Author: Ted Grosch
Their leader, Matteen Al-Rama has outgrown his fanatical roots. Once an ambassador and secretary General of the United Nations, he now leads a fundamentalist revolution that uses cloud computing, holographic CGI recruitment rallies, computer worms, rootkits and Trojans, advanced communications, and cybernetic enhancements to spread apocalyptic chaos across the globe. If that weren't enough, rumor of an alien race wanting to begin diplomatic relations with Earth threatens to solidify Al-Rama's global stranglehold.
Quantum Level Zero follows three people at the pivot point in the war on terror, one who has knowledge, one who has great need, and one who has the courage to make a difference. Elijah Baraki is a scientist and former official of Al-Rama's revolution. Eight years ago he lost his wife and three children in a suicide bombing meant to show the world that nobody leaves Al-Rama's organization. Since that bombing, Eli has concentrated on research and radial technology with the intention to wage war on the revolutionaries. In a world where reasonable people become dissidents, Eli is joined by two-hundred other scientists, engineers and soldiers, all of whom have their own reasons to leave their former lives and battle the growing chaos.
Trevor Hadley sabotaged his own laboratory to prevent the authorities from confiscating his zero-point energy research. Now wanted as a terrorist, Trevor has been working on Eli's secret project for the past few years as a lab assistant. Eli sends him to reconnoiter an Al-Rama outpost and is almost killed. He teams up with his brother, Eli's former boss, and Sharon Murphy, a former army helicopter pilot also on the run, in a race to report back to Eli and join the fight to free Earth.
Forces of reason have the edge in the war, but will that remain the case if First Contact goes to the revolutionaries? Quantum Level Zero opens as the world awaits the arrival of Al-Rama's latest ally, an advanced alien race offering anti-gravity, zero-point energy, and faster-than-light travel. Al-Rama won't be satisfied with anything less than world domination. Eli won't be satisfied with anything less than total destruction of Al-Rama's empire.
My rating: 5 of 5 stars
I love reading science fiction, so when I was recommended this book, I decided to try it. I loved it!
Elijah Baraki is a likable character. He is extremely driven and determined. He is a scientist on a mission. After his family's death at the hands of a terrorist, Eli finds himself distrustful of the current leader and, wanting to get as far away from his influence, gathers together other like minded individuals. But it's not as easy as he first thought.
Trevor Hadley is also a likable character. I must admit I liked this character more than any of the others. He too finds himself on a mission after blowing up his own research lab to stop it falling into the wrong hands. Working with Eli is a challenge, but what he stumbles upon could spell disaster of epic proportions for the whole world.
This is a fantastic science fiction novel that captured me from the first page. It took me on a roller coaster ride of emotion from beginning to end. The story is told from various points of view, mainly Eli's, Trevor's and Sharon's. I am very technically minded but, unfortunately, some of the more technical aspects of the story flew over my head. I never did anything more than high school physics, and trying to understand the more challenging aspects of quantum mechanics written about in this book gave me a slight headache. Nevertheless, the storyline gripped me and didn't let me go. The world building is shockingly believable and sent a shudder through me at the thought of our society (in the not so distant future) being slowly and systematically won over by a charming and charismatic personage like Al-Rama. There are a lot of other characters in this book that I haven't mentioned. However, I really liked getting to know most of them (apart from the bad guys, of course). They all come alive on the page and bring the story to life. They all have interesting, if complicated, lives.
This story is also full of action, adventure and danger that had my heart pounding and my adrenaline pumping! The author delves into some really chilling subjects, such as fanaticism and belief which can be manipulated to create terrorism. There is a saying, "One man's soldier is another man's terrorist", depending on which side of the fence you stand on. This is how cults and other religious groups can become radicalized and terrorism grown in my opinion. Politics also plays it's part and those disenchanted with governments or organisations can also spawn extremism and terrorism. The author has woven these real life issues into a future dystopian backdrop, but it could easily be written in today's world. The scenes are well written and some of them can be a little upsetting in their descriptions. The moon scene with Trevor is a little violent and made me shudder with revulsion at what was happening within the moon base. I must admit that I did enjoy the scene where the spaceship Eli designed and built suddenly disappears. It certainly left a lot of people scratching their heads, including me! I will leave it to you to find out what happened to it. *evil grin*
There are several twists and turns, and a couple of surprises that completely caught me unawares. I reached the end of the book and found myself with a book hangover. I love books that do that, but it also frustrates me at the same time; when a book just won't leave you alone even after several hours or days afterwards, then you know it was a good book. And this one certainly was good.
Ted Grosch has written a fast paced debut science fiction thriller. I love his writing style, which is fast paced but not rushed. The flow of the story was wonderful too. I was worried that the alternating view points would cause the book to be jumpy, but it didn't affect it at all. I would definitely read more of his books in the future.
Due to the technical jargon and the violence in this book, I do not recommend this book to younger readers under 16. I do, however, highly recommend this book if you love science fiction, dystopian or thriller genres. - Lynn Worton
View all my reviews
Ted Grosch holds a Ph.D. in electrical engineering. He has been writing science fiction since high school and has placed and won several contest for prose.