Hans G. Schantz is the author of the “The Hidden Truth” series and based on the bio at the end of the book some sort of a genius. He’s a PhD in theoretical physics and a high-tech inventor of radio frequency gadgets (e.g., near field electromagnetic ranging). Suffice it to say he doesn’t need to use a macguffin in any of his stories to fake a scientific plot line. So, it’s kind of ironic that the first chapter is named “Whatever Happened to Angus MacGuffin.”
I picked up this second volume of the series without having read the first because the premise caught my fancy. The protagonist, Peter is a college freshman at Georgia Tech who is digging up information on a shadowy organization called the Civic Circle which seems like some kind of combination of the Illuminati and villains from a Bond movie. They murdered his parents for getting in the way of an operation being carried out to hide the Civic Circle’s involvement in an assassination campaign. This campaign was meant to prevent the leading minds in electromagnetic field theory from discovering a secret that would give its wielder enormous power.
Now imagine that plot line embedded in a story that includes a freshman pick-up artist, social justice warriors on campus, a Chinese demigod, a 17th century nuclear energy program and a freshman trying to keep his grade point average high enough to keep his scholarship money intact.
It’s sort of like what might happen if one of Heinlein’s juvenile heroes (say Kip from Have Spacesuit Will Travel) was thrust into the modern era and was forced to use “SJWs Always Lie” as his freshman orientation guide while battling the Black Hats.
The book combines an elaborate puzzle involving an ancient Chinese philosophical text that seems also to be a clue to the secret knowledge that the Civic Circle is protecting. There’s a rationale involving historical figures from the early days of electromagnetic field theory to explain how this secret hasn’t been discovered by the physicists of today. There are all kinds of geeky fun throughout the plot.
One other interesting note. This is an alternate history world where President Gore was killed in the 9-11-2001 terror attacks. So, they must have completely missed out on the joys of climate change.
The action moves along and the various plot elements reach their crescendo in a nicely coordinated climax. Secrets are revealed. The damsel in distress is saved and the hero moves up the ladder of experience and prepares for his next foray against the powers of darkness.
I thought the book was good. I should probably go back now and read the first volume (but once you cheat it’s always tough to do that). But I look forward to next installment. Hopefully in it Donald Trump will be given super powers and a license to kill.