Jeff Kirk’s Prometheus Option Series

Jeff_KirkAbout the author:

Born: Farmington, NM

Education:

B.S.- Biology, University of New Mexico, Albuquerque, NM

Website: http://www.theprometheusoption.com/

Thriller Sub-genre: Techno-thriller

Future of the series: The next in the series is entitled On This New Sea, which will tentatively be released in 2018.

The Simon Review

Corporate conspiracy, state-of-the-art technology, government spying, nuclear explosion, and Armageddon pretty much sums up Jeff Kirk’s latest novel, The Prometheus Option. The story revolves around the state-of-the-art technology known as quantum computing with a computer being designed by a company known as StruvePharma, a pharmaceutical company run by CEO Peter Struve. Struve got into designing a quantum computer to help design better drugs, but eventually it became the entire focus of the company. Designing a quantum computer is not cheap and it is not long before StruvePharma needs more money, so Struve begins looking for new investors. This is when everything goes to hell in a handbag and StruvePharma is placed in a center of a maelstrom for which there is no coming back.

Heroes, geeks, spies, traitors, and one truly evil SOB, make up a generous array of characters throughout The Prometheus Option. Most notable is Jack Dura, who is the true genius behind the quantum computer and I am sure will be a primary focus as the series continues. Then there is Aidan O’Keefe, the villain of the Prometheus Option that makes even the most evil of scientists look tame. And no techno-thriller would be complete if there wasn’t a beautiful FBI agent which is embodied in the character Laurel Wynn.

The Prometheus Option has been Jeff Kirk’s brain child for the last three years and his diligence has paid off.  Kirk’s love of techno gadgets resonates throughout the novel which I am sure will please the more technically inclined and fascinate those that may only have a passing interest. For those of you that are Silicon Valley residents, you will appreciate that the backdrop of The Prometheus Option focuses on the San Francisco Bay area, as Kirk’s familiarity of the area is epitomized throughout the novel.

The Prometheus Option is a fairly long novel, but the action never stops. So plan on a long lazy weekend, because once you start, you won’t be able to put it down. (Update: Kirk as split the original The Prometheus Option into two books The Black Box and The Borrowed Sword)

What about the science?  Though much of the technology in The Prometheus Option seems like science fiction, the reality is that much of the technology is either possible or is actually in the works, such as quantum computers (See Technical Word in Review). Being a biologist turned techie, Kirk is quite familiar with the technology that he portrays in The Prometheus Option. Even though the technology throughout the novel is morphed somewhat for fictional purposes, it is still within the realm of reality.

The Jack Dura Technical Word in Review: Quantum computer– I could drone on and on about the intricacies of quantum computing, but a video developed by NASA and Google says it a lot better.

Quantum computing seems like something that will happen in the distant future, but the reality is that it is already here. Both Google and NASA have teamed up with the company D-Wave Systems to test and improve on what is a prototype quantum computer. Within the next few years it is very possible that we will be entering into a new computer age. Hopefully, good things will come of it and not what is happening in Kirk’s Prometheus Option.


John leaned closer to her and murmured. “You ever hear of quantum computers?”

She shrugged.

“We built one. It solves certain kinds of equations millions of times faster than all of the rest of the world’s computers put together.”- Prometheus Option

Books in the Series by Order:

For the time being I am not going to list the most and least popular book of the series because the total number of ratings in Goodreads, Amazon (US & UK), and Library Thing add up to less than 100 which means statistically they don’t really have any meaning. So read the books and give a rating.

#1-The Black Box- 2016

Listed #157 out of 552 on Goodreads Best Technothrillers Ever Book List

Listed #107 out of 168 on Goodreads Best Sciencethrillers Book List

First Line:

The restaurant sat atop a long, low hillside overlooking the placid surface of Pillar Point Harbor, separated from Half Moon Bay by a pair of curved, rocky breakwaters.


