"Space symbolizes the need to reach new levels: to show we won’t back off from finding the best in us."

When Lisa, the heroine of Chan’s sci-fi fantasy, is just five, she shows her unusual personality through her craving for white noise. Living on Malta with loving parents, she watches her wonderful world crumble during an armed rebellion. She then has a visionary breakthrough to another dimension where a shaman immediately recognizes her special powers and gives her a magical bracelet. As an adult, she begins to return often to her dream realm. She is told by one of its denizens that she is in Exo, short for Éxo Mésa or “out inside.” There she and her Exo companions re-fight old or future earth battles to reduce the effects of evil associated with them. Now an astronaut, Lisa believes she and her coalition of fellow time travelers can affect a paradigm shift: to alter humanity’s pattern of constant war to one of global illumination.

Author Chan clearly has a scientific bent, expounding on biological concepts and showing an understanding of sophisticated NASA technology. Through conversations among the characters, Chan also probes deeply into the human psyche to examine why we act with self-interest, even violence, despite our having the resources to share with others. There is historical knowledge, as well, with several scenes occurring in diverse times and places where conflict has arisen. The steady focus of Chan’s well-organized book is the development of the higher aspects of human nature, supported by etheric guardians like Lisa behind the scenes. One thought-provoking perspective suggests that it is we who are the “aliens” traveling through space. Jumps in action between past and future add suspense as the reader wonders where Lisa will land in her next Exo journey. The result is tightly conceived and smoothly choreographed future fiction with a cliffhanger ending that begs a sequel.

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