Review by: KEN KORCZAK
This book starts out flat and bland — the author even manages to make the amazing experience of astral, or out-of-body travel seem mundane and boring – no small feat considering the wild, bizarre ride the OBE is (for those of us who have actually tried the real thing over the years).
And yet, readers who stick with this novel will be rewarded with a plot – even if it is one that develops slowly. If you keep on reading, you’ll get drawn into an intriguing situation that makes the last third of the book a worthwhile read, indeed.
But to enjoy this book, it will probably help if you have a pre-established interest not in just astral travel, but something called REMOTE VIEWING. Remote viewing was a method of psychic spying developed by U.S. Military Intelligence with the help of the CIA beginning in the early 1970s. the program ran through the mid-1990s.
Yes, it was real – and yes – this form of psychic spying really worked. It’s controversial, for sure, but the skeptics of remote viewing are full of crap. That’s my opinion after reading dozens books. articles and academic papers on the topic. But what was even more convincing to me was trying my own hand (mind) at remote viewing – I can tell you it’s real, and it works.
So, our hero in CRASH & BURN is Peter Ludvick, a young man who was born with two unusual gifts: A perfectly photographic memory, and the ability to “go OBE” – to travel outside his physical body each night during his natural periods of REM sleep.
His abilities attract the watchful attention of the CIA. They hire him to work as a kind of psychic super spy. Ludvick can float around like a ghost and go anywhere in the world with his astral body. No barrier can stop him. Ludvick can pass through the thickest walls of steel or concrete, travel any distance in a flash, and so he can penetrate any facility belonging to any government anywhere in the world.
Because he has a photographic memory, Ludvick can come back with extremely detailed information about America’s enemies. This makes him worth more than his weight in gold to the CIA – in fact, they pay him millions of dollars a year for his fantastic ability.
Ludvick soon finds himself living the high life. He has a fascinating job working for his country, which he loves with the fervor of a true patriot. He marries a beautiful woman, the love of his life, and together they enjoy a charmed existence of wealth, travel, adventure and career fulfillment. The American government considers Mr. Ludvick among its most precious assets.
What could go wrong?
Plenty – as readers will soon find out. The CIA, after all, is the CIA. You know that old saying, “It takes a criminal to catch a criminal.” Even admirers of the CIA might admit that, over the decades, the darker forces of the international spy game have rubbed off on our own guys. Any government agency with a nearly unlimited “black budget,” which necessarily lurks in the shadows and operates under immense secrecy is a recipe for corruption — a place where evil can fester — an organization that can rot from within.
Astral spy Peter Ludvick eventually develops a deep mistrust for his powerful CIA task masters whose double-dealing in both his professional and personal life gives him good reason to want out —– ah, but just walking away from the CIA has never been easy.
I won’t say anymore, but I give the author great credit for eventually cobbling together a sticky situation for his protagonist, and then concocting a clever way for him fight back and get his life back. When the plot finally gets going, it grabs you like glue — making readers stick with it to the end — and feeling glad they did.
Please see also my reviews of these books on astral travel and remote viewing:
Ken Korczak is a former newspaper reporter, government information officer, served as an advocate for homeless people as a VISTA Volunteer, and taught journalism at the University of North Dakota for five years. He is the author of: BIRD BRAIN GENIUS
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