Title: The Mind Travellers — Book 1: Zed and Olaria

Author: Phillip Boas

Publisher: Shawline Publishing Group

Mind Travellers is a thought-provoking debut novel by Trentham’s Phillip Boas. Written as a science fiction tale, the story leverages Phillip’s experience as a psychologist, management consultant and leadership specialist.  These experiences have led him to consider how society might work if, from the boardroom to the bedroom, there were fewer ulterior motives, less deception and less duplicity in people’s lives.

Mind Travellers is set in the not-too-distant future.  An overcrowded Earth is struggling environmentally. Corporate dynastic families dominate the world; they see shifting people to other planets as a solution to overcrowding and a way of generating even more wealth for themselves.

The story’s main character, Dr Zed Eko, is a crew psychologist with Space Fleet Command. We first meet Zed as he boards the spacecraft Sunstreamer before it heads off on a special mission to investigate anomalies on a newly discovered planet. 

Arriving at the new planet, Zed and the mission crew meet the Olarians, a human- like race with powerful telepathic and telekinetic abilities. Knowing what everyone’s thinking makes it difficult to be deceitful.  Despite their abilities, the Olarians have problems of their own. 

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Zed forms a relationship with the Olarian leader Olaria, which takes on another dimension when Olaria enables Zed’s latent telepathic abilities. From this point Zed’s life becomes complicated as Zed and Olaria become instrumental in influencing the relationship between humans and Olarians.

Phillip’s depiction of senior leadership personality traits is masterful. His portrayal of the head of Space Fleet Central Command has a disturbing degree of reality about it.  At times, Phillip is rather clinical in laying bare the games and subtle strategies of subterfuge used by senior leaders. 

Mind Travellers is an interesting read because of the values and concepts presented for conducting human relationships. There is a lot of emphasis on openness, honesty, and trust, something many might agree is lacking in our society today. While there are displays of telepathic force by Olaria and later Zed, Phillip has exercised restraint, recognising that one cannot make the ills of society better by waving a magic wand or simply wishing it so. 

This is a book written by a person who has had the opportunity to observe life at many levels, there is wisdom within its covers – it is well worth a read.

Reviewed by: Francis Thompson

Ballarat Writers Inc. Book Review Group