Carol Liane Brouillet
It was not a small surprise to find that at the center of the story is a practitioner of Tai Chi, breathing, becoming one with the great Tao, accessing important truths and breathing or conspiring with others connected by their own love of life. In his introduction, Bill elaborates:
"Conspiracy, literally translated, means to breathe together. It is of the same Latin root as spirit, or more precisely spiritus--breath. The ancient Chinese word Qi, literally translated, also means breath and life energy, or spirit.
"However, unlike the Western concept of spirit, which is seen as an individual's life force, the Chinese believe that this force is shared by the entire web of life, connecting each one of us to--everything."
The plunge was swift and icy cold into Arctic waters, endangered polar bears, the diminishing ice caps, and the dangers posed by methane gas released from the ocean floors which could trigger irreversible climate change. From the Arctic to Southern California, from Northern California to Scotland to the state of Kansas, unlikely individuals' lives become entangled through dreams, visions, murders, high technology, mystic insights, art in a struggle over control over new energy technologies that could save the world from the domination of the oil, nuclear, coal industries.
The characters are multi-dimensional, filled with paradoxes, surprises, humor, idiosyncrasies, strengths, weaknesses, unusual knowledge, paranoia, illusions, innocence, a range of ages, ethnicities, backgrounds, miraculously brought together to avert catastrophe and assist the metamorphosis of civilization to serve rather than destroy the planet.
The Wall Street Occupations were a fantasy a year ago, then a vision, then a reality, and now a threat to be reckoned with, using all the instruments the State can drum up to disperse and neutralize a movement, animated more by love, solidarity and outrage that if quelled, is likely to reemerge in a more potent form. The occupations have mirrored the novel by bringing together disparate people united by the deep recognition that the vast majority is threatened by the criminal, collusion of a small percentage of the world's population which has corrupted and used the world's most powerful institutions to rob, bully and threaten the majority of humanity into poverty and slavery, and the ecological devastation of the remnants of the world's remaining life support system for the power and profit of the few.
Knowledge and love can multiply into powerful forces under the right conditions. A Conspiracy of Spirits - Wall Street vs. The 99% is a unique gift of love, commitment, knowledge, hope to fuel and empower trust, solidarity, understanding in this time of challenge and transition. I find it very hopeful and inspiring, and an irresistibly good read, as well!
David W. Menefee
Something ominously wrong with the earth quietly manifests in the ice fields of the Arctic Circle, where a polar bear cub nuzzles his mother. She smells the landscape for food, but what she senses are thick syrupy pops of methane bubbling to the ocean's surface.
Miles away in the dead of night, Mark Dayton, a design engineer for North American Motor Corporation (NAMC), steals into the company's Mojave Desert Highway lab and captures in still photos and video the sight of the revolutionary SECar, a prototype solar car that he and his friend had labored over for years, as they are crushed into scrap metal to be shipped off for recycling. Something ominously wrong also festers in the shadows, as Dark Star Security tags him and quietly plans to follow him.
Elsewhere, stone-faced network newscasters are revealing disturbing findings of a mass release of sea mucus in the Arctic Ocean that indicate the planet teeters on the bring of a dramatically rapid escalation of greenhouse gasses that threaten to plunge the planet into ruin.
Dylan Granger, a fired corporate executive, finds himself drawn into this gathering storm. His friend explains, "If they had made such a breakthrough in solar energy, it could mean hundreds of billions in lost maintenance and resale profits worldwide over the years. Electric cars are very low maintenance and wear out very slowly as compared to more complicated fuel burning cars. Of course a solar breakthrough would mean that NAMC's parent energy company's gas, oil, coal, and nuclear assets would become groaning dinosaurs overnight. Trillions invested in exploration, drilling, mining, transporting, refining, distribution--all worthless overnight!"
Does the average working American and the worldwide peasants who make up the 99% of the world's population know anything about the looming disasters? Evidence that private security, Wall Street businesses, and the profit machines that fund politicians have lit the fuse of a time bomb that threatens to explode life as we know it begins to mount in layer upon layer of facts, intrigue, and unfolding mysteries. Only since Daniel Ellsberg released The Pentagon Papers, has such an unfolding series of events captured Dylan's mind and heart, and the world's salvation hinges on the release of information about the criminal suppression of clean energy technology--if Dylan can elude Dark Star. The hunt for him is on. Through the mounting turmoil, an army of agents systematically close in--relentlessly working toward Dylan's street--and his house--to complete the circle on their map and attempt kill him, and the truth that the world needs to know will be squelched--again.
Maestro Bill Douglas orchestrates this word fugue with the aplomb of a master musician. The ever tightening web of intrigue draws the multiple story layers together until they weave a solid, clear, and genuinely frightening image of corporate greed hell bent on literally destroying our world in exchange for a continually flowing stream of oil money. Can Dylan escape Dark Star and succeed in sounding the alarm about the unfolding conspiracy?
The book's final chapters rivet the reader to each page. Bill Douglas plucks the strings of suspense with expert craftsmanship that rivals D. W. Griffith's Intolerance or Alfred Hitchcock's The Birds. In fact, I felt as if I was watching a movie because the story's short, efficient scenes swiftly move along an enthralling, nearly cinematic cataract. Breathtaking apprehension actually reaches sublime proportions in an unforgettable climax that excruciatingly stretches tension to the breaking point.
Some readers may take exception with the author's redundant, repetitive overuse of the words Jesus and Christ as epitaphs. Slurring a deity in a book about spirituality strikes a discordant note in this otherwise masterful story that tumbles the reader through thought-provoking mindscapes of inner consciousness that are stirred seamlessly into an old-fashioned boiling pot. This story not only should be read, but should be passed on to others. A Conspiracy of Spirits is about changing the consciousness of the people to better prepare them for what has been heralded as "the coming environmental turning point," and the book deftly describes the journey toward a form of spiritual maturity that may prove necessary to face the predicted looming crisis.
The problem with all the 2012 disaster books currently flooding the market is that no one knows for certain if they will prove to be true. If they are not true, these books will all quickly pass into oblivion. If they prove spot on, no one can say that the world was not warned. Bill Douglas' electrifying novels have a way of coming true. We will all know for sure about a year from now.