Ben Sharpton has never hesitated to take on a controversial topic in his fiction writing. He does it again in his latest novel: The Third Option. When he asked me to do a review, I was flattered and then I read the book. First, let me say I enjoyed the book very much but had a difficult time in figuring out how to approach the review. I did not want to give away the story, but at the same time I wanted the reader to understand what Ben was trying to do with the plot. He accomplished his goal quite admirably, I believe. Here is the review I ultimately posted for his book,
The Third Option
by Ben Sharpton
I teach problem solving and decision making classes to corporate clients and one of the tenants of a good problem solving/decision making process is the development of multiple options to choose from. What Ben Sharpton has done in this well-written, suspenseful fiction story is take this basic business tenant to the world of personal decisions. When faced with a problem that will impact heavily in a very personal way, the options may appear to be two-dimensional, black and white, either-or solutions. What Sharpton has done here, although it is a fictional account, is to plant the idea that there are always other options, we just need to look for them.
Sharpton wove a bit of science fiction into the process, envisioning a third option that is not currently in the realm of possibility. This begs the question, however, of the possibility of something like his Third Option becoming reality sometime in the future. I remember, as a kid, the idea that one day everyone would have a telephone they could carry in their pockets, with one number that could be reached no matter where they were. Pure science fiction, right? It was then, and now?
Sharpton has taken an issue discussed in court rooms, across dinner tables, in churches, and across social media and turned it into an international thriller, combining elements of fiction, science fiction, controversy, and even love into a story that you won’t want to put down, and one that will make you think about options – there is always a Third Option.