First of all, let me tell you about this author. Ever since I found his blog, One Lazy Robot, my days have been brighter and I follow it every chance I get.
Anthony’s writing style never ceases to amaze me. It makes me smile – who am I kidding, laugh out loud, really – and completely enthralls me. He is truly inspirational and seems to be an amazingly generous and kind person; at least that is the impression I got from the emails we exchanged. So I had a feeling I would like his work.
But enough gushing. I want to make it clear that me being a fan of Anthony’s multiple qualities and especially his ability to grip me with anything he writes well before I read any of his self-published work, that does not mean I cut him any slack when reading and reviewing it. Fully honest reviews are the only kinds I can produce. So here it goes.
Premise: This is a science fiction novella featuring multiple dimensions and parallel realities. Several planets form an alliance and the people who created and lead it, the Lenoreans, are running out of the mysterious energy source which powers their world. In the meantime, two perfectly normal, albeit most likely smarter than average, human beings manage to create a rift in the time-space continuum, therefore raising the Lenoreans’ attention to them. When they realize that Earth may have what their people need to survive, things start getting really interesting.
It is obviously not possible to do much character building in a book this short, and it’s mostly about what each of them can do as opposed to who they are. However, they each have their own voice, and we still get a pretty good idea of their personality and place in the grand scheme of things.
The novella completely held me and I would have read it in one sitting were it not for real life responsibilities (darn that real life, always interfering with fun). I was especially captivated until chapters 17/18. Then I got immensely sad and kept hoping for things to turn to a better place but it did not come. Which is brilliant. I am so sick of and-they-lived-happily-ever-after endings. And the ending is not hopeless at all.
However, I did wish that I could have read more about this world. I wanted to know more about Keepers and Healers and First Engineers and their place in the grand scheme of things.
That’s what good writing does, right? Leaves you content but wanting more? I can only hope Parallel might be a prequel to a full length novel, but it was still a great ride. And it is not easy to write about parallel realities at all. Things can crumble very easily.
Anyway, I am rambling here and you still have no idea why I enjoyed the story.
Well, for one, Anthony’s unique writing style is well present here, though it does not deter from a strong plot line. I found myself laughing on quite a few occasions, including the first lines of the book, and completely mesmerized in others.
Imagine a world where we are not the smartest pea in the pod after all. There are people who can merge their minds with a supercomputer and compartmentalize their lines of thought. Multitasking taking to an extreme! Boy, I wish I could do that. Sadly, most times I cannot even recall the simplest mental list.
Anywaaaay, rambling again, sorry. So not only do these folks manage to do this – and the way they do it is brilliantly described – but they can also sort of broadcast their emotions, making the people around them feel what they feel. How amazing is that? Being able to calm someone who is nervous or immensely sad… Or throw them into fits of hysterical laughter because you are just so darn giddy with happiness!
There is plenty, plenty more in this story that will grip you, but telling it all would spoil it for you, right? As I am sure you can see by now, you will be entertained by it. And it won’t even take long, unfortunately.
So go read it!
Few things I noticed:
– In chapter 4, we are told that Ryol projected the calculations for Earth to reach the requirements to join the alliance. However, in chapter 12, we are told that the Madam Leader made those projections, which in turn led Ryol to recalculate the figures with this variable in mind.
– In chapter 18, we are told that Ryol brought great danger to Earth by opening a Rift between dimensions. But didn’t Gerald and Hari do that?
– Chapter 20: The warm air was not stale despite the lack of wind or movement. I am wondering how the heck they can even breathe if plants are not photosynthesising! This time freeze thingie confuses me.
– Also in chapter 20: They caught the sunset at the perfect angle – I thought the planet was frozen in midday?
Read from March 14 to 15, 2015
Disclaimer: I would like to thank the author for providing me with a free copy of this book.