Tuesday, December 22, 2015

Review: The Question by R. Breuer Stearns with Giveaway

by R. Breuer Stearns
YA Contemporary Thriller
270 pages

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 story is aimed at high-school and older readers and contains some graphic violence and occasional sexual allusions. The plot is action-oriented with an element of scientific fantasy, similar to Jack Finney's "Time and Again." The prose is crisply written, professionally edited, and organized into movie-scene chapters.
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.

​Buy the book:   Amazon  ~  Book Depository


A good book sticks with you and has your mind drifting back to it long after you've read the last page, and this book fits into that category.

After reading the blurb, I wasn't really sure what to expect from this one but being a fan of science fiction and books that make one think, I wanted to give it a shot. And it was worth it.

The beginning threw me a bit--a man dealing with the ocean world who tries to come to terms with a past catastrophe. I wasn't sure where it was going and was a bit confused about exactly what was going on. Still, I stuck to it, and after a few chapters, the entire thing began to gain clarity.

This isn't a book one can read quickly. There's quite a bit of word play and thoughts sprinkled through, which need to be caught to fall into the depth of it all. This isn't something to be read right before bedtime either, since it isn't something to be read only halfway awake. Although there are thrilling scenes, this isn't always a fast paced read and takes quite awhile to develop everything. The point of it comes, but not without work. So this isn't something to be picked up for quick entertainment.

Although there is a plot to all of it, it isn't so much about what happens to a main character, but rather takes a look at what happens when a larger group tries to accomplish something. A big wave falls on terrorism, and how the question can be pursued or shielded off. Although this is said to be YA, I'd mark it for the higher side not only due to the deeper thought patterns involved, but also to several violent and/or slightly sexual scenes. This takes the mind on a pretty rugged trail at times.

The main message left me a bit off center. There are a lot of truths behind many of the thought processes or actions, where others didn't necessarily follow as the pattern as I believe they might. But I'm not sure that's quite the point. Rather, this can be seen as a starting block into the consideration of how things might really be and lead to a few considerations which might not have been there before.

Summed up, this is a book with the intention to push the mind to think. The story is there, not the most entangling one, but that's also not the point. This is a book for those who like a little shove with some bite to help bring in thoughts and considerations they might not have wrestled before.

And here he is. . .

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.

Connect with the author:   Website

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