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REVIEW

"Exciting thriller"

Using the most innovative mass destruction weapon ever created will enforce one man's vision of peace. Goliath is a stealth submarine, powered by an artificial intelligence computer called Sorceress. Originally American scientists conceived Goliath, but it was scrapped when a computer virus was introduced into its programming and the schematics disappeared. US Army Captain Gunnar Wolfe took the fall for the incident and was sent to jail at Leavenworth.

A presidential pardon freed Gunnar when he saved the life of the prison warden and now he is sent to find Goliath and destroy it before the person who conned the Chinese to make but stole it from them can carry out his grand scheme. Accompanying Gunnar is ex-finance Commander Rocky Jackson who also helped on the Goliath project and hopes the mission will redeem her in her own mind. Unknown to anyone, Sorceress has become sentient and is intent on carrying out a mission of its own.

The antagonist of this book is not really a villain but a human being who sees a chance to enforce world peace and takes it in a end justifies the means type of philosophy. Many people would even call him a hero and therein lies the power of this book. It is a reflection of man's actions and it shames us because there should never be a need for a Simon Covah in the first place. Steve Alten has created a fascinating and enthralling story populated with characters that is very easy to relate to because they represent a cross-section of humanity.

Harriet Klausner

Reviewed by PNR Group Member
Posted June 15, 2002

SUMMARY

Terrorism. Acts of Oppression. The threat of nuclear war. What if one madman aboard a vessel could end these fears forever? Commander Rochelle "Rocky" Jackson is aboard the aircraft carrier USS Ronald Reagan when the "unsinkable" naval vessel and its entire fleet are attacked from the depths and sunk. As Rocky struggles to stay alive, a monstrous mechanical steel stingray surfaces, plowing the seas it now commands.

The Goliath: A nuclear submarine Rocky helped design almost a decade ago, a top secret DoD project canceled when the schematics were destroyed by her former fiancÚ and U.S. Army Ranger, Gunnar Wolfe. Powered by its five jet-pump propulsors and hydrodynamically shaped to be virtually undetectable under water, the sub has one more feature that separates it from all other vessels on the open seas: SORCERESS-its biochemical computer brain.

Washington D.C.: Rocky learns that the Goliath's plans were not destroyed but secretly sold to the Chinese. Having constructed the $8 billion dollar warship, the Chinese become victims themselves when the sub is hijacked by the project director, Simon Bela Covah, a computer genius who once served under Rocky's command at the Navy's Undersea Warfare Center. The attack on the carrier fleet indicates that Covah is hunting down warships in an attempt to arm himself with nuclear weapons. The president appoints Rocky's father, General Michael "Bear" Jackson, to locate and destroy the Goliath. Against Rocky's wishes, Bear decides they will need Gunnar Wolfe's help. Gunnar, who has served five years in Leavenworth for espionage, is not exactly thrilled to be rejoining the people who ruined his life.

Aboard the Goliath: Simon Covah and his crew share a common bond: They are all victims of violence and oppression. Covah, a Russian, witnessed his Chechan wife and daughters brutally murdered at the hands of his own people as he was tortured. Now the computer genius has one mission: to rid the world of oppressive governments while forcing humanity to disarm.

To accomplish this, he plans on giving the world a real lesson in Armageddon. Armed with enough nuclear weapons to destroy North America, Covah issues his Declaration of Humanity to the world. If his demands are not met, consequences will be paid.

Could the threat of violence forge a lasting peace? But there is another player in this life-and-death chess match. Unbeknownst to the Goliath crew, SORCERESS has become self- aware.

And the computer is developing its own agenda...

 

Goliath
by Steve Alten

Forge
July 1, 2002
ISBN #0765300648
416 pages
Hardcover
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Other Books by
Steve Alten

The Loch
Resurrection


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