I bought this book because I had read Coincidence by the same author and wasn't sure how I felt about it. And guess what? I feel the exact same way about this one.
Sure enough, to me, the thing with David Ambrose is that he has awesome ideas but just doesn't execute them well. The concept of this book is pretty interesting – not completely new but enough to awaken curiosity. A man has these odd feelings throughout a morning and suddenly he finds himself in a world that is not his, a parallel reality. As the book progresses, we find that SPOILER his mind is actually trapped along with his previous occupant’s in the same body. And we find our narrator both trying to figure out the best way to get the other guy, the rightful owner to the body, to do what he wants, and to get back to his own world. /SPOILER
From the moment I picked the book up, I found the writing was pretty weak. For, let’s say, the first quarter of the book I found myself thinking this could work as a movie. It's almost more a movie script than a novel... Then, as I kept reading, I couldn’t shake the feeling that everything was underdeveloped - the characters, the plot, etc. There was no depth, no feeling, not much, really... It was sort of interesting, but mildly. On the other hand, some things were so obvious that I kept realizing I knew what came next. And sure enough, I was always at least partially right. Being so predictable was a major turn off for me. The book never gripped my attention until the very end.
As in Coincidence, close to the end there is a major plot twist. It is an interesting one but, in my opinion, it does not erase the rest of the book, and the hollow feeling I got from reading it. The ending also seems extremely rushed and some crucial points are left unexplained SPOILER (stuff that comes to mind right now is why/how did Richard die, if he only suffered a superficial blow; what happened to Richard's mind, since from the transcript it seemed like he followed Rick, other stuff that slips my mind right now...) /SPOILER, which is always yet another major turn off for me, unless it sped by so fast that I totally missed it. Some things also did not make any sense, particularly what is described in the last couple of pages.SPOILERHow on earth could he 'take over' Emma when he can obviously only take over versions of himself??/SPOILER The effort to be shocking and go out with a bang turned into something that just was not believable, in my opinion.
In the end, Man just falls short. I give it 3 stars mostly for the effort of putting together something like this. The author seems to have done a lot of research. The book could have been great, there certainly was a lot of potential, but as it turns out, it just strikes me as a quick read, when you don't have anything better on your hands.
Read from August 17 to 20, 2014
Review posted on Aug 21, 14 <