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Saturday, December 10, 2011

Review and GIVEAWAY: Brainstorm

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Title: Brainstorm
Author: Gordon A. Kessler
Page Count: 594 KB (Kindle format)
Publisher: self-published
Genre: thriller
Copy for review provided by the author in anticipation of an honest review

BRAINSTORM: What if a small American town is secretly replicated, populated with kidnapped scientists and psychically talented civilians, and then used as a proving ground while training psychic assassins? Political and military leaders of the Free World are the targets of these psychic warriors, and Project Brainstorm's goal is world domination.

Gold Rush seems to be just another sleepy little Colorado community full of friendly, caring citizens, quaint cottages, and a sort of quiet peace, held gently by the picturesque mountains that surround it. However, something isn't right in Gold Rush, and early on a Monday morning Robert Weller awakens with a cautioning and insuppressible voice inside his head. He soon finds a secret behind every door, a motive with every glance, and a lie beneath every spoken word. After meeting a strange but beautiful woman named Sunny who insists they were once lovers, people begin dropping dead around him without apparent cause. The world he thought he knew twists upside down as paramilitary teams hunt him, and his own wife and the people he considers friends turn against him.

Weller is thrown into the middle of a military mission to rescue thousands of the town's citizens from a plot to destroy the free world. In time, Weller discovers he was once the CIA's top remote viewer, and it's not just the bad guys who will lose if he survives another day.

Twisty turny paths lay ahead in Brainstorm, a story of mishap, mind control, and the quest for power at any expense.  This is a full length novel with a full and diverse cast of characters.  There is a lot going on in this story, a lot to pay attention to, but it's well worth the read.

The story shifts back and forth between first and third person, depending on what's going on in the story.  This means that there are a couple of different story threads going on at the same time, but they're closely related; what starts off as a distraught wife's search for her missing husband evolves into a nuclear showdown that threatens to eclipse the entire world.

The whole situation stems from secret government experiments involving psychic assassins, capable of controlling and manipulating world leaders with the expected catastrophic results.  The missing man in question, Dan McMaster, is front and center in these experiments and is a gifted psychic in his own right; his sudden disappearance is seriously concerning to the defense department as his psychic abilities would be of serious interest to less-than-friendly powers.

The big thing to remember about Brainstorm is that nothing is as it seems, and the book says as much when it tells you that everything you know is a lie.  We find out details about the world of the book and the creepy, creepy town of Gold Rush as the characters find it out; we have to unravel the mystery ourselves and see if we arrive at the correct answer at the end.  There are lots of political elements to keep track of (it's a political thriller so that's to be expected) and the end result is definitely something I did not expect, nor did I see it coming.

You get a lot of bang for your buck here for $.99, and for folks looking for something in the vein of The Manchurian Candidate with a contemporary flair, this is a good bet.
Gordon Kessler has offered up a $25 Amazon gift certificate to one lucky winner here during the giveaway festival!  To enter, fill out the form below.  Spread the word and good luck to everyone!

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