THE FIFTH FORCE By Libby McGugan. Book review

THE FIFTH FORCE By Libby McGugan, Amazon Publishing, s/b,£7.99

Reviewed by Matthew Johns

The follow up to McGugan’s award-winning debut, The Eidolon, this continues directly after the events of the first book in the Quantum Ghosts Trilogy.

Physicist Robert Strong, his father Elliot and his girlfriend Cora Martin are on the run from Victor Amos, head of the villainous organisation ORB. Having previously crippled ORB with a virus, Victor Amos has a score to settle with Strong, and is using every method at his disposal to hunt him down.

Around the world, groups of people, including Cora Martin, are suddenly finding that they have previously undiscovered telepathic powers. In Edinburgh, young Ben seems to have memories of a previous life as well as sharing telepathic powers with his mum, Zoe. Strange gravitational fluctuations seem to be building in points around the world, but the shadowy team at ORB hide this fact from government monitoring stations. As the telepaths suffer from increasingly disturbing nightmares and a strange fog descends upon Edinburgh, Robert and Cora must find and hide an ancient artifact from Amos to prevent apocalyptic events from occurring.

McGugan’s writing is excellent as before, delivering a fantastic mix of action thriller, espionage, metaphysical/esoteric fantasy with some quality science fiction thrown in. The action builds well, and the characters are not only easy to empathise with, but also believable. McGugan melds science fiction with esoteric fantasy with ease, going from geophysics and gravitational waves to past lives and Tibetan mandalas with ease. This is a truly thrilling read and should be on top of your reading pile for the summer – I can’t wait for the final book to find out what happens to the characters!