An over-the-top plot, lackluster prose, and underdeveloped characters hamper this ostensible kickoff to a new thriller series from Cullen. Scientist Louis Cartouche has just invented Orbital Sniper Technology, an improbable weapon that can assassinate specific targets from outer space. Cartouche designed this space gun to make the world "forever safe from megalomaniacs whose few frothy apothecary grains of testosterone regularly caused great storms or wars that tore the fabric of history." His fears about OST falling into the wrong hands are soon realized when he's kidnapped. The mission to save him—and all of humanity—from the threat of Dr. Night falls to Jack Gray, who reads more like a caricature than a character: "a dark-haired, wiry man of 37 with a California tan, an Ivy league professorship, and wealth of skills to back him up as a contract field agent."