9780972600781-Perfect 2Brilliant scientist William Kanter is searching for an improved method of imaging the brain, and he succeeds beyond his wildest imagination. What he ends up creating is a machine that translates memories into visual images – not just from this lifetime, but from previous incarnations as well.

The story is intriguing, the characters are well drawn, and the pace is intense. Paul Black knows how to spin a good yarn.

However, the idea that the machine was actually displaying past-life memories was accepted far too easily by the main characters, most of whom were not previously believers in reincarnation. There was a moment of “oh, that can’t be” followed quickly by, “yes, it is” and no further questioning.

In order to suspend disbelief, a certain level of plausibility helps. Unfortunately, the explanation that the machine works because memories are either imprinted on the brain or coded into DNA doesn’t work in the case of past lives (different brain, different DNA). The Vatican’s ultimate interest in the machine is also implausible.

In the end, the crisis is not resolved by the protagonist at all, but by an outside force. This makes for a very unsatisfying ending.