The World Walker (World Walker Series V. 1), by Ian W. Sainsbury
This book was published spring of 2016 and two sequels have already hit the stands coming out about every six months. This first book features Sebastian “Seb” Varden, a 32-year-old musician who has been diagnosed with a brain tumor and is intent on suicide. Instead he’s touched by an alien who heals him and gives him what appear to be magical powers. He becomes a World Walker. My movie pitch version: “Think Green Lantern meets Aleister Crowley.”
In the book we learn of a world of people with seemingly magical powers but we learn that these powers have a scientific source and that they can be recharged at special spots (“thin areas”) of the earth. Over the centuries these powers have been interpreted as being religious, mystical, or satanic depending on the cultures where they appear. We also learn that there’s a growing battle among the various recipients of these powers and there is even a secret government agency seeking to destroy many of the people who have received the powers. Some of these have a sense of their powers, others simply grow up thinking they’re exceptionally lucky.
As the story progresses Seb gets more control of the powers he’s been given. As he does he becomes a target of different factions with the powers. But Seb is unique in that his powers seem to be above and beyond anything seen before.
Sainsbury creates a very likeable character in Seb. He’s intelligent, committed to fighting evil use of these powers by whoever misuses them, and shows a lot of humor despite the intensity of some of the action in the book. I haven’t looked at the two follow-up volumes but I’m hoping there’s more of the same. He also has help from wonderful friends who take on very important roles in what happens. The book makes use of some well-loved sci-fi tropes while managing to mix in some fantasy ones as well. It’s a unique mix and well-written in the style of a thriller.