The Eidolon

The Eidolon by Libby McGugan

The divide between science and the human spirit is the setting for a battle for the future.When physicist Robert Strong loses his job at the Dark Matter research lab and his relationship falls apart, he returns home to Scotland. 

Then the dead start appearing to him, and Robert begins to question his own sanity. Victor Amos, an enigmatic businessman, arrives and recruits Robert to sabotage CERN’S Large Hadron Collider, convincing him the next step in the collider’s research will bring about disaster. Everything Robert once understood about reality, and the boundaries between life and death, is about to change forever. And the biggest change will be to Robert himself... 

I have had my eye on this book for quite some time already, working in the science field myself the blurb really got me excited for The Eidolon, blending the science and human spirit. Well this can turn the story around in a lot of different directions. And with the mentioning of the Large Hadron Collider and a possible disaster, boundaries between life and death changing. This really sounded great. Libby McGugan lives up to these expectations on more than one occasion. The Eidolon is Libby McGugan debut and it feels like this isn't the last we have seen from her!

If I would have to compare the start and finish of The Eidolon, the first thing that you will note is that everything has changed, dramatically (in a good way of course!). The book starts of with how you normally would see the world. The focus here is on the main protagonist Robert Strong, who was working on a dark matter project, but soon finds out that his project has been cancelled but does not accept the reason without getting to the bottom of why and why!? But this is just the start of Robert's "problems". What Libby McGugan does in a great way is show just how average Robert's daily life was and how he was living it with his girlfriend Cora. Soon, as you can make up from the blurb, Cora and Robert part ways. This mainly because one of Robert's convictions, he is a scientist; he wants and lives by facts, Cora accepts more things that come "supernaturally" and one unavoidable clash causes them to part ways. In the start up a lot of things are explained not by facts but more by feelings of the characters themselves and how they interpret them, which actually gave a nice twist when you look further towards the ending of the book where you learn that there is much more behind everything you have read about.  But let me get back to Robert. He is an interesting protagonist, like I said he is a scientist and he approaches the world in this perspective, trying to relate everything to facts and get to the bottom of it. What makes him interesting is that besides his interpretation, he is playing a much bigger part in the events surrounding the plotline of the book and the supernatural aspects that Libby McGugan introduces his scientific approach can help him get further. But also, and this is probably a much bigger change in his character is that he is starting to accept that there are events that are just unexplainable.

The story of The Eidolon was set up and executed in a perfect way with first letting you assume that everything is normal and than it starts to dawn on you that there is much, much more. In the beginning Robert is recruited by Victor Amos, when I first read about Victor Amons I thought he was ok, but still I got this shadiness reflected into his character, he is the head of an organization that tries to exert control on different labs, keep them in check. What he is proposing to Robert raised quite a few questions for me, it wasn't that is was totally extreme or anything, but sabotaging the CERN's Large Hadron Collider to protect human kind? That must raise a few questions! You can't blame Victor Amos, Libby McGugan managed to show him in a way that you will automatically believe what he says or he will be able to persuade you to his side. When you get to the later part of The Eidolon there is this reality check that will hit you, everything that you have assumed so far, things that could be related or couldn't be related to science are changed. And with the eidolons showing themselves (you know what an eidolon is? No? google it asap!) it's a pretty awesome concept and in the context that Libby McGugan uses it in her book makes it even more impressive. Taking these mythical things and turning them into downright hard wired science facts added a high cool factor to the whole story, and something that a lot of people will want to read about. 

The Eidolon is a short story only 250 pages long, so I won't tell more about the storyline besides this last remark: you will be in for a surprise in the end and a lot of readers, and I at least, will be hoping that this first book will be the start of an exciting new and fresh science fiction series. 

With her debut Libby McGugan neatly manages to create a fresh new introduction in the already established science fiction genre. Blending hard science, myths and espionage into one story makes up for a series that knows no stops and you will be wanting to finish this book as soon as possible. The promise of the abovementioned genres might sound a bit bold but Libby McGugan has a definite way of letting them working together and breaks down several of the unknown concepts down into things that we as a reader understand making the storyline that much more approachable. For such a short read there are plenty of twists and turns in the end that leave the book on an open ending, I am voting for more exploration into the word of the eidolons!

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