Robert Doherty, Author . Dell $5.99 (320p) ISBN 978-0-440-23626-9

Part science fiction and part military thriller, this complex novel will appeal to readers who prefer their suspense laced with technical jargon and brimming with blatant government wrongdoing. Doherty's sequel to last year's Psychic Warrior reintroduces the virtual soldier—a warrior who can leave his or her body behind, go anywhere and do anything by harnessing the power of the mind—and is loaded with faceless characters known only by their last names (e.g., General Eichen, Lieutenant Jackson). Sergeant Major Dalton, an ex–Green Beret and the hero of Doherty's first installment, is called upon to do battle against a psychic cabal known as the Priory, a mysterious group that strikes enemies without warning and strives for world domination. With the exception of Dalton, Doherty's underdeveloped characters fail to evoke the reader's sympathy, rendering the outcome of the psychic battles waged on various continents between U.S. freedom fighters and members of the Priory virtually irrelevant. Nevertheless, Doherty's portrayal of the U.S. government as a highly classified operation is as intriguing as it is disturbing, and detail-oriented readers will thrill to Doherty's cold, calculating and emotion-free prose. Those unused to this hard-edged style, however, may find his writing uncommonly dry and stiff. (Aug. 14)

Reviewed on: 06/25/2001
Release date: 08/01/2001
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