Imagine a world with President Lieberman, and a 9-11 attack even worse than we experienced. Enter the mind of a young physics high school student, who starts out receptive the notion of hypnotism. He notices that online scans of century-old Electromagnetic texts omit a specific conjecture. For the most part this information is only found in hardcopies from one library. He digs. He draws conclusions. And.. things happen. Not gonna say anything else.
The book opens with a killer hook. The narration is insightful and strong. The pacing could be better; things start kind of slow as information is uncovered, then more happens at breakneck speed. The suppressed books are no fluke; this matters to the FBI and a connected conspiracy. The end doesn’t fully explain why. But if the reader uses their head they can figure out it has something to do with the existence of this alternate timeline. And after all: using one’s mind is a key theme in the book. The reader has to the same. Ultimately this is about a kid going from willing hypnotist subject, to being a leader who stands on his own feet – and it works.
It’s a comparatively grim alternate future, with stronger Big Brother elements than the ones we already deal with. But at least, in this alt reality, Firefly was never cancelled. I hope and expect Schantz writes a sequel. For a first time author, this is very good and well worth your time.
Disclosure: the author provided a free copy in exchange for an honest review.
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