The Genius Plague. David Walton. Prometheus Books. October 2017. 384 pp. ISBN #: 9781633883437.
Neil Johns is about to grasp the fulfillment of his dreams, to be a code breaker for NASA. His brother is a mycologist who works with and is obsessed with the life of fungus, yes that’s right – fungus! It turns out that biologically fungus is everywhere and duplicates faster than the mind can conceive. The brother, Paul, and his friend Melanie escape from a brutal attack in the waters of the Amazon jungle. He survives an infection that almost kills him, but he is not the same man he was before he contracted this brutal infection. Instead he finds that if he doesn’t take his antifungal medication, he has phenomenal mental powers.
At the same time Paul is recovering from his almost fatal illness, events are taking a turn for the worse in South America. Coups are violently accomplished but unlike other changes in that part of the world, brutal dictators are uniting in purpose.
At first Paul sees the brilliance of fungus which even duplicates in the body and changes the mind, including the mind of his aged father who had been on the cusp of despair with Alzheimer’s disease but is now transformed and refreshed as an elderly man with purpose!
It sounds dangerous and frightening and so it is! But the danger lies beyond what can be seen for what will happen when even humans cannot control the power of the transformative fungus that seems out to change and control the world? The plot is simple but events move faster than the reader can imagine! This is a science fiction novel that could become reality as microbial elements in the world are becoming stronger and resistant to all drugs and experiments. Interesting read that this reviewer recommends as not only sci fi but also a great novel of international intrigue and mystery!