“The Connected: The Shift” is the sequel to “The Connected: The Call”, Medhat’s first book in a series that is expected to contain three books. The first book of the series established the existence of a Mega-terrorist organization that threatens the entire world. In the fight against this terrorist powerhouse, Al Nadir, is MI6 operative Sam Noor. Sam is both a scientist and trained, lethal MI6 agent.
Against her will Sam’s wife, Ellie, is brought into the conflict. She is kidnapped and tortured repeatedly, for the most part in an attempt to control Sam who is Al Nadir’s greatest enemy. In the second book in the series, the stakes are raised and the story takes an immensely unexpected and fascinating turn. The existence of good and evil is shown in stark relief in the battle between Al Nadir and the Alliance of the U.K and the United states. But, in this second book, the meaning of good and evil, dark and light, becomes literally universal.
Somewhere outside of human physical reality is an advanced race called the Kudamaz. What appeared in the first book as standard geo-political conflict becomes a conflict that affects the entire universe, with Earth as its epicenter. The fate of the Earth, the conflict between extreme good and evil, the battle between Al Nadir and the Governments of the Earth, they are all intertwined, all part of a natural shift that underlies the universe. The shift is between dark and light.
A wise and surprising part of this story is that this it does not present a child’s idea of light and dark, the light being perfect enlightenment and goodness. In this case the balance discussed here is more like nature; a spectrum of good and evil, light and dark, that must be maintained by living creatures. In this case either extreme is harmful. Too much darkness, in a person, or on a planet, destroys judgement and threatens stability. Too much light robs a society or a person of the drive toward ambition and change. This, to me, is a more intelligent take on polar opposites in life.
As the tension mounts on earth and lives are taken brutally, a similar political conflict takes place on Kudamaz until the two meld and become the conflict that is always present in the universe, reined in by wisdom in the face of greed and megalomania. What has been nagging at me since I began this series is what it reminds me of. I finally realized that it occupies a rare place in the literary firmament with “A Wrinkle in Time”, the classic children’s book that is written for adults.
What starts as a story of espionage and violence becomes a story of transformation. This series is a lot deeper than it appears on the surface. I would recommend this to anyone who likes to read; it covers a hunger for action more than adequately but also is satisfying at another more personal level. Read this series. You won’t regret it.