‘Veterans of the Psychic Wars’ is an intelligent, well-written, detailed novel with a lot of action. Each chapter ended with a cliffhanger, urging me to read more. There are quite a few alien names and terms, but you soon get used to them, and an encyclopedic glossary at the end of the book is helpful. Other epics I have read were set in the almost forgotten past or distant future. This story happens now. We are taken from the contemporary streets of London, England to an adventure in a galaxy far away.
Roman, a young married schoolteacher, is the reluctant hero, whose attachment to his wife Soraya is often used as a snare by evil aliens. There is more than a fair share of humor and surprising twists in the book. Several of the characters seem oddly religious, considering the technological advancements of their universe, but there is a sense that extremely advanced technology has not eradicated superstition or solved social problems such as race and class division.
The book presents a great deal of historical data, both real and imagined and it soon becomes clear that the author employed substantial effort in creating believable characters, relationships and cultures. Often in science fiction, alien worlds are treated as the extraterrestrial equivalent of nation-states in present-day Earth, and there is a tendency to depict entire planets as embracing one religion or ideology; or of being of one ethnic race. In ‘Veterans of the Psychic Wars’ I was presented with realistic diversity. ‘Veterans of the Psychic Wars’ is a ‘heroic monomyth’ as described by Joseph Campbell in his book ‘The Hero with a Thousand Faces’; as such, fans of ‘Star Wars’, ‘The Matrix’, or ‘Dune’ should enjoy it. I highly recommend this book.