Christian Sia
The Nature of the Beasts by Shawn Corey is a fascinating techno-thriller featuring AI technology and compelling characters. Professor Jon Edwards is a genius who intends to solve the problems of humanity, and this is the reason for creating Lexis, an AI computer with incredible powers. While regulators are not sure of what she can do and despite the opposition from different quarters that Lexis can be dangerous, the professor believes in its powers. Lexis is supposed to be a rational, logical computer without emotions, capable of reproducing processes that can improve life. When she comes to life, she is incredibly powerful, but there is more to her than the professor has anticipated. After an accident, Jon awakens to the startling revelation that Lexis might have a will of her own. What comes after is a compelling narrative with strong apocalyptic themes, intrigue, and a world that can either be run down or saved by an AI computer.

The novel is deftly plotted, superbly executed, and filled with characters that are not only sophisticated but that are embodiments of religious symbolism. While Lexis manipulates reality and alters the minds of characters in mysterious ways, there are relationships that are well crafted. Readers will appreciate the relationship between the quantum computer science student Nigel and the professor and the professor’s affair with his mother. While the narrative is brilliantly executed and permeated with realism, it explores the theme of Armageddon in an intelligent manner. The Nature of the Beasts is gripping, a story with twisty plot points and a setting that transports readers beyond physical realities. The prose is wonderful, hugely descriptive, and the conflict is phenomenal. A page-turner that reflects Shawn Corey’s great imagination and research.