The Omega Theory

The Omega Theory

3.3 16
by Mark Alpert
     
 

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“T he wolf shall dwell with the lamb, and the leopard shall lie down with the kid. And a child shall lead them.” She smiled. “That’s you, Michael. That’s why Brother Cyrus needs you. You’re going to help us fulfill the prophecy.”

The Omega Theory opens with media reports that, despite U.S. warnings, Iran

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Overview

“T he wolf shall dwell with the lamb, and the leopard shall lie down with the kid. And a child shall lead them.” She smiled. “That’s you, Michael. That’s why Brother Cyrus needs you. You’re going to help us fulfill the prophecy.”

The Omega Theory opens with media reports that, despite U.S. warnings, Iran has tested a nuclear bomb. But the blast from the device is different and far more dangerous than that of any previous nuclear weapon. Surveillance instruments show that for one split second an event occurred that had not taken place since the Big Bang fourteen billion years ago. Meanwhile, science historian David Swift and quantum physicist Monique Reynolds learn that their autistic son, Michael, has been kidnapped by a militant cult called the True Believers. Michael, a descendant of Albert Einstein, has inherited Einstein’s remarkable intelligence and is the only person in the world who knows Einstein’s last secret—the Final Theory, a set of equations that could explain all the forces of nature. Only those who understand the key to creation could know how to destroy it. The Iranian nuclear blast is a demonstration of this understanding. Soon David and Monique realize their desperate search for Michael is also a desperate race to stop the horrific power of the theory from being unleashed. Joining forces with FBI Agent Lucille Parker, David and Monique race from the Old City of Jerusalem to the deserts of Turkmenistan to rescue Michael and stop the cult’s fanatic leader. Their journey proves just how difficult it is to stop those who are willing to die in the name of God. Praised by bestselling peers such as Douglas Preston and James Rollins, Mark Alpert shows he is at the top of his writing game and the cutting edge of science, seamlessly weaving fact and fiction with nonstop heart-pounding action in this explosive thriller. We will never see our universe in quite the same way again.

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Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly
Science meets geopolitics meets religious fanaticism in Alpert's breathless sequel to Final Theory. Science historian David Swift and his physicist wife, Monique Reynolds, go in search of their autistic adopted son, 19-year-old Michael Gupta, who, savantlike, has memorized Einstein's unified field theory, after members of a religious cult kidnap Michael from the Upper Manhattan Autism Center. The kidnapping occurs on the same day that Iran tests a nuclear device that does more than generate a seismic rumble. According to a Columbia colleague of Swift's, it "severed the continuity of our universe." Accompanied by FBI special agent Lucille Parker, Swift and Reynolds embark on a tiring (and sometimes tiresome) quest that takes them to Jerusalem and Turkmenistan. Those who can identify with characters who are little more than plot devices or mouthpieces for exposition—the good guys rant about advanced physics, the bad ones about the necessity of the coming apocalypse—will be most rewarded. (Feb.)
Kirkus Reviews

The universe, which may have been programmed like a computer, heads toward a big crash and a reboot in this thriller.

Alpert (Final Theory, 2008) builds his second thriller on the premise that the universe may be running on an operating system like those that power computers, and that with some manipulation the system may crash and be reprogrammed. The idea is not one that belongs in the realm of science fiction: The endnotes make clear that the theory is one esteemed physicists consider plausible. Alpert's storytelling, alas, is not quite up to his arresting theme. In what amounts to another tale of an approaching Armageddon, many plot elements are shopworn, starting with the kidnapping of a vulnerable child, 19-year-old Michael Gupta, the autistic great-great grandson of Albert Einstein. A group of religious fanatics, the True Believers, are after Gupta because he knows the code that will allow them to reprogram the universe. As the Believers whisk Michael to Turkmenistan, his adoptive father, David Swift, speaks at a Physicists for Peace conference, where, in short order, Jacob Steele, once a colleague of Swift's, is assassinated. The Iranians, meanwhile, set off a nuclear blast using methods that indicate they may have been "deliberately tampering with spacetime." Swift, his wife and the FBI track one of Steele's contacts in Israel, hoping he'll provide clues to the whereabouts of the kidnappers. The U.S. president, who has two daughters and is often desperate for a cigarette, launches Operation Cobra to take out Iran's nuclear facilities. The action set pieces that follow have a been-there-read-that quality. A scene in which Michael is nearly thrown into the Burning Gas Crater of Darvaza could have come from a 1950s swords-and-sandals potboiler. Alpert also shoehorns chunks of scientific textbook exposition into dialogue scenes, slowing momentum.

Students of quantum physics may be diverted; others will find it slow going.

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Product Details

ISBN-13:
9781416595342
Publisher:
Touchstone
Publication date:
02/15/2011
Pages:
308
Product dimensions:
6.26(w) x 9.36(h) x 1.06(d)

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Meet the Author

A self-described lifelong "science geek," Mark Alpert majored in astrophysics at Princeton University, writing his undergraduate thesis on an application of Einstein's theory of relativity. After earning an MFA in poetry at Columbia and working as a reporter, he became an editor at Scientific American, where he simplifies bewildering scientific ideas for the magazine's readers. Mark lives in Manhattan with his wife and children.

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Omega Theory 3.3 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 15 reviews.
harstan More than 1 year ago
Iran tests a nuclear device; a Columbia University physicist, based on readings from scientific instruments, claims that for a nanosecond the test ripped asunder the universe as if the Big Bang was about to explode. On the same day, the Upper Manhattan Autism Center informs science historian David Swift and his physicist wife, Monique Reynolds that their nineteen years old autistic adopted son Michael Gupta was snatched. The True Believers cult kidnapped Michael, whose ancestor is Einstein and who has memorized his late relative's little known Unified Field's Final Theory. Worried for their son, FBI special agent Lucille Parker joins Swift and Reynolds on the rescue quest because the True Believers plan to deploy the Omega Theory as those who know the Big Bang of alpha creation also know the Big Crunch of omega nothingness. From New York to Jerusalem to Turkmenistan, the chase is on as the good guy scientists (angels) battle the bad guy cultists (devils). Although none of the cast is developed beyond their role in the potential apocalypse final war, fans will enjoy the non-stop action as Mark Alpert provides an exhilarating Big Crunch thriller. Harriet Klausner
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I thought thought this book was a great thriller and always left me wanting more. I would recommend this to anyone interested in the middle east or in technology
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Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Derivative, write-by-numbers plot premise with shallow characters and only an incidental connection to the main idea. The usual ingredients: assassins, gunfights, chases, kidnapping, religious extremism. Hmm, where have we seen this before? One could take out the idea of Einstein's final theory and plop in any number of other things that would plausibly support assassins, gunfights, etc. How about an anti-matter bomb, or the solution to a mysterious code? If you like assassins, gunfights, etc then you will probably like this book. If you were hoping for an original and interesting story about Einstein's final theory, then you will be disappointed.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago