The Bottom Line: This superb sci-fi thriller with stunning real world research as its basis is unlike any book you’ve ever read.
Is there an invisible consciousness that connects all of humanity? What if we could somehow measure it and use it to predict the future?
That’s the concept driving The Mind of God, a thriller based on a real-life project by the Institute of Noetic Sciences, which researches how beliefs, thoughts, and intentions affect the physical world. In Frank’s debut novel, we learn about the institute’s Global Consciousness Project (also real) primarily through the sleuthing of Liz Greene, the daughter of a prominent South African researcher who has gone missing.
As you can imagine, a reliable prediction engine would be frighteningly powerful indeed. While the institute imagines using it to stop a nuclear holocaust, there are those who want to use its power to destroy, and they’ll stop at nothing – including murder – to do so.
The Mind of God is a complex novel, and there are numerous action-oriented subplots, including the search for Liz Greene’s missing father, a plot to kill the President of the United States and even an intriguing theory about 9/11. And while they are all entertaining, the technology itself is the book’s best and most riveting character, especially in light of the fact that it is based on actual scientific theory.
Contrary to what you might assume by the title, this isn’t a religious book, at least not in the traditional sense. If you’ve read Dan Brown’s The Lost Symbol, you’re already aware of Noetic Science, as Brown borrowed liberally from the institute (which was, by the way, co-founded by a former NASA astronaut). But Frank’s approach covers fresh ground that allows the book’s engaging futurists to go deep into theories that are at once philosophical and rooted in hard science. If you liked the balance of action and scientific information employed in Andy Weir’s The Martian, you may just love The Mind of God.