Book Review: Shadow on the Sun

Title: Shadow on the Sun
Author: R Julian Cox
Release Date: October 23, 2012
Publisher: Northern Light Publishing Ltd
Pages: 326
Format: e-book

Synopsis: A growing threat from nuclear pollution suddenly threatens to engulf everyone living in the American Pacific Northwest. A US President tries to avert a coming toxic apocalypse but fears he will he be too late. The accidental cause is scientist Dr Jonathan Anderson’s pursuit of a new and alternate source of clean energy. But as his dream is about to come true he is side lined by Government interests which in their wake ensures his predictions of disaster come true. But by then it’s too late. And salvation can only be found in the hands of a medieval king of legend who died 2000 years before. In mixing fact with fiction the author weaves a highly credible story that in part is now being played out for real in Washington State with its vast Hanford Reach former nuclear production facility. It is a mix leading to a highly believable story promising sleepless nights for all who read it. And although this novel is self contained the author promises two more in the same vein. Like this they will be uncomfortable reading for anyone with any eye on nuclear pollution or who likes their fiction close to reality. You have been warned!

My rating: 
Characters: The main character is Dr. Jonathan Anderson, a scientist who originally leaves the practice to become a preacher, but must carry out his plans for Brightstar, a project that uses clean energy to try and eliminate some of toxic waste on the planet. Other characters include the president of the US, who is planning to deal with the consequence of an earthquake on a fault line where nuclear waste is being held, and Ar-tur and Ganhumara, fantasy characters from the 5th century. The most well-developed character is Dr. Anderson, who is constantly fighting a battle between science, morality, and providing for his family.
Plot: The novel jumps from a 5th century battle to Dr. Anderson’s struggle with his Brightstar project. It also takes on the point of view of the US president, an Iranian earthquake specialist, and special service agents watching him. Without going into too much detail and spoiling the novel, they are all trying to stop a potential nuclear disaster but have conflicting plans on how that should be done. The premise was well thought out and thoroughly researched. However, there are a lot of science and politics involved, and since it does jump around without warning, it takes a while to understand exactly what’s going on. It all does tie up in the end to complete a story that so complex that it can fit into multiple genres and therefore appeal to a wide range of readers.
Writing: Cox’s descriptions are mostly fact-based, and the amount of interesting tidbits packed in one novel is extraordinary. At times I felt some of the facts were unnecessary but Cox has a way of tossing them in there without dwelling, so the story never lagged. His sentence structure and vocabulary are fantastic. I would recommend Shadow on the Sun to anyone interested in science fiction and nuclear apocalypse theories, but as mentioned above the book doesn’t fall into a specific genre. It is a little more complex and factual than the average fiction novel so if you’re looking for an easy read, this is not it. All in all, an interesting concept that really gets you thinking about the state of our planet.


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