Monday, November 16, 2015

Book Review: The Shiva Syndrome by Alan Joshua

Title: The Shiva Syndrome
Author: Alan Joshua
Publisher: Champagne Books


A secret Russian mind research laboratory in Podol'sk erupts, annihilating thousands and leaving a monstrous, one-mile deep crater in its wake.
Beau Walker, parapsychologist and reluctant empath, is coerced into joining a research team, code-named SHIVA, to investigate the enigmatic event.

Walker must fight his way past political and military deceptions and a host of deadly adversaries to unlock the riddle of the SHIVA syndrome.
Will he have the physical, emotional, and spiritual strength to defy the dangers he faces…or will they destroy him before he can come to a new, challenging understanding of the nature of reality?


Do not judge a book by its cover or its name. I did just that when asked to review Alan Joshua’s ‘The Shiva Syndrome.’ I mistook it for mythology naturally. But let me put it straight, this is not a story about gods and their superpowers. The Shiva Syndrome is a science fiction thriller. Actually, it is difficult to assign it a single tag; it is a unique mixture of paranormal, science fiction, thriller and mystery.
The novel begins with a secret Russian mind research laboratory in Podol'sk being destroyed in a freak accident involving one of its patients. The resulting devastation leaves thousands dead and a mile wide crater where the ground has quite literally been pulverized. A former Special Forces operative and a psychologist, Beau Walker, is persuaded to join a research team investigating the incident. The research project is code named SHIVA (now I know the source for the title as do you).
Much research has gone into writing this roller-coaster of a novel. The characters are fleshed out well. Beau Walker is shown as a man of unusual interests. We see his character develop from a stereotypical protagonist to that of a human being the readers can relate to. He is a person with a difficult childhood that does much to shape him as an individual. We see him struggle to come to terms with his evolutionary inheritance and his personal past. The supporting characters of Julie Thortsen and Burt Grimes have also been justified by the author. They are not just props. The descriptions of events and characters are very vivid and engaging. At every step of the story, the book untangles the web of new horizon technologies as well as parapsychology. The author’s profound knowledge can be seen in the extraordinary development of the story. It has all the ingredients for an action packed thriller. It is a very good read indeed. Indeed a fast paced-thriller action that will keep readers turning the pages and wishing for more.

About the author

Alan Joshua (pen name) is a practicing Clinical Psychologist with a background in Forensic Psychology. He has published many nonfiction journal articles. The Shiva Syndrome, his debut fiction novel, is a science fiction/paranormal mystery and thriller. 
Always curious about the unknowns of human experience, he is fascinated with creativity and paranormal abilities. This led to his involvement with Psychology and research into Parapsychology. He has explored paranormal abilities and reincarnation using hypnosis and in-depth interviewing of a wide range of practitioners. The Shiva Syndrome incorporates his knowledge of Parapsychology and experiences with healers, intuitives, “psychic” sensitives, etc.
Unsurprisingly, he is a science fiction fan. He has been influenced by Asimov, Bradbury, Crichton, Heinlein, Serling, Phillip Dick and Paddy Chayefsky (Altered States).
As an avid Trekkie, he is fond of contradicting Gene Roddenberry: “Roddenberry dealt with science and morality (e.g., the Prime Directive”), but avoided matters of religion and spirit. “I believe that that human consciousness and its potentials, not space, are ‘the final frontier.”

I'd like to thank author Alan Joshua for letting me review his book. I do hope you end up liking the book when you read it. Thank you so much for stopping by, and happy reading!

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