I love books that encourage readers to question the world as we know it and consider possibilities. The Question by author R. Breuer Stearns is just that type of book--and I am excited to share my review of The Question and invite readers to enter to win a copy of the book at the end of this post.
I received a complimentary copy of this book for use in my review as a participant in the iRead Book Tour. All opinions are my own.
Quick Summary of The Question. THE QUESTION invites readers to consider this premise:
If you could have the answer to one question, and only one question, what would you ask... and who would try to stop you from asking it? To what extremes would they go?
THE QUESTION is a thriller that explores a new way of thinking, a method powerful enough to answer very complex questions . . . perhaps powerful enough to solve the universe's most fundamental mysteries . . . perhaps powerful enough to resolve religions' most beguiling unknowns.
THE QUESTION is an adventure story . . . fiction that you may wish, may believe, may know, is true. The narrative occurs in the present, with scenes in California, Washington, D.C., Paris, Shanghai, New York, and Afghanistan.
THE QUESTION is ideal reading for anyone who is curious . . . for those who gaze into the cosmos at night and wonder . . . for those who look into the mirror and imagine . . . for those whose hearts beat faster when confronting the unknown . . . for readers who enjoy a fast paced, contemporary thriller that inspires them to think.
The Question is written in a fairly complicated style. I will admit that I read 70--80 pages before I settled in to the author's writing style and was really drawn into the book. Stearns introduces many minor characters throughout the book--each with significant roles in the story line. Initially, I felt as though scenes and characters dropped in and out of the novel too quickly. I found myself wondering if I had skipped some pages or missed details at times. I had to change my perspective and accept that the author would tell me what I needed to know about each character or scene by the end of the given chapter. I had to trust that each chapter played a larger role in the "big picture" of the plot. Probably by the book's halfway point, I settled into the writing style and the flow of the book eased for me.
The Question challenges readers in many ways. Stearns incorporates many troublesome real-world possibilities into this book as his main characters work toward their ultimate "question" experiment. There were times when I found a scene horrific--and I felt challenged to return for the next chapter. There were times when I found scenes so sadly realistic and all too possible in our world that I felt compelled to discuss scenarios in conversations. There were times when I found myself questioning the motivations of characters and the value of an answer to a larger theological or philosophical question. This book will make readers think, question, wonder--and maybe even worry a little.
Would I recommend The Question by R. Breuer Stearns. This is a rather different sort of book. While it holds some futuristic, science fiction and fantasy elements--it also holds some real-world possibilities and philosophical thinking as well. I do think readers need to read this book with an open mind and a little patience. I wasn't a fan of the ending--and I found a few of the plot twists disturbing--but, sadly, I also found some of those twists reasonable and realistic for the modern world. The book is thought provoking and difficult to set aside once caught up in the story. I would recommend it to readers interested in science fiction with political undertones and thought-provoking possibilities.
Meet the Author.
R. Breuer Stearns is an investor and author.
Mr. Stearns graduated from Phillips Academy, Andover (1970), Harvard University (AB, 1974), University of Chicago (MBA, 1977), and DePaul University College of Law (JD, 1979). He rapidly ascended on Wall Street in the 1980’s, serving as Managing Director, Mergers & Acquisitions at Lehman Brothers and Head of Investment Banking (North America) at UBS Securities. While living in New York, he founded “Terrific Teachers, Inc.,” a foundation dedicated to identifying and rewarding the best of the best of the city’s public high school teachers.
Shortly after the fall of the Berlin Wall, Mr. Stearns launched a private investment bank in the former Soviet Union. He spent the early 1990’s seeking to marry emerging science, primarily emanating from Russia’s Defense sector, with Western capital. During this period, Mr. Stearns made a small fortune, albeit from a larger one. The venture provided a remarkable lesson in hubris, a tremendous reservoir of internal strength, and first-hand source material for Mr. Stearns’ first book, Winning Smart After Losing Big (Encounter Books, Beijing University Press).
Subsequently, Mr. Stearns served as Chief Financial Officer of The Dial Corporation, Chief Financial Officer of Columbia/HCA Corporation, Chief Financial Officer of PacifiCare, Inc., President and Chief Operating Officer of Vascular Genetics, Inc., and Chairman and Chief Executive Officer of Quepasa Corporation (QPSA:Amex).
Mr. Stearns is a Founder of VestaPoint Capital LLC, a family of investment funds focused on real estate development. He lives in Arizona with his wife, two dogs, two cats, and a horse. He travels extensively and is intensely curious.
Win one copy of The Question (print or ebook) open to USA & Canada