cover image A Fearful Symmetry

A Fearful Symmetry

James Luceno. Del Rey Books, $3.95 (272pp) ISBN 978-0-345-35957-5

The coauthor of the Robotech series here combines political intrigue, historical speculation and New Age culture to produce a taut, absorbing thriller set just before the year 2000. The swift succession of improbable conditions urges readers to suspend disbelief. What if the American president, torn by grief over his wife's death, suddenly announced that he had been in direct contact with aliens? What if an apocalyptic and opportunistic New Age movement predicted the appearance of a sign in the heavens--and the sign appeared? What if Third Reich holdouts in South America secretly searched for a power source used by the ancient seers of Atlantis--and found their quarry? What if the only way to assure human survival was to risk nuclear conflagration? Luceno's hard-edged style lends a veneer of authenticity to his far-fetched musings; the suspense mounts as the president watches his options dwindle and his advisers race to penetrate the ominous forces threatening to bring on the Millennium. (Dec.)