I have always loved what I like to think of as “faction” fiction that presents a lot of fact even as it tells a good story. The Omega Theory is faction at its best.
Author Mark Alpert is adept at presenting a non-stop action story with a strong underpinning of real science. He is, after all, a self-proclaimed “science geek” himself and a contributing editor to Scientific American, my fave mag. He is also an expert at bringing cutting-edge and complex concepts to a lay audience - which he does in this book - offering up a real education on quantum physics, theoretical physics, and all points beyond in a way that doesn’t distract or talk down to the average reader.
The story focuses on science historian David Swift and his quantum physicist wife, Monique, who race against time to rescue their kidnapped son, Michael. Michael is no ordinary person: he is autistic and a prodigy with the keys to a theory that takes the work of Albert Einstein and could explain everything in nature – the Holy Grail of physics: the Theory of Everything. Michael is kidnapped by a religious cult leader and his loony followers who want to use the Final Theory to their own ends, which they hope will result in nuclear war and salvation. And they have friends in high places, including the Pentagon, who are assisting in the plot to bring about a religious destiny only they in their own distorted minds can understand.
The elements of science, potential nuclear war, Middle Eastern geopolitics, religious fanaticism and the powerful potential of the quantum all combine into an exciting and suspenseful page-turner. I enjoyed the book immensely, and learned a bit in the process, too. This is a thrill ride of a read that proves sometimes, humans should leave the secrets of nature well enough alone. And that’s a fact!