Review: Reason for Existence by Richard Botelho ★★★★★

Reason for Existence by Richard Botelho

The people of this land are a strange people, yet they possess a perseverance all their own, a perseverance like the hills themselves, unflagging and contrary to the evidence clearly in plain view.

Reason for Existence by Richard Botelho is an exciting sci-fi thriller that leaves a lasting impression.

When David Jordan, an extraterrestrial human in appearance, agrees to help U. N. Secretary General Nicholas Straka resolve an escalating nuclear crisis, he also learns he must defuse a horrifying plot to exterminate humanity by a hostile race of beings who despise human culture. In Reason for Existence, David Jordan learns the origins of human conflict, the nature of secret societies, the true meaning of friendship, and the enduring qualities of love.

David Jordan is a mystery. He’s the first mystery the reader encounters, but not the last in this cleverly crafted story. This novel is more than an adrenaline rush. It’s a thinking person’s thriller that’ll make your heart race and trouble your thoughts well after finishing the last page.

Some may think academics are not for everyone. They won’t after reading this book. Botelho doesn’t attempt to reinvent the wheel with his novel. He employs familiar motives: greed, conquest, war, and love. However, his approach transforms the story into something that feels fresh and original.

While a lot of thrillers about impending nuclear disaster feature the hero racing the globe against the clock, frantically searching for the warheads or culprits, David Jordan takes a different approach to saving the world. The heart-pounding race is replaced with thought-provoking dialogue with the world’s greatest minds. The conversations provide hair-raising moments, since the topics are eerily reminiscent of today’s current affairs.

Most of the main players on the world stage are recognizable to readers who only scan the headlines of newspapers or news websites: China, Russia, Pakistan, India, Israel, and others. The author has set the novel in the future, but not too far in the future. In fact, it takes place in 2017, which really makes you stop and wonder. Are humans really that close to destroying humankind? Is nuclear or biological warfare just months away? These are the types of thoughts Botelho raises and they might keep you up late at night.

As if the impending destruction of humankind isn’t enough to keep the reader intrigued, the novel also explores two key human concepts: friendship and love. David Jordan is not of this world and he’s been trained not to fall in love. Yet, he’s in a relationship with a woman. While he’s racing around the world he’s also coming to terms with the fact that even though he’s been told not to fall in love, he may actually be falling in love. And it feels good. Are friendship and the ability to love a key factor in saving the human race?

Then go do your duty, but be warned. The universe will send you lessons of love. You can count on it.

The ideas, characters, and action in Reason for Existence come together brilliantly. This thriller sets itself apart from your everyday action-packed novel. Cheap ploys are replaced with a thoughtful exploration of why humans are the way they are. More importantly, it ponders whether or not the human race can be saved. Read it to draw your own conclusions.

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Reason for Existence

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