Deryl (the name is NOT mispelled) Stephen is a teenager with a few issues. He has great powers of empathy .... so great, that he will occasionally experience other people's feeling exactly as they if they were his own. The butler to his rich aunt and uncle is a drunk, so Deryl smashes the liquor before he goes on a binge. Deryl finds and stops a rape, and has to knock himself out before he exchanges one rapist for another.
And, oh, yeah, he's being contacted by space aliens.
So, one or two people have considered him more than a little insane, which is why his address at the start of Mind Over Mind is the local insane asylum.
Enter one Joshua Lawson, who's just there for the summer, a quick job before moving on to other things. His method of therapy: accept the delusion, and teach patients to work within their own little world.
Which is a good thing, because it looks like some of Deryl Stephen's delusions are actively trying to kill him.
If I read the book correctly, it looks like Deryl's father came for a one-night stand from another galaxy, and Deryl had inherited a sacred position -- he is the all-knowing, all seeing Ydrel (I said the name wasn't misspelled), of the planet Kanaan. The job of the Ydrel is to provide answers to anything asked of him.
|Anthony Ainley from the |
original Doctor Who
The people who ask Deryl for information think he's an angel to help them against their enemies – an alien race who thinks that their world is the promised land.
On the other side, there is "The Master," an alien who seems quite interested in training Deryl as a weapon ... and may get him killed doing it ....
However, every time I read about "The Master," I immediately saw Anthony Ainley from the original Doctor Who.
One would think that this would make for more than enough of a science fiction epic, and move on. It's certainly a great foundation for it.
However, the book is mostly told from the perspective of Joshua Lawson, who has enough trouble with his new job. His boss hates him, especially when Joshua is right; and Joshua seems to be developing feelings for one of the nurses, Sachiko Luchese ...
Yes, the nurse is named like a cross between a General in the Japanese Imperial Army, and a mafia godfather -- something I suspect may have been done for the express purpose of one bad pun in the middle of the novel. But that's neither here nor there.
In fact, Joshua and Sachiko's romance takes up a good chunk of the plot, though it really doesn't mention "romance" on the back of the book.
The only problem I foresee with the book is ... the description on the back of the book. Mind Over Mind is less about two alien races at war, and more about three people on Earth. There's a love story, and (more or less) a coming of age story ... granted, most coming of age stories means coming to grips with the world around you, and coming into one's own. In this case, Deryl's world has two alien powers in his head vying for control of his life as he tries to come into his own.
If your focus is more on epic science fiction war novels, this may not be the book for you ... yet. I'll let you know when I read book two.