I'm trying to remember a book I read in my teenage years. Would've been written in the 70s or 80s. A standalone book, hardcover, quite long possibly 300+ pages.

It was about a young boy with psychic powers, telepathy perhaps. Set on Earth. Nothing unusual about his environment. I think there were others in his family with similar gifts and they all kept it secret. He grows up I believe and owns a bookstore.

The most otherworldly part of this book was that there were a group of aliens in a spacecraft orbiting Earth watching this family, staying secret but perhaps protecting them. They were just watching to see if Earth was ready for their intervention and it would start with this psychic man and perhaps others in his family with the same gifts.

The name "David" is coming to mind, that may be a character or the author.

Would love some suggestions please I'm dying to find this book.

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1 Answer 1


Is this Intervention (1987) by Julian May...? It was published both as one long book and as two shorter books.

This user review covers the plot points regarding a family with two psychic sons, and alien ships covertly surveilling things from orbit:

The human race is in a period of mutation. Active psychics are being born, people whose mind powers are operant without training or elaborate rituals. We first met the Remillard family in The Saga Of Pliocene Exile, represented in the Saga by its culminating member Marc Remillard, aka the Angel of the Abyss. In 1945 the Remillards have a pair of mutant psychic children, twins named Rogi and Don – the good twin and the bad twin. Rogi and Don read each other’s minds involuntarily, they move items around without touching them, and Don can coerce anyone to do whatever he likes. Rogi doesn’t coerce because he has a conscience. He also has the Family Ghost.


Circling in surveillance ships overhead, aliens are nursing humanity in hopes that it will survive long enough to develop a World Mind, or mental union of all Earth psychics. If it can do so, they will reveal themselves and invite Earth to join the larger mental union of the Galactic Milieu. There is a general belief in the Milieu that Earth will destroy itself before its World Mind can be achieved. Against the odds, the Great Lylmik, leader of them all, insists that humanity must and will survive no matter what it takes. Humanity’s strength and vitality will revitalize the Milieu.

The Goodreads summary mentions that one of the sons is a dealer in secondhand books:

Intervention sets the scene for Julian May's new trlogy of the Galactic Milieu. This has been split into two books: The Surveillance (containing Prologue, The Surveillance, and The Disclosure) and The Metaconcert, containing The Intervention and Epilogue.

For 60 000 years the five races of the Galactic Milieu have watched and waited for the time when human mental development on Earth is ready for the Intervention ...

As the twentieth century draws to its end, phenomenal mental powers are displayed by 'operants' all across our planet... They can 'farspeak' one another telepathically. They can build mental shields and they are capable of coercion by power of mind.

One of there is Rogatien Remillard, a dealer in secondhand books, whose memories - written a century on - form the core of this chronicle. They tell of a world where the mind has become a weapon; and of two brothers, each possessed of extraordinary powers - one a peace-bringer, the other an advocate of evil...

Front cover of "Intervention" (1987) by Julian May.

You can browse a preview of the book here.

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    That was the first thing that popped into my head upon seeing the title.
    – Shawn
    Aug 19, 2023 at 12:16
  • Yeah, me too - I'd be rather surprised if it's not Intervention
    – Andrew
    Aug 19, 2023 at 15:03
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    Totally has to be Intervention. I've read it a few times and it fits the recollection perfectly. Good news too: if you like this, it's actually the joining book for two series - Saga of Pliocene Exile (4 books) and Galactic Milieu Series (3 books). There's a lot of world building to to rediscover Aug 20, 2023 at 12:42

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