Philip Chen's first novel, Falling Star, is a winner. He has successfully combined several often disparate aspects of telling a good story that runs from 1967 to 1993! The characters are believable. The scenes are painted accurately, almost cinema-graphically. The story is believable, pulls the reader along and it is easy to read. It involves espionage, technology, mysticism and mystery woven well together. I could stop here and my critique would be complete. My only serious complaint (aside from the e-book format) was the somewhat abrupt ending that left a few strings dangling perhaps hinting at a sequel. That would be nice.
However, I must add that I read Falling Star as an e-book. As a rule, I don't like e-books. I like reading ink on paper. Nonetheless, Chen quickly won this reader over. There are many details in the story that are very familiar or tangentially familiar to me personally. They added the air of authenticity to his story in a way few can. Mr. Chen obviously drew on his personal experience as an engineer, oceanographer, researcher, trial lawyer and investment banker.