Book Review Archives
Title: Cardan's Pod
Author: Rick Higginson
Publisher: Xulon Press
Book Size: 284 pages
Reviewer: Deborah Porter
When it comes to imagination, author Rick Higginson has it in abundance, as shown in his novel, Cardan's Pod. I've had the privilege of reading this novel twice within the space of twelve months, and can honestly say I thoroughly enjoyed it both times.
With a clever and creative plot that will absorb the reader from start to finish, and very appealing characters, Cardan's Pod is an excellent read -- even if a little hard to categorize. Take a good measure of crime, a sprinkle of fantasy, a liberal amount of science fiction, and blend it all together with a healthy dash of romance, and that may just about cover the genre.
Meet Joshua Cardan -- all round nice guy and heir to the Cardan Pharmaceuticals Corporation. On the surface, Joshua seemed to have it all -- a beautiful wife, great home, comfortable lifestyle, luxury boat, and more money than he could ever need. Before his marriage, Joshua had been considered quite a catch. Unfortunately, his relatively new wife, Cynthia, decided to turn him into the catch of the day instead -- drugging her husband and throwing him off his boat, The Bitter Pill, in the middle of the night.
In the moonlight, the rapidly sobering Joshua watches from the water as his wife embraces another man on the deck of The Bitter Pill. As they sail away, Joshua sinks slowly under the waves, his last thoughts full of regrets before finally slipping into unconsciousness.
But the treacherous Cynthia and her accomplice did not realize someone was watching -- a very special someone, Marta, who broke her "family's" rules by rescuing Joshua and taking him home with her.
From that point on, the story of Cardan's Pod twists in a way that took me completely by surprise. In fact, there are really two storylines in this novel. The first is the story of Cynthia Cardan's attempt to kill her husband, and the second is about Joshua's rescuer and the plight of her "family" -- the Pod. Through Joshua, the two storylines merge together as he works to bring his wife to justice, while also bringing justice to the Pod.
Apart from the main characters, Higginson has also created a very believable supporting cast of characters, headed by Cardan's old friend, Pastor Diego Hyland and his wife, Sally. No one knows Joshua like Diego, and it's this long relationship that makes it impossible for the pastor to believe the police report about his friend's death. Certain that Joshua has met with foul play, Diego and Sally set sail in search of anything that may help to point to the truth. Even so, nothing could prepare them for what that truth turned out to be, although Sally was far more willing to accept the unbelievable because, as she said, "not all angels have wings."
Apart from being a thoroughly entertaining story, Cardan's Pod is also thought provoking. The issue of genetic engineering is raised quite powerfully, and the reader is left wondering how much is science, and how much is fiction. It is an unsettling thought.
From the science fiction fan through to the incurably romantic, Cardan's Pod has something for just about every reader. It works on so many levels. Ultimately, though, it's just an exceptionally good read and highly deserving of the FaithWriters' gold seal of approval.