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The Footprints of God, by Greg Iles
Genre: Science Fiction
Publisher: Pocket Books Star
Published: 2004
Review Posted: 3/29/2009
Reviewer Rating:
Reader Rating: 9 out of 10

The Footprints of God, by Greg Iles

Book Review by Paul Weiss

Have you read this book?

Some incredibly exciting details on a time-tested plot!

The bad news is - this has all been done before! Not once! Not twice! Lots of times! Top secret government agency is staffed by a few megalomaniacs with some variation on a plot to take over the world. Whistleblower catches on. Bad guys realize that whistleblower is onto them. Whistleblower takes it on the lam fleeing for his life with a sex or love interest in tow. Good guy, previously a mild, meek mannered individual discovers that he has the combined survival and killing skills of a Green Beret, a Navy SEAL, a Ninja and a Marine Commando! Hero proceeds to wreak havoc on the insane plans of the megalomaniacs and saves the world! Tale concludes on happy ever after love-making, of course.

The good news is that the devil is in the details! Despite the basic "been there, done that" nature of the plot, Iles has produced a lightning fast-paced tale with some incredibly novel twists and turns and philosophical musings that make this a compelling page turner lying somewhere in the Bermuda Triangle between soft sci-fi, hard sci-fi and pure techno-thriller!

The plot? Dr. David Tennant, an ethicist from the University of Virginia medical school has been appointed by the White House to work with the top-secret Trinity artificial intelligence project. Incredibly high resolution molecular copies of the brains of the participating Nobel laureate scientists obtained through advanced magnetic resonance imaging scans will provide the basis for the quasi-human operating system of a new quantum computer with speeds and capabilities several orders of magnitude beyond current computers. When Tennant attempts to put the project onto a temporary hold because of neurological side effects caused by the MRI scans, such as his own narcoleptic seizures, the team fractures and it becomes clear that the power hungry owners of the project will stop at nothing to bring Trinity to completion! Tennant and his psychiatrist, Dr Rachel Weiss, flee for their lives and the chase is on. This thriller comes to a conclusion with Tennant attempting to reason with a "live" Trinity computer who needs to be convinced of a reason to trigger the self-destruct mechanism on nuclear missiles that are now racing towards their targets in the USA!

Some pretty meaty stuff in this novel for those that like their sci-fi good and hard! Aside from the computer itself, there's MRI scans that can produce 3-D images of the brain with resolution to the molecular level; satellite based weaponry; holographic storage of memory written by lasers into the structure of stable crystals; and, the hypothesis of the existence of anti-space as a possible solution to the ongoing puzzle of spooky action at a distance and quantum entanglement. Those readers that prefer their sci-fi to lean more in the soft, philosophical direction will be pleased to know that the entire novel is a cautionary tale on the ethics of the burgeoning field of artificial intelligence with some very compelling, extended discussion on the very nature and existence of God and evil.

Enjoy! Iles has produced an exciting novel that deserves a place in the library of any thriller lover!

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