Monday, July 21, 2014

A Not So Singular World - Patrick Hatt

Jeremiah has spent his whole life searching for his parents with nothing but a faded picture of them to keep him going. His search had hit a dead end until his birthday rolled around and he received a gift, being run down by a car that seemed to have no driver. And that was the best part of his day. 

Jeremiah is just your average loner, content with just his trusty cat, Orlin.  Until a weird guy from the "Brother of Olympus" shows up, and he's told soon after he has cancer.  Or when a weird science dude goes to find him, and a punk Brit reality TV show host is hired to capture him, and well.  Things certainly turn topsy turvy for this fellow.

My rating: 4.5 out of 5 stars.

This is a great, action-packed story.  It hooks you from the very beginning and doesn't let you go.

There are very few books I've read this past year with a strong plot, and this is one of them.  You follow Jeremiah, our protagonist who starts off as a loner who talks to his cat more than the average person, finding himself caught in a whirlwind of events that could end the world as we know it.  The plot works off of some Greek mythology, but it puts an interesting twist on it, adding on different aspects to how the fantasy world coexists with our mundane world. It also introduces science fiction; I was a bit skeptical as to how it might work, since fantasy and science fiction don't often go hand in hand, but I was impressed by how well the science fiction wove into the fantasy aspect, working to add to it and create a more complex world.

The characters are all fully developed and very distinct from each other. I especially enjoyed the British reality TV star/bounty hunter, Rick Tracker, and watching him develop so much from what he was at the beginning. And, of course, I absolutely adored Jeremiah's camaraderie with his cat, Orlin.  Although the amount of times he talks to the cat is more often than the average person (acknowledged and played as a gag by the other characters), I felt that the relationship between pet and owner was very nicely portrayed and I found myself smiling at those parts. Most of the main characters go through character development, but it's subtle and gradual, as proper character development should be.

The writing reads like an action movie. Lots of action-packed scenes, loaded with witty one-liners that are actually witty.  I love it when authors invent new words, and the way they are used in the novel work wonderfully to create a vaguely futuristic vision (confirmed when one character mentions leading the country through the second half of the 21 century).  The writing is also very well paced, as you never have a real lull in the story.

Though this is a part of a series, I didn't feel cheated out of the rest of the story.  True, the story does end on a very exciting cliffhanger, but enough things are resolved and discovered within this story that you don't feel that the author

The only criticisms I can make are that there are a good number of typos in the book (though these don't force you out of the story to see what the author meant), and that dialogue tags (he said, they shouted, she murmured, etc) are used very sparingly.  While this, at times, can help get the pacing of the the story and make for snappy dialogue, it can get a bit confusing as to who is talking when there are more than three or four characters in a scene, especially in the beginning of the book, where you don't have a feel for each individual voice.

However, I wouldn't let that get take away from the exciting plot and unique characters.  I haven't read a book with so many characters and so much plot packed into a little over 350 pages for a long while, and in doing this, the author has created a brand new world that I think everyone would love to dip into.

You can find A Not So Singular World here.

 *Disclosure:  I received monetary compensation for this review; all opinions are my own.

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