Aquarius Rising by Christopher John Chater is a captivating thriller. The story revolves around Nick Fellows, a man who is recently recovering from a mid-life crisis, triggered by the death of his mother. In the last year, he quits his job at a large architecture firm, divorces his wife, and gives up all his possessions to live with his dad while he finds himself.
He searches for a job that has meaning, and one that will connect him with his mother, who taught him about sacred architecture. And he successfully lands a mysterious interview, with a company that purposely tries to stay invisible. Although Nick is skeptical, all contact with the company seemingly has hidden meaning. But during the interview, Lisa, the recruiter, and Nick are nearly killed by one of the members of the most powerful families in the world. Lisa explains to Nick that her company, if they succeed, will lose that family a lot of money, which is why employees of her company have to be so secretive.
Nick soon learns that there is a lot more to the story than meets the eye, and he and Lisa end up on a dangerous, action-packed adventure, one where they find themselves constantly fighting for their lives.
In this story, it is easy to get attached to the main characters. They have sympathetic backstories and their motivations are clear. The conspiracy plotline is also a fun ride, full of interesting tidbits about history and astrology. The author also does a great job of breaking up tense moments with bits of humor—and one of the most blunt, yet likeable and funny characters in the story is Nick’s father.
However, sometimes there is so much going on, it felt like there was not time to take a beat and soak it all in. Within just a few chapters, the main characters lives change drastically, and they also travel multiple countries and have to handle a myriad of threats. And then in the end, things wrap up almost too neatly, but just in time for the characters to discover something that puts them on a new adventure.
As an avid TV watcher, I could not help but notice similarities between Aquarius Rising and the CBS TV show Extant. Though Extant didn’t start airing until 2014, about a year after Aquarius Rising, it was interesting to me to see how in both stories, aliens are destroying the planet.
True, in Extant, the aliens later become peaceful, but in Aquarius Rising the reader is left not knowing what happened to the last few members of the powerful alien family. The ending is a great setup for a sequel, and it is possible the aliens and humans will have to join forces to face a new threat to the world.
Overall, Aquarius Rising is a fun, page turning read. If you are looking for action, secrets, humor, and a little bit of romance, then I suggest you pick up Christopher John Chater’s novel.