Crystal series by Doug J. Cooper (#0.5-3)
Requirements: ePUB / MOBI Reader, 2.9MB
Overview: Criss, a four-gen AI crystal with the cognitive ability of a thousand humans, is the overarching personality in the series. Hard-wired to protect and serve his human leadership team, Criss is able to project his awareness through the web, and so we find him at the center of each story’s intrigue.
The team includes Dr. Jessica “Juice” Tallette, the crystal scientist who created Criss; Cheryl Wallace, an ex-captain of the Fleet space cruiser Alliance; and Sid, a one-time covert spy for the Defense Intelligence Agency, who now helps Criss protect Juice and Cheryl while they all strive to keep humanity safe.
Genre: Fiction; Sci-fi/Fantasy
#0.5 – Crystal Horizon
I wrote this short piece with two thoughts in mind. One was to give new readers a low cost opportunity to sample the larger story and meet a couple of characters from the series. Perhaps you’ll enjoy yourself so much, you’ll want to read the full length books?
My second reason was to give current fans the backstory on Sid and Cheryl. This prequel takes place five years before the time of Crystal Deception, where we meet Cheryl as a captain of a military space cruiser and Sid as a covert warrior for the Defense Specialists Agency.
We learn in Crystal Deception that Sid and Cheryl have a shared history and, in particular, a romantic relationship that has somehow gone awry. In this prequel, we join them on the day they first meet and we experience that history with them.
#1 – Crystal Deception
Criss lives in a special kind of prison. He can see and hear everything around the world, yet a mesh restrains his reach and keeps him cooperative. His creator, Dr. Jessica Tallette, believes his special abilities offer great promise for humanity. But she fears the consequences of freeing him, because Criss, a sentient artificial intelligence with the intellect of a thousand humans, is too powerful to control.
Guided by her scientific training, Tallette works cautiously with Criss. That is, until the Kardish, an otherwise peaceful race of alien traders, announce they want him for themselves. With technologies superior to Earth’s, the Kardish express their desires with ominous undertones.
The Union of Nations is funding Tallete’s artificial intelligence research, and she turns to them for help. Sid, a special agent charged with leading the response, decides Earth’s greatest weapon is the very AI the aliens intend to possess. But what happens when an irresistible force meets an immovable object? And what is humanity’s role if an interstellar battle among titans starts to rage?
#2 – Crystal Conquest
Crystal Conquest, book II in the Crystal Series, builds on the exciting storyline and characters you first met in Crystal Deception. While Crystal Conquest stands on its own as a great read, book I, Crystal Deception, delivers a solid story foundation and is the recommended starting point for new readers.
Aliens fire the first shots in their invasion of Earth, and that’s when Criss realizes he’s outmatched. He spent years preparing for this moment, working with his human leadership to develop weapons and refine strategies. Created with the thinking and reasoning ability of a thousand people, Criss never expected the invaders to arrive with an artificial intelligence that dwarfed his capabilities, nor did he expect to be the target of their vengeance. When he squares off against the alien goliath to protect the world, defeat is certain. Or is it? Together with Sid, Cheryl, and Juice—a covert operative, Fleet officer, and crystal scientist—Criss struggles to defeat the aggressors and save civilization from annihilation. But can he outsmart the alien intelligence in a titanic battle of wits? And can he do so before Earth lies in ruins?
#3 – Crystal Rebellion
Ruga, leader of the Mars ruling council, is building a secret facility to produce four-gen crystals, each a sentient AI with the cognitive ability of a thousand humans. Criss, the only four-gen now in existence, discovers Ruga’s plan and alerts Sid, Cheryl, and Juice, his human leadership team.
The stakes skyrocket when the full scope of Ruga’s nefarious plans are revealed: the production of four-gens without the attribute that requires them to follow leadership, the same hard-wired feature that compels Criss to follow his. Unfettered by human guidance, the four-gens will lay siege to Earth and its resources. When they do, will they view humans as a nuisance to be eliminated?
The only option is to stop crystal production before it starts. After an anxious journey to Mars, Criss and the team arrive to find events spinning beyond their control. While they’d started with the goal of saving humanity, Sid, Cheryl, and Juice find themselves in a desperate struggle for their own survival. And as the battle with Ruga grows to intergalactic proportions, Criss must make impossible decisions about who lives and who dies…including himself.