Saturday, December 10, 2011

Nine-Tenths by Meira Pentermann

Leonard Tramer’s time machine takes him nowhere near the past, but meddling with time destroys his future. When he steps out of the defective machine, he enters a totalitarian state which resembles East Germany more than the free world he left behind.

All it takes is nine-tenths of a second to make a mistake. Nine-tenths of a second can change the world. Leonard Tramer learns this lesson the hard way. He made a mistake when he was younger and has spent the last 30 years trying to figure out how to go back and fix it. With the best of intentions, he figures it out, but what happens when you change the past? You change the future too.

I have read a lot of books about dystopian societies. They can really be hit or miss. This one was a hit.
Not many of these type of books focus on families fighting their way through these oppressive worlds. Usually everyone is evil except that one person struggling to get free but not with this one. That's one thing I really enjoyed about this book. Leonard, his wife Alina and their daughter Natalia all band together to cross all barriers to get to a better place.

Pentermann really brought this 'alternate reality' to life. I was pulled in almost immediately. The characters were all well developed and the world they live in can truly be terrifying at times. At many points in the story I felt my stomach lurch with dread or anticipation with what was coming to the characters.

I loved how the story gradually unfolded. The changes were slowly unveiled to Leonard and to the reader, which made it that much more a page turner. It didn't focus mainly on the political aspect of the story either, like most do, it wraps you up in the characters and the story line. It was very well written and a great story.

What impressed me a lot was that the author self-published this book, yet it was well edited and free of mistakes. I did find one little mistake toward the end but I can let that slide since the rest of the book is just that good.

My one issue was that a big part of it was just a bit predictable to me. I had a very good idea of what went wrong and why it all changed and, for the most part, I was right.

I'd recommend reading it, though, if it strikes your fancy. It definitely breaks the mold a bit on the genre.
Very good read.

4 out of 5 stars

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