Review

Storm Cycle

Iris Johansen and Roy Johansen

Rachel Kirby is a brilliant computer scientist at a university
in Houston, Texas. She is also the creator of a supercomputer,
nicknamed Jonesy, which is being used for numerous applications by
people all over the world. On her way to work one morning, someone
shoots at her. Luckily the bullet just grazes her temple and does
no major damage. But her worry is not that someone is trying to
kill her --- it’s that someone is siphoning off cycles from
Jonesy and slowing down her work. One client in particular, a
government agency none too happy with the diminished computing
power, is complaining loudly and making her life rather
miserable.

In one happy turn of events, Rachel’s assistant, Simon,
believes he may have found the culprit, or at least a clue to the
dropping power levels. Before she can investigate further, she
receives an email from a man named John Tavak. He claims to be the
cause of her cycle disappearance and dangles a very interesting
offer in front of her if she would be willing to help him get out
of a collapsed Egyptian tomb alive.

What he offers in return is too good for her to pass up --- a
possible cure for her sister Allie’s degenerative disorder.
Allie suffers from a rare disease that slowly eats away at her
central nervous system, incapacitating her for days and weeks at a
time. Rachel has spent a lot of money and energy searching for a
cure, including creating Jonesy to work on a treatment. Rachel
makes a deal with the NSA, the government agency procuring cycles
from Jonesy, and promises the agency even more power if they help
Tavak get out of the tomb and keep him alive until she can question
him. Norton, her contact at the agency, agrees, and Rachel leaves
for Egypt.

Not being one to step into any situation unprepared, Rachel
finds out all she can about Tavak and the potential cure he claims
to have found in this tomb. Tavak, an adrenaline junkie, adventurer
and phenomenally gifted individual, is not the type of person she
is accustomed to dealing with. She is used to getting her way and
barreling through situations without consideration for the feelings
of others. She finds her match in Tavak. They are very similar ---
brilliant, stubborn and singularly focused on what they want out of
their rudimentary partnership. Fortunately for Rachel, she turns
out to be wrong in a lot of her assumptions, and not just about
Tavak, but also about her sister, some friends and herself.

STORM CYCLE moves at a very fast pace and will not disappoint
readers who are looking to get lost in an exciting quick read.
It’s a rather far-reaching plot with the involvement of
government agencies, a pharmaceutical firm that would like to hide
a possible cure, corporate hit men, Egyptian pharaohs, a dying
sister, and one supercomputer that may just save the world. The
story spans the globe, taking the reader from Houston to Egypt,
Paris, Vegas and Russia with an entire cast of entertaining
characters in each place.

While the story itself may be a bit hard to buy into ---
it’s very unlikely that a computer scientist would get
involved in a shootout on a bridge trying to save an ancient
Egyptian artifact --- there are enough twists and turns to keep the
reader engaged and flipping pages to see what will happen next.

Iris and Roy Johansen mix high-tech information with antiquities
and leave readers wanting to know more about the ancient and
technological advances. Both are covered very superficially,
containing just the information central to the story. It has a very
Indiana Jones feel to it, and though some of it will be
unbelievable, STORM CYCLE is a satisfying read.

Reviewed by Amy Gwiazdowski on January 23, 2011

Storm Cycle
Iris Johansen and Roy Johansen

  • Publication Date: July 21, 2009
  • Genres: Fiction, Thriller
  • Hardcover: 416 pages
  • Publisher: St. Martin's Press
  • ISBN-10: 0312368038
  • ISBN-13: 9780312368036