Fringe: The Zodiac Paradox Review
“Fringe” fans have a reason to celebrate after the ending to a cult favored show that left some fans with a sour taste in their mouth. This reason being Christa Faust’s first book in a series of tie-in novels: The Zodiac Paradox.
Faust, who has authored more than a few different horror novel adaptations (“Nightmare on Elm Street,” “Twilight Zone,” “Friday the 13th”), has been given the keys to the kingdom, as she will be writing the first “Fringe” trilogy. It starts with “The Zodiac Paradox,“ then it will be “The Burning Man” and it will finish off with “Sins of the Father.”
In this novel that opens the trilogy, we see a young Walter Bishop and William Bell ingesting a new hallucinogenic compound that lets both of them link minds, but with dire consequences. The underlying effect of the compound has a psychic explosion to the surrounding area which leads to a temporary “gateway” to the ill-fated parallel universe and with it the chance for something truly evil to slip into our universe: The Zodiac Killer. With the Zodaic Killer on the loose, the only people that can stop him are the ones that brought him into this universe: Bishop and Bell along with the help of Nina Sharp.
All roads always lead back to Reiden Lake both in the show and with “The Zodiac Paradox. “ With that, Christa Faust has tapped into the lore of the television show and has a springboard to open up new possibilities with the lore while building upon the foundation that the show developed. From the first encounter that Walter has with Nina Sharp to how events in the story foreshadow how Nina Sharp will end up working for Massive Dynamic and William Bell. One of the best tie-ins that is in the book was near the end and without giving to much away, it deals with child experimentation and the name of the hallucinogenic drug that was such a major character of the story: Cortexaphan.
Some viewers that only watched some episodes of Fringe may find this book a little hard to grasp as it has references to the show and some of the episodes. With most tie-in novels, its readership is a small-targeted group of devoted fans, but even as a standalone novel it’s a very intriguing book about expanded consciousness, parallel universes and ethics and morality.
With the obvious need to have seen the show to truly appreciate this novel and get all the little “Easter eggs” hidden throughout the story, I feel that only a fan of the show would enjoy this novel much more (but a new reader may stll find it to be a good read).