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Posted October 18, 2011
About the Book:
The story opens with Chester watching all the news coverage of Rhonda Romero's face transplant for money operation and recovery through the various news outlets. This is the woman he has passionately loved from afar for more than 20 years! We follow Chester as he makes the jump to 20 years earlier; his whole being bent on saving Romero from this fate worse than death - selling her face for billions (face prostitution). But some things don't make sense. Why is his car there when he goes back? Where did the purple shirt come from? Can he actually change events or will he have to suffer through everything again? And why, when everything he had with him came through unchanged, is he looking 20 ears younger? Who is Susan and why is she in the book?
As the story proceeds Chester is faced with problems trying to save Romero, problems with his present day self, problems with a bookie out to kill him, and problems trying to save another young woman's life
The basis plot is interesting. The first few pages piqued my interest enough to pay 99 cents. Yes, there was some torturous descriptions and similes but the plot felt like it would go somewhere new and different. Unfortunately, that was not the case. Have you ever watched one of those crime shows where the first five minutes is spent looking at the evil psychopath or through the eyes of the killer? Remember how eerie that is? The first 30% of this book feels just like that. To top it off almost half of the book is like this:
"Sometimes that which one wants to see least is the hardest from which to look away. It was a meek moment thrust into audacious light when Rhonda Romero, the fallen star and facial donor, exited the hospital two days later. The clicking, the flashing, the calamity of it all; it was both a sad intrusion and a powerfully obscure perversity."
"One discriminates one's company shrewdly in youth, lightly in adulthood, and with broad abandon in age. In youth, one expects the most interesting and perfectly uniform friends. By old age, one brightens just at the sight of another born within the same decade who might remember the same sone, movie, or event - one who might hold some knowledge on how to defeat their ticking nemesis or, in the least, help one better enjoy life's slow, automated ride."
Such passages wouldn't be terrible if the first half of the book wasn't ALL written this way. If any of you have read the original Frankenstein by Shelley and thoroughly enjoy the slow pace of the plot due to language such as this, you might well enjoy this book, For me, both were hard to read, but yes, I read them to the very end. For the last 25% of the book, Aleman finally lets the reader enjoy the plot, though his plot is quite thin in the end.
I didn't find the characters enticing nor fully filled out. Even our protagonist is a little hard to take because the first 20% or more of the book is spent wondering if he is a psychopath or not. It is hard to change horses in the middle of a race, even if it is a slow one.
I don't fully recommend this book to anyone but caution the reader to be wary. Much of the book reads like a treatise and I never did find it actually telling a good story.
I was barely able to put this book down for a second. It was very unpredictable. Aleman is a master at weaving different threads into one story line. You get to know all the characters and settings so closely that you feel like you're really there. It was a thrilling book with action and some interesting science. I couldnt put it down, and when I read the last page I wished it wasn't over. I was deeply satisfied with the ending of this book.Was this review helpful? Yes NoThank you for your feedback. Report this reviewThank you, this review has been flagged.
Posted January 1, 2010
I Also Recommend:
I must admit that time travel stories usually make my brain hurt: I get caught up in the whole paradox issue and can't focus on the story. Faces in Time doesn't do that at all - Aleman's concept of time travel is logical, clearly explained, and unique. No paradoxes here: if you go back in time, there are now two of you, and your future self may just run into your past self. That's what happens to Chester Fuze, and his past self is not at all happy about the appearance of another version of him.
A character-driven action book is such a rare thing; most of the action stories I've read lately barely delve into any sort of characterization. Not so with Faces in Time. These guys are complex and interesting - yet they never bog the story down.
The romance between Chester and Rhonda seems unlikely on the surface (a beautiful movie star interested in a somewhat dorky TV writer?), but Aleman's characters are so believable that you won't doubt for more than a split second. I was pleased at how realistic Rhonda was; Aleman gave her just the right amount of vulnerability without making her passive or boring.
The secondary plot line kept me guessing until the very end. Usually I can see how things will tie together (probably a result of reading too many detective stories), but this time I was taken completely by surprise. I love it when a book can do that!
Faces in Time shows off Aleman's talent with metaphors and descriptions, but the pace is faster and the tone is lighter than Cold Streak. The ending hints at the possibility of a sequel, while still tying together all of the loose pieces. It's satisfying but leaves you wanting a bit more - exactly how an ending should be.
Fans of Aleman's will be thrilled with his latest release, and those new to his writing will definitely want to check out Cold Streak for a darker, more metaphysical journey.