Characters

Peter Struve: CEO of StruvePharma

Emily Dura: The initial lead scientist on the Black Box project

Aidan O’Keefe: StruvePharma’s technical officer and resident bad-boy

John Shea: StruvePharma’s chief security officer

Laurel Wynn: FBI agent

Jack Dura: Emily Dura’s husband and the real brain behind the QUBE

Blaise Thierry: Belgian member of ‘Santa’s Elves’, lead molecular designer

Stathis Sotiropoulous: Greek member of ‘Santa’s Elves’, and is the resident gadget guy


The Setting:

Silicon Valley and San Francisco Bay Area


THE QUBE UNLOCKS THE SECRETS OF NATURE. SOME WILL RISK WAR TO STEAL IT.

Silicon Valley pharmaceuticals CEO Peter Struve has spent seven years and eleven billion dollars to turn the brilliant Emily Dura’s secret dream into reality.

They have created the QUBE: a new kind of computer that can solve the hardest problems of science, medicine, molecular design—and much more. It could usher in a new age of prosperity for humankind, and upend the existing world order in the process.

Unfortunately, Peter’s secret was not nearly as secret as he had hoped.

CTO Aidan O’Keefe has his own plans for Emily’s invention. His attempt to seize control of StruvePharma leads to tragedy.

FBI agent Laurel Wynn is sent to investigate. Together with SP’s chief of security, former Force Recon Marine John Shea, she uncovers a trail of spies and traitors that leads overseas, to powerful enemies with terrifying resources.

And in the meantime, Peter must recruit the one person in all the world who has the least reason to trust him: Jack Dura, Emily’s bitter but equally brilliant ex-husband — the only one alive who can unravel the final mysteries of the QUBE and propel science into a radical new future.

What unfolds is an epic tale of science, spies, and soldiers as the battle to control this technology spins out of control, with world-shaking consequences.

THE VICTOR WILL GAIN THE POWER TO SAVE HUMANITY—OR DESTROY IT.


In contrast to the harsh blue-white brilliance of the mantrap, the Black Box was filled with gentle yellow light. It was kept at 77 degrees Fahrenheit, and just below one atmosphere of air pressure, like a biohazard lab. Any leaks in the containment would force air in, not out, The warmth was comforting. 


Amazon Rating: 4.86 out of 5 stars based on 28 ratings

Amazon Rating-UK: not rated

GoodReads Rating: 4.63 out of 5 stars based on 38 ratings

Library Thing Rating: not rated

Total Score 4.73 (Updated 10/24/17)

 

 

#2-The Borrowed Sword- 2016

First Line:

The BCL Barinthus was named after an obscure Celtic god of the sea.


Characters

Peter Struve: CEO of StruvePharma

Emily Dura: The initial lead scientist on the Black Box project

Aidan O’Keefe: StruvePharma’s technical officer and resident bad-boy

John Shea: StruvePharma’s chief security officer

Laurel Wynn: FBI agent

Jack Dura: Emily Dura’s husband and the real brain behind the QUBE

Blaise Thierry: Belgian member of ‘Santa’s Elves’, lead molecular designer

Stathis Sotiropoulous: Greek member of ‘Santa’s Elves’, and is the resident gadget guy


The Setting:

Silicon Valley and San Francisco Bay Area


THE WAR IS ABOUT TO BEGIN.

Jack Dura and his team struggle to perfect a theory that will unify all of science and pave the way to an unimaginable future.

In weeks, they will test the HyperQUBE, a next-generation quantum processor based on their breakthroughs.

Laurel Wynn continues her hunt for ruthless enemies at home and abroad, even as they set their devilish plan in motion.

They must strike hard and without mercy. If the HyperQUBE works, the government will be able to move the team out of reach. Time is quickly running out.

The battle will determine the future of humanity—or whether it survives at all.


Amazon Rating: 4.86 out of 5 stars based on 28 ratings

Amazon Rating-UK: not rated

GoodReads Rating: 4.63 out of 5 stars based on 38 ratings

Library Thing Rating: not rated

Total Score 4.73 (Updated 10/24/17)

 

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#3-On This New Sea- (expected release date 2018)

 

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