Saturday Book Review: “Paradox Effect”

Book reviews are a great way for self-publishing authors to gain exposure. After all, how can someone buy your book if he or she doesn’t know it exists? Paired with other elements of your book promotion strategy, requesting reviews is a great way to get people talking about what you’ve written.

When we read good reviews, we definitely like to share them. It gives the author a few (permanent) moments of fame and allows us to let the community know about a great book. Here’s this week’s book review, courtesy of Amazon reviewer faience:

Time Travel and Purified DNA Merge to Halt the Collapse of Human Existence gabriel koch

Paradox Effect: Time Travel and Purified DNA Merge to Halt the Collapse of Human Existence

by Gabriel F. W. Koch

Publisher: Outskirts Press

ISBN: 9781478756224

Synopsis:

In 2554, the World is Coming to its End, unless an impossible mission through 600 years of time travel succeeds. Maternal instinct knows no boundaries, including the nano-neural-net intravenously installed in Dannia Weston’s mind to repress her identity, allowing her to perform a mission 300 years before her time. Transported to the year 1954, Dannia becomes a woman with a mid-twentieth century persona, college educated with an aptitude for mechanical invention. Due to her work during the war, she is employed by the U.S. government on a secret project. But what no one knows-including Dannia or those who sent her back to tinker with the mechanical past to reduce future pollution-is what might happen should she become emotionally involved in 1954. The 2254 science team programmed the nano-net to prevent the possibility of pregnancy, but each person reacts to strong emotional stimuli differently, and using birth control not available in 1954 is out of the question. When Dannia falls in love with Peter Hersh and becomes pregnant, her hormones erode a small section of the nano-chained network that stabilizes her new identity, triggering a mild memory rebirth…and threatening her mission and the fate of the world.

Critique:

I’m picky about science fiction, but this time travel novel does three things that won me over. It willingly faces the question of whether changing history is an absolute wrong. The plot and the characters are complex. And the heroine is awesome.

In the year 2254 CE humanity has had a brush with near-destruction. The surviving remnant of political order decides it’s not only right, but vital, to develop time travel and use it to tweak history. Carefully chosen people with skills that can nudge humanity toward a better end are sent back to various times in history where they can make a difference.

One of those people is Dannia Weston, a government researcher working a top secret technology project in 1950’s America, and thank heaven the novel does NOT dredge up cliches about gender roles in the ‘fifties. Dannia, and the people she encounters and works with, are still the generation that worked together during World War II and earned each other’s respect.

Transplanting people from 2254 CE to the extinct culture of 1954 is tricky business. Their own memories are suppressed and replaced with personal histories that fit in the historic period to which they’re sent, and their knowledge is tailored to the period as well, advanced enough to dial back the doomsday clock, but not spectacular enough to draw dangerous attention.

Dannia’s particular assignment is an invention that will advance energy efficiency. If it can be implemented in the 1950s, the benefits for both environment and world peace are huge.

But a glitch occurs in this little interference with history. Dannia’s suppressed memory begins to awaken. Why? The answer – her unplanned pregnancy – comes early in the book, but produces more dangerous paradoxes that need delicate handling. Can this child be born? Can Dannia be extracted and brought back to 2254? Can her child? The passage in which the project directors talk about the paradox that would create was a mind-bender.

The other thing I liked is that the story doesn’t build its plot on stock-character bad guys. At worst, the man sent to hunt her is overzealous and ill-equipped to make the judgements he has to make, and his commanders are naive. What seems like a simple question of conflict between Dannia’s two lives in different centuries is actually a multi-layered, multi-century problem in which authorities are flying blind.

The book raises questions about fate and choice, about how many of the cards we deal ourselves and how many are dealt by an unseen hand. The story is exciting, mind-expanding, and often funny, with some amusing cameo appearances by historic figures, and the secondary characters are as unpredictable and interesting as the main ones. It’s a fun read.

reviewed on Amazon by faience ]

2016 CIPA EVVY Awards

3rd Place Winner in the Science Fiction/Fantasy Category!

CIPA EVVY Award 3rd place

Book Trailer


saturday self-published book review

Thanks for reading!  Keep up with the latest in the world of indie and self-published books by watching this space every Saturday!

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