About the author
Peter Riva has worked for more than thirty years with the leaders in aerospace and space exploration. His daytime job for more than forty years has been as a literary agent. He resides in New York City.
About the book
In a massive spaceship destined for Alpha Centauri B, with a genesis crew including Zip the telepathic dog, his old friendly nemesis Cramer, and a computer being named Ra (now inhabiting a human form and calling herself Aten), Simon Bank emerges from a hundred-year coma and is hailed as an awakened hero. Stuck with unwanted responsibility, he is forced to try to solve the entire enigma of the universe—a small undertaking—before the spaceship, his friends, and all life on Earth are swatted out of existence by super beings he has accidentally awakened.
Simon’s only hope is to plunge into other dimensions with his mind—into the secrets of the universe’s pan-dimensions—as only he knows how. The fate of all life hangs in the balance as he struggles to prove himself worthy of the Path and the absolute trust his friends place in him. Simon knows all too well that if he fails there is no hope—none at all—for anyone, and that includes his best friend, an artificial intelligence computer called Apollo, which he sadly left behind. Besides, Zip would not be pleased, either.
For fans of cyberpunk and classic science fiction, Reaching Angelica is the second book in Peter Riva’s Tag trilogy, the comic, thrilling, and continuing saga of Simon Bank—ex–master system computer wrangler and very unlikely galactic hero.
Just like with its predecessor, The Path (review here), Reaching Angelica provides a lot of food for thought and, hopefully, conversations on difficult and touchy subjects. Both books read like a philosophical essays wrapped in a science fiction cocoon. Not to say that these books are heavy philosophical essays; quite the contrary, actually. One doesn’t really even realise the philosophy that is interwoven in all aspect of the action that drives forward the plot, which makes these two books all the more compelling.
The way the philosophy drives in part the action is almost elegantly presented. As the characters find out more and more about the forces acting on them, the understanding of which is based on both philosophical and scientific know-how, they are able to make decisions about how to proceed. A reader interested in only the action components of this book could easily enjoy it by glossing over some of the deeper conversations, although I would guess he or she would probably read them over without quite realising how deep they are—they are that easy to read.
I do hope however that all Reaching Angelica reader will take the time to appreciate the philosophy as an integral part of the action in this book. I strongly feel there is dichotomy underlying a lot of the current conversations around reality. That is to say, most people seem to think that either reality can be known through science or through philosophy/religion. But fact is that reality can be understood only by combining what we find out through both of these channels. One of the main reasons I recommend Peter Riva’s books, both The Path and Reaching Angelica is that his characters try to solve the big problems by marrying the two sources of knowledge.
Thank you to iReads Book Tours for providing a
copy of this book for me to review!
First published on Sahar’s Blog on 21 April 2016