The creation of a Very Large Iron Collider at Wyoming in 1978 produced The Breach, an anomaly protected by Border Town and the group known as Tangent. This community, comprising many floors housing specialists and military, exists outside the law and the jurisdiction of presidents. For reasons unknown and from a source unidentified, The Breach spits out Entities, objects unknown to science and man, some of which have an identifiable purpose but many don’t. Agents Travis Chase and Paige Campbell have to work them out, if they don’t everything may end. Everything.
When I picked up Patrick Lee’s The Breach last year, I had no idea what to expect. What I got was a trilogy that I read as fast as the publication of the subsequent books allowed. Travis Chase, an ex-convict and dirty cop, stumbles across the remains of a crashed plane. In it is the body of the First Lady with a note clutched in her hand that pleads for the rescue of the hostages stolen from the plane. When Travis finds the surviving tortured hostages, he makes a decision which, from that moment on, affects the outcome of the rest of his life – and the planet.
The Breach trilogy is irresistible, not only because of the appeal of Travis Chase and Paige Campbell, the high-ranking agent at Border Town and the guardian of the Entities, but because of the wondrous imagination of Lee which has created all of the incredible objects which leave the Breach. The Whisper which haunts the first novel, a device that conditions its holder to do whatever he or she is told, is more than matched by the window or doorway into the future that controls the second, Ghost Country. Why is this future world desolate, humanless and overgrown?
In the third novel, Deep Sky, the White House is destroyed by a missile launched by an agency that had planned it for decades. In trying to discover why this act took place, Travis and Paige rely on the Tap, an Entity that allows them to travel through their past into their memories. Finally, the secrets of the Breach and what lies on the other side may be about to be revealed.
Throughout all three novels are other incredible Entities, good or bad, which have extraordinary powers.
I found each of these three novels very difficult to put down. My interest in Travis and Paige, the twists in their relationship, was matched by my utter fascination in the mystery of the Breach and the Entities that it has released. The questions it raises are endless – what is on the other side? what do they want? does mankind have a future? who is trying to destroy the Breach?
The ramifications are huge – we see glimpses of a wasteland future, a president who cannot keep away from Border Town, the one region he has no control over. And then there are the twists… What is the meaning behind the messages sent through the Breach for Travis? All the time we are given memories of the opening of the Breach in the 1970s and its effect on the people who created it.
While the three stories are distinct and separate, it’s the cumulative effect of the three mysteries which makes us fascinated by the tantalising hope of a solution to their puzzles. It’s all on such a grand scale. Patrick Lee’s imagination is fantastic.
While I enjoyed all three books, the second in particularly was gobsmacking. Its premise, to give nothing away, made the first and third books even more worthwhile.