By Patrick O'Leary
One day an attractive woman, Laura, comes to see him for therapy. But she has a condition: what she tells him has to kept a secret. He agrees to this condition and she proceeds to claim that she was abducted by aliens as a child and raised under conditions of unintentional cruelty and deprivation, due to the aliens not understanding how to take care of a child. Now she has been released by the aliens and she will be allowed to stay on Earth if she can convince one person that her story is true. And the person she wants to convince is Donelly.
As a therapist, Donelly is quite familiar with the detours the human mind can take to avoid dealing with the hard facts of life and he figures Laura has constructed this elaborate fantasy to deal with her past childhood trauma. But as they spend more time together and he starts to have feelings for her, it becomes apparent that her story is not a fantasy and that these aliens, the Holock, do exist.
This book was more than a little confusing. First Laura is a suffering woman, forced by aliens into doing things she doesn't want. Then she is a murdering monster out to destroy the human race. Then she is the love of Donelly's life. And the aliens, first they are inimical and heartless monsters, feeding off human dreams, then they are pathetic losers, trying to ensure their survival by engineering humanity's demise. And it turns out they aren't really aliens at all, but a new life form that evolved after humanity died out as a result of World War III. Plus there is the time travel and people "blipping" in and out and the dreams and aliens attacking people in their dreams. And for some reason, religion seems to protect people from attacks by the aliens. Also the U.S. government knows about the aliens and is in cahoots with them. And meanwhile, Donelly finds out some things about his childhood that he didn't know or had forgotten. There is just a whole lot going on in this story. It was a bit too much for me. I liked the Donelly family story best. The aliens and Laura and the time travel, all that kind of left me floundering, unable to figure out who were the good guys and who were the bad guys. And, even after finishing the book, I am still not sure. The author sure does have quite an imagination and the book is thought provoking. So even though it left me confused, I will still say it is a fair read.