It's Book Review Wednesday, the day I get to share with you the great books I've read.
Today, we're going to talk a bit of science fiction…
A strange room is unearthed during the building of an amusement park. With the room’s bizarre but inoperative knobs and gadgets, the amusement park developer believes it will make a great attraction for little kids. Unfortunately for the first group to enjoy the attraction, the room turns out to be something they never expected. The need to work together is vital, but the situation brings out the worst in the people involved. Giancarlo tries desperately to lead, but he’s frequently thwarted by Quinn. While the adults fight for control, the power rests with the children.
My Review: 3.5 Stars
I'm not a huge science fiction fan, but I was willing to approach this book with an open mind. The first chapter had my interest (I love a mysterious extraterrestrial object as much as the next guy), but from the moment the rest of the characters were introduced, my interest waned a bit.
For starters, there is A LOT of head-hopping (randomly changing POV without a break in the story). There is a lot of story going on, but there is no real sense of the character. There is almost no inner dialogue going on, nothing to show us what the characters are thinking or feeling beyond their facial expressions and words. For this reason, it's hard for us to care about the characters, because we can never see through their eyes.
The wording also tended to push me out of the POV just as I was getting into the character's frame of mind. That random switching of POV really made it hard to read, and it made it even harder to connect to the characters.
There was one scene where a character is alone in the dark, and that was the only time that I actually felt like I was in the character's head. The rest of the time there is very little "sense of place", and there was nothing to engage my senses.
Also, the characters are UBER-aggressive. While having one or two aggressive characters is understandable, it was like the entire book was one bad word away from having everyone knife each other. I almost expected there to be some alien mind-control causing all the aggression and anger, but it was just the characters. Not realistic at all, and this is coming from me--a fairly aggressive person by nature. Just too much testosterone.
That being said, the story's twists and turns definitely surprised me, and I found it intriguing. I kept wanting the characters to explore more of the ship to see if they would find alien life, or if they were alone. The ending may have disappointed me, but the buildup to that point was pretty good.
Here's a Taste:
Tori rubbed her shaking hands together. When she tried to speak she felt a hitch in her throat and she coughed slightly. She glanced at the others. “Nothing in this room is supposed to work,” she announced. “The lights and sounds are for show.”
Quinn shook his head. “No, I don’t think so. You’re lying.”
“I’m not,” Tori replied, a tear forming in the corner of her eye.
“Bullshit,” Quinn snapped. “If it’s all just for show why did that door close? Someone touched something and the door closed on us. That doesn’t sound like just a show to me.”
Tori shook her head and wiped a tear from her cheek. She winced with pain as she moved her injured wrist and tried to make it comfortable again. The hint of movement caused her to glance up in time to witness Quinn reaching down and grabbing her by the hair. She screamed as he yanked her to her feet and pushed her against the wall.
“Enough lies, bitch,” Quinn shouted, his face inches from hers. “Tell us how to open that fucking door!”
“Relax, Quinn,” Giancarlo told him. “There’s no need for that. and watch your language.”
Quinn glanced at him then stared at Tori. “Answer me!”
“I can’t,” she cried. “I don’t know how to open the door. It shouldn’t have closed to begin with.”
“What?” Quinn snapped, releasing Tori and letting her slip to the floor as he turned to see Giancarlo standing a couple of feet away.
“No more violence,” Giancarlo said. “Hurting people isn’t going to get us out of here. We have to stay calm.” Without waiting for a response, he knelt next to Tori and helped her sit up. “How do we open the door?”
Tori shook her head and looked at Quinn. “I already told you. I have no idea how to open the door. It was open when they found it.”
“What are you talking about?” Quinn asked, taking a step closer to Tori. She huddled against the wall and raised her knees to her chest. “What do you mean the door was open when they found it? Who found it?”
Tori hid her face in her knees and her shoulders bounced as she sobbed quietly. Giancarlo reached out and squeezed her shoulder. “Tori,” he said, using the softest voice he could manage, “what aren’t you telling us? Where did this room come from?”
Tori rocked back and forth as her shoulders shook. She glanced at Giancarlo. She wiped her face with her uninjured hand and took a deep breath. “Two years ago, when they were building the park, the construction crew found this place. It was sticking out of the side of the slope. The door was open. Nothing in here worked, no matter what they tried. They decided to make it into an attraction.”
“She’s lying,” Quinn said.
Giancarlo looked at him and shook his head. “I don’t think so. I’ve done enough questioning in my time as a cop. I think she’s telling the truth. At least, she believes what she’s saying.”
“That’s it then,” Quinn declared. “We’re screwed.”
About the Author:
Author C. Lloyd Brill lives in California with his girlfriend and ten cats. When not writing he enjoys reading and cross-stitching as well as hiking and star-gazing. As a former Marine, he supports, and will donate a percentage of all proceeds to, the Wounded Warrior Project. He also contributes to anthologies that benefit other worthy charities.
You can find the book on Amazon: http://amzn.to/1h4fIPz
As well as on Barnes and Noble: bit.ly/1l5z3DO
Talk to him via Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/pages/C-Lloyd-Brill-Author/274230026061204
Or send him a Tweet: @CLloydBrill