As CERN’s Large Hadron Collider nears completion, the entire planet is holding its breath. If the scientists are successful in recreating the Big Bang, the foundations modern religion will be destroyed. This fact, combined with the Pope’s willingness to meld science and gospel, is enough to move twelve powerful cardinals to a desperate act – one that has far-reaching consequences that they neither expected nor desired. In the middle of the tension and uncertainty, Sam Joseph, the man who brought CERN to the brink of changing history, can’t shake the disturbing sensation of déjà vu -- and the feeling that something is about to go horribly, devastatingly wrong.
Debut novelist Tom Schuett pens a tale that combines thrilling suspense with science fiction to produce a mind-bending read. Schuett orchestrates an elaborate chess game with innumerable powerful players without allowing the plot to become confusing. The multi-thread narrative creates adventure on a global scale -- from FBI agents to assassins, cardinals to physicists -- this novel encompasses the breadth of human experience.
While the narrative jumps back and forth between characters and locations, it isn’t hard to follow (thanks in part to chapter headings locating the reader in time and space). However, additional characterization would allow readers to engage more fully with the densely populated cast, as well as add emotional depth to an already exciting plot. Nonetheless, Collider is captivating – taking the reader on a fast-paced thrill ride without leaving them lost.
The (potentially possible) science fiction in the story adds an intriguing second layer that will keep reader’s guessing as CERN’s secrets unfold, as will the traitors and double agents they will encounter along the way. Schuett’s treatment of science and religion is especially interesting. This is no sermon or diatribe, but a thought-provoking examination of the inherent moral questions raised by modern science, as well as the hypocrisy and paradoxes to which contemporary religion is susceptible. Schuett deftly maneuvers through these monumental questions without letting them overwhelm the narrative, or letting personal commentary get in the way of his heart-pounding, earth-shattering tale.
Disclosure: I received a very early proof copy of this novel from the author for an honest review.
This novel is currently available as a Kindle ebook, and will soon be available across platforms.