Schrödinger’s Cabinet by Adam K. Childs comes with a cast of characters described at the front of the book and labeled as Dramatis Personae. This is a nice thing to do; the reader can refer back to it but it is also daunting. Some readers may be put off by this if they try to read it first. Don’t do this. All the various government gobbledygook is confusing even to those who work or have worked in government. It is a nice list to refer back to, however.
This is a very topical time-sensitive novel. The author requested that I post a review before October 30. Anyone reading the book will see why. Readers who subscribe to the never Trump movement will thrill to the snarky comments that many of the characters cannot resist making. Only for the sake of social humor of course.
This was a nice introduction to those who are unaware of the Electoral College system. Even those who are aware of the system may not have thought of some central questions about timing. A critical one, what happens if a candidate dies between the electoral college vote and the congressional tallying of the vote?
This is about turf wars in the intelligence field as well as in the law enforcement one. This is where the book can be really confusing but still interesting. There is an alphabet soup of lengthy names being reduced to acronyms that have a possibility of being pronounced. I have a suspicion that there is an agency for the creation of some of these clunky sounding names. Really, you need to wield a multi-colored highlighter to keep up with these.
And speaking of the highlighter, use one of the colors for characters. The multitude of significant persons will be hard to follow without color coding despite the presence of a Dramatis Personae.
It is interesting that the US is a society with such a degree of freedom of speech that such a book like this can be published. I suspect that author Childs has been visited by US government types (at least the FBI, USSS, and the umbrella organization Homeland Security). I am sure they would look at this novel through a “Sources and Methods” lens. On the other hand, maybe the author was not contacted. He mentions at the end of the book that this novel was written in New Zealand and Australia. Those countries are considered allies of the US and friendly cooperation might not be out of the question.
Three areas of extremely high-level technology are explored in detail by Childs. First, there is the drone technology and how it somehow involves owls (in this case, but there can be other animals). Then there is the communication intercept technology. I consider myself informed although not an expert. There was a lot of new information in this novel for me to think about. Even if parts of it were creative fiction, those parts are worthy of mulling over as to implications of implementation.
Then there is the medical technology. Flesh eating bacteria? The detailed description of how a team of surgeons attempted to deal with this could make up a teaser for a full-fledged horror novel.
I was thoroughly pleased with this novel. There are so many twists and turns politically, medically, and technologically that I was never at a place in the novel where I was bored and wanted the action to move on. This was an exciting page-turner that kept me up past my bedtime for a couple of nights. Adam Childs is one of those authors whose books I will read because I see his name on them.