I gave this novel 4 out of 5 stars on Amazon and 3 (3.5) on Goodreads!
Marcus Metiline is a Patent Mediator pulled into a spiraling dispute and sequence of events connected with the man that holds nearly complete power over the region. After receiving a request to meet with this power broker, Colin Belis, Marcus goes through his daily routine on his way to the meeting. Nothing about his experience inside the Belis Co. complex is routine. He is put through mind altering and disturbing processes in route to the meeting and his conversation with Colin is as odd if not worse. He is asked to meet with someone who has placed a patent that conflicts with Belis holdings and once he meets with the man, a Dr. Avant, he is told that all he knows is a fabrication and a lie instituted by Colin and the Belis Co. The story progresses through myriad “retries” if you will, as each characters present, past and future merge in confusing and sometimes intriguing ways. You never truly understand who is good or bad and what the actual mission is that Marcus has undertaken until the end (though it was worth the wait). Without spoiling the end, I can say that it wraps up the confusion well and very nearly to complete satisfaction.
The writing was solid though I nearly put it down after the first chapter due to the emphasis on using long descriptions for every little action. I like writing that leaves some gaps for my imagination to fill in and get annoyed when too much is being explained. (See my blog post on the topic) Most readers will probably not mind and I am not saying there were no well constructed descriptions and it got much more streamlined the further I progressed through the story. The main thing I had against the novel was the complicated and convoluted story line. I never felt invested in one character as it not only switched between them so quickly and abruptly, but also between different characters (with more info or experience based on time and place) within the same people.
I am truly glad I stuck with the novel. The ending of the novel was its saving grace and makes me able to recommend this book to anyone who likes to think through a book and able to wait to find out large amounts of information. I recommend reading the book, as its rather short, in as few sessions as possible to keep track of what is going on. I feel like if the novel had been a short story instead it would have been one of my favorites in the Sci-Fi genre. There was just a little too much confusion throughout to completely enjoy it but I am now planning to invest some time to read J.D. Lee’s short fiction. He has a collection of short stories and flash fiction, The Future Next Door (We turn Back Toward Tomorrow Book 1) on amazon.
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