Tympanum is the sequel to experimental physicist Shane Stadler’s first novel Exoskeleton (read the Exoskeleton review here).
…Warning: possible spoilers for those not previously familiar with Exoskeleton…
Law professor Dr. Jonathan McDougal, and his associate Denise Walker have finally been successful in shutting down the secret government project known as the Compressed Punishment Program, and in the process they have saved the life of innocent convict William Thompson. However, after being approached by two CIA operatives, who are investigating the Red Wraith project – also known as the Compressed Punishment Program – the lawyers soon learn that the program has roots dating back to the Nazis before world war two.
Meanwhile, when Zhichao Cho learns about the demise of this US defence project and the American desire to disown any of their involvement with it, he meets with the CEO of the troubled company and proceeds to purchase Syncorp. His intention is to use the original data to take control of a whole new project in China, under the guise of a nutrition and medical technologies firm, but first he must destroy all of the evidence or information that could be useful to the Americans, including William Thompson.
However, Will has been trained by the FBI as an intelligence asset and relocated for his own safety. Upon arriving in Baton Rouge he discovers survivors from the Compressed Punishment Program have been gathering in town near the Syncorp building, and vows to find a way to terminate the Company before they can harm any more people, but things don’t quite go as planned.
It seems an unusual discovery in the Antarctic Ocean has finally uncovered the real reason behind the Red Wraith project, which is a continuation of the original Red Falcon operation undertaken by the Nazis. In order to be successful however, the project is only missing one important component, Mr. William Thompson, but which country will find him first: America or China? And what will happen when they do?
“Truths have deeper implications than secrets“. – Daniel Parsons reflecting on his work. (Kindle location 595)
Tympanum is a must read follow up to Shane Stadler’s first novel, and continues the story from exactly the same point that Exoskeleton left off, where Will has learned to ‘separate’ his soul from his body. It provides an in depth explanation to the more sinister purposes of the Red Wraith project and why it was deemed necessary to keep its true nature shrouded in secrecy.
In a similar fashion to Exoskeleton, at 5 out of 5 stars Tympanum is a real page-turner that grips the reader with anticipation and an eagerness to know what comes next. It is clear that a lot of research has went in to the making of this novel with the vast amount of information that is included in its pages, and luckily this does not detract from both the action and the ‘existential implications’ that are eluded to within the story.
My only negative comment is that the kindle edition could be improved via the help of a proofreader, as there are numerous errors. However, here’s hoping that the third novel, Omniscient will be just as entertaining as the first two.