Brain Box Blues
Cris Ramsay
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Buy *Eureka: Brain Box Blues* by Cris Ramsay

Eureka: Brain Box Blues
Cris Ramsay
320 pages
November 2010
rated 5 of 5 possible stars

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Start with a town full of geniuses. Add an invention that reads minds, toss in a smidgen of Murphy’s Law, and you’ll end up with a typical day in Eureka.

The Brain Box is one of the latest developments at Global Dynamics (GD), a mega-corporation operating under the auspices of the United States Department of Defense. The idea behind the Brain Box is that it will capture thoughts which can then be converted into readable memories, something the DoD is particularly interested in when a government agent dies suddenly before he can report on information he’s been gathering.

As the only normal human in Eureka, Sheriff Jack Carter spends most of his time just trying to keep the town safe from the multitude of outrageous experiments going on at GD, most of which make no sense to anyone with an IQ lower than 200. When he isn’t saving the world from experiments-gone-wrong, Carter is busy being an over-protective dad to his Harvard-student daughter, Zoe.

Carter isn’t the least bit surprised when the first test of the Brain Box results in a power surge that affects the entire town, including the Smart Asphalt that keeps Eureka’s Smart Cars running. He predicted that just such a thing would occur. What he didn’t see coming was the accumulated side-effects of tampering with the mysterious world of memory.

Down at Café Diem, Zoe is participating in a study of remote viewing, and she’s far too good at it. It’s as if the girl really can read minds, a skill she’s never exhibited before. Unfortunately Zoe’s concern about Lucas, her longtime and suddenly distant boyfriend, prompts her to attempt to not only read his mind but to influence his thoughts. Meanwhile Lucas is up at GD, testing out the Brain Box when the power surge gives him a jolt that sends him to the infirmary with a previously-undetected and life-threatening condition. Of more concern to the DoD is the inexplicable loss of the memories that had been stored in the Brain Box.

While Carter isn’t equipped to do anything about top-secret security issues, the fallout created by all of this mind-messing activity lands right in his lap. The entire town goes wacko-paranoid – even to the extent of wearing tinfoil hats to keep the military from using remote brainwashing techniques on them. Jack Carter is, for most of us, the character who represents us in that high-tech world of wonder – the everyman who asks the questions and knows when to accept that a thingamajig or a whatchamacallit really can wreak destruction at the touch of a button. He’s also the guy who ends up saving the day every time with his common sense and decisive action.

Based on the popular television show, Eureka: Brain Box Blues is the second in the series and a fine way to fill the void until the new season begins. Cris Ramsay’s novels are full-on fun, and always true to the characters and locale from the show. Readers can count on a lot of scientific mumbo-jumbo as well as every form of humor, from slapstick to dry wit.

Originally published on Curled Up With A Good Book at © Deborah Adams, 2011

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