Title: Trial Run
Author: Thomas Locke
Published: August 2015
Series: Fault Lines
Genre: Technological Thriller
About the Book (Publisher’s Description)
Dr. Gabriella Speciale has assembled an international team of elite scientists with one goal in mind–to create and control out-of-body experiences that transcend the limits of time and space. Reese Clawson’s mind-bending experiments aim to explode the boundaries of human consciousness–and annihilate the opposition in the process.
When a terrifying discovery and a string of failed tests threaten to dismantle both programs, the key to survival may reside in the mind of a gifted grad student whose unsettling dreams have thrust him into the center of a dangerous battle for control.
As the threads of perception and reality become tangled and time itself twists in unexpected directions, one warning remains clear: what you don’t know can kill you.
I am impressed by this first book in Thomas Locke’s new Fault Lines series. It is written in the style of many New York Times bestsellers with short action-packed chapters and the kind of direct prose that cuts straight to the point. As a technological thriller it also falls within a genre that’s popular in mainstream fiction, but sorely underrepresented in Christian fiction.
I actually found the opening a bit confusing as I felt I was whisked from one scene and cast of characters to another seemingly unrelated situation, and another, before becoming fully oriented in the first. About the time I was starting to wonder if I should have been taking notes to keep it all straight, the pieces started to come together and note taking proved unnecessary. Meanwhile, something about the storytelling drew me in, and kept me wanting to read on and know more. And over the course of the story, the seemingly unrelated threads came together to form a fascinating overall picture.
Shane and Trent were my favorite characters in the book. I found them likeable and relatable, at least in part because they had no more idea what was going on initially than I did. 😉 They also had sympathetic backstories, worked well together, and I wanted to see them succeed.
I found the glimpses into the ideas behind quantum computing and other research fascinating and well-handled. There was enough detail to intrigue, but not so much as to bog down the story. Also not enough to fully explain, but that’d be a lot to ask of a fictional story in which understanding quantum computing isn’t really necessary for following the plotline.
This is a book from a Christian publisher, and while a clean read, I didn’t see much in the story to make it specifically Christian, aside from a few references to guilt and forgiveness. Along those lines though, I do wonder if the maelstrom/vortex that plays a prominent role in the story could have symbolic meaning to be explored in future titles within the series? I’ll be curious to read on and find out.
An abrupt ending left me wanting a little more resolution or maybe just some more time devoted to exploring the characters’ reactions to what they’ve been through in such an intense climactic scene. But I guess that’ll have to wait for the next book in the series, due out next year. There are plenty of unanswered questions to leave readers waiting on the edge of our seats.
I have no doubt there are many readers out there who would devour this book and look forward to more in the series. In particular, fans of Michael Crichton’s and Tom Clancy’s novels should give this book a try.
Thank you to the publisher for providing an advance reader copy of this novel via NetGalley for review purposes.
See also: My review of Emissary, book one in the Legends of the Realm series, also by Thomas Locke. Plus there’s a cool Trial Run book trailer you may want to check out.
3 thoughts on “Book Review: Trial Run by Thomas Locke”
I passed on reviewing this book due to what I thought would be a tech-heavy plot. Now I’m sorry! Thanks for the review. I’ll put this one on my TBR list.
Beckie, the technology does have a pretty central role – without it there’d be no conflict to drive the story, but the focus is more on the action and intrigue. Admittedly, I’m something of a science and tech geek, so this was right up my alley, but I do think the story has wide appeal. I’d love to know what you think if you do read it.
Glad to hear that I might not be totally lost! I recently read Dee Henderson’s Undetected and was pleasantly surprised how much I enjoyed the info on submarines and sonar. I have Davis Bunn’s book The Fragment in my TBR pile — he’s a great author under any name!