ESPer Wars
by J. W. Delorie
Westwood Books Publishing

"Sorry, Lasko, but you need to understand, Eese and I are twins, we share ESPer power."

In the distant past, people possessing powers of extrasensory perception—known as ESPers—live on earth with those who have no such abilities. Because of the ESPers' desire to rule those without powers, war breaks out between these two factions. Retribution soon ensues. "The people without the power designed a virus that caused all ESPers to go insane and start fighting with each other." These ESPers followed those "without power into space where they became the Derelicts."

The Presidium with its Enforcers is charged with inspecting the merchant and salvage ships that trade between the space colonies. Once a Presidium Enforcer, Lasko finds himself in need of help when his wife, Tora, is taken hostage by O'ro and his minions. O'ro wishes to obtain the Conveyor, a device created by Tora which changes Derelicts into "normal" people. It is Tora's dream to return the Derelicts to sanity, saving them from a horrible fate.

With the help of his former partner, A'Lue, Lasko and the nine-year-old ESPer twins saved by Tora embark on a mission to rescue her and recover the Conveyor. As they begin their journey, it is imperative that the twins, Eese and Eesa, conceal their true nature. However, as they possess the power of telekinesis which allows them to communicate with Lasko mentally, it becomes more difficult to hide their secret from A'Lue and others who offer them help. They soon discover that there are others much eviler than O'ro who wish to possess the Conveyor, and they must utilize all the powers they have to accomplish their goal.

The action in this sci-fi thriller is almost continuous as the main characters search for Tora and her invention. The fondness between Tora and the twins is well-established as she has always protected them. As they join Lasko's search for her, the twins begin to communicate with him using telepathy, developing a kinship with him. The reaction of these young children to the spontaneous thoughts of Lasko, a rather simple man who, though he loves his wife, is not immune to the beauty of his old partner, A'Lue, makes for some delightful and humorous moments. The twins, being not only gifted ESPers but also of high intelligence, are sometimes more adult than Lasko, leading to extremely funny banter rivaled only by that between Lasko and A'Lue.

This novel grabs the reader's attention with its unique plot and dynamic characters. The repercussions of creating a virus that turns those perceived as different into zombie-like derelicts are far-reaching. The special dangers posed by those who wish to control the Conveyor—thus preventing ESPers from obtaining normalcy—allows for an adventurous read filled with danger and intrigue. The ancient theme of good vs. evil coupled with the unscrupulous quest for power is rendered new and exciting in this space-age tale.

This is not the author's first foray into the science fiction genre. Delorie, a Boston native who now resides in Las Vegas, has also penned a four-part series entitled Space Gamble. It follows Kennith J. Furgis, the proprietor of a profitable casino in Sol's solar system, as he deals with the problems of politics, crime, and family. In other words, this is a theme obviously appealing to the author—one in which, if this book is any indication, he is skilled at presenting. Readers will find themselves eagerly turning pages until the wee hours of the morning with this one.

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