Author: Scott Rhine

Sold by: Amazon Digital Services LLC


While Quantum Zero Sentinel is billed as science fiction, I think fans of espionage-oriented thrillers could also be a very appreciative audience for this adventure.

For example, the story opens when  an innocent civilian, young female engineer Maia Long, is blackmailed by a government agency, in this case the FBI, to go undercover and spy on the Quantum corporation as the Bureau fears Quantum super-computers could be sold to criminal gangs like the Lords of Death as well as to foreign governments. An innocent civilian blackmailed by the government to work for them?   Few tropes in the spy fiction genre have been employed more often than this setup.

True, Maia’s infiltration isn’t into any enemy government’s military or para-military entities. Then again modern spy stories often focus on industrial espionage as the consequences of technological breakthroughs in the private sector can be far more frightening than out-and-out war. In this case, the extraordinarily powerful Quantum computers could destroy the U.S. economy and threaten national security. And inside the circle of power brokers in Quantum, Maia slowly learns there are very different and contradictory agendas in the company’s leadership. Trust isn’t something to rely on, even when she becomes a member of the Sentinels, a secret organization wanting to protect the technology from those who would misuse it.

One difference between Quantum Zero Sentinel and your average spy vs. spy caper is just how cerebral everything is, especially the physics lessons we get in some of the dialogue or the strange new weaponry like the peanut butter gun. We aren’t just told Peter Desmotes is the big brain behind everything, we hear and see him in action. I admit, we’re led to believe he’s a cantankerous sort who frightens away secretaries like TV’s Murphy Brown, but we don’t witness this sort of behavior. Instead, Maia is drawn to him in a very romantic way.

Be careful not to confuse this title with Anthony Fucilla’s sci fi series, also called the Quantum Chronicles. And, if I’ve described a book that doesn’t sound especially sci fi, fear not. Mythology, clones, regeneration, and genetics have important roles in the story, notably as Maia learns about abilities she didn’t know she had.     Much of this appears in the later chapters when Rhine sets up his next sequel. If you don’t like cliffhangers and prefer standalone novels, this book isn’t for you. On the other hand, if you like epics spanning a number of titles, well, here’s an intelligent journey you can begin with your summer reading.