
He lives in Connecticut with his wife and two children.”

From the dust cover: “Professor Jim Canter was tormented by memories of his devastating failure as a physicist. The experiment that should have proven his radical, world-changing theory had instead ended in universal accusations of fraud and deceit.
Clinging hopelessly to the remnants of his shattered career, he is forced to consider an incredible idea proposed by a mysterious new graduate student. Mika convinces him to try a final experiment, one that could show an unprecedented link between reality and the human mind, opening the door to possibilities beyond anything Jim had ever imagined.
The outcome leads them both into a terrifying confrontation with an organization of ancient, undead creatures dedicated to keeping these secrets for themselves, and who may present an even greater threat to all of mankind.
Now they must race against time to find a way to protect themselves from an enemy that cannot be seen or touched, one that has been preparing for untold thousands of years.”

My Ebook review: this is a phenomenally well developed science fiction / paranormal book that bursts with potential for future dramatic volumes. It has been a long time since I read a book that felt so well thought through from every angle that it almost falls off the page with chilling realism.
We start out focused on Canter who has had a rough time of things and been turned into a social pariah which is a fate that has befallen too many academics over the years. If doping in sport is bad then fraud in science is very bad and met with perhaps an even higher degree of alienation and punishment. His fall from grace is monumental and his desire to cling on as long as he can to whatever tenuous grip he has on a career is understandable if not foolhardy. As a scientist he crossed the line into celebrity and this is not easily done.
When Mika arrives on the scene we see the beginning of an almost exponential acceleration of the complexity and diversity of the plot that continues to the end.
Borders takes the time to carefully introduce each new character as they come on the scene to the degree that is appropriate. This is done in various ways that add depth and clarity to the story. As the pace picks up and we meet the key players there is no sense that we have slipped from the paranormal to the absurd. The angles are covered and the edges are smoothed which leaves the reader having to concentrate only on the central plot themes. The science that is invoked is believable and it is only at the very edges that we see the fraying of our reality and the beginnings of the paranormal. As I read I recalled allusions to various debunked mind over matter experiments and there is clearly reference made to the supposed powers of the ancients long forgotten. It is exactly in this boundary space where science, paranormal and magi meet that we find this explosive new masterpiece.
This volume ends, where all first books in a series should, making me want to read on, to learn what we do not yet know, to see if our heroes can save the world.

Did I enjoy it: heck yes, I literally could barely step away from this book. Read it!

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