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Posted July 19, 2012
Jordan Pendragon is a star player for his high school hockey team in Salt Lake City. Neither he nor his twin sister Kathy seem to be anything other than normal representative faces of American high schoolers- that is until the car accident. This car accident changes their lives in more ways than one, as Jordan begins to have some very strange experiences. He even picks up a stalker- a very bold one at that who Jordan at first thinks is British. Kolin isn't the only one following however, and a friendly trip to the a carnival with friends turns into anything but a barrel of laughs. This is where things begin to reveal just how unaverage Jordan is, as he relaises the things he is seeing that seem to be part of our world are not...they are parallels elsewhere and Jordan can ride the slipstream to get there. An elsewhere that Kolin and their other pursuer happen to have come from. Using this ability intuitively, he manages to rescue himself, Kathy and Kolin from their violent pursuer and finds himself plunged into reality he could never have dreamed up.
A world that has seen violent devastation and where science has made many things possible. Cybernetically engineered vampiric succubi roam to catch the unwary, shape shifters mingle with humanity, and a crazed murderous cult are on the loose. Not to mention that the AI in charge of keeping society running has had some sort of psychotic breakdown and literally split itself into two personalities and bodies with violently schizophrenic results. Turns out all of the elements are very closely related to each other and young Jordan and Kathy have a crucial role to play restoring the balance of Avalon. A balance that is critical to reach, as earth is tied to it via the slipstream and so, the ultimate fate of one world depends on what happens to the other.
It's a heady mix of mythology, hard sci-fi, and yes, a bit of romance. If you despise techno-babble and find it hard to follow, you may find parts of this book not to your liking as Offutt goes into quite a bit of pseudo-science detail to explain the slipstream connection and the other marvels our heroes encounter. The romance is secondary to the plot, being part of the social and mental development of Jordan and Kathy as two youths coming of age while adjusting to a new environment. Kathy's character really begins to find her feet when she falls for Dylan and his puma familiar and begins to join in on their combat missions. Jordan , on the other hand, finds himself in another role- as Kolin's lover. With all else that's going on, the road to love is not a smooth one to happily ever after, but it's nice to see such positive role models within YA fiction. Kathy is a strong minded, intelligent, capable young woman that female readers will likely identify positively with, while Jordan is a the boy next door type- good looking, sporty, book smart but rather unexpectedly naïve at times. He's the kid everybody knows and likes and hey, he just happens to be gay.
This is the author's début novel and while the overall story is great, it does have a few rough edges, but nothing that I found made this unreadable or unenjoyable, though I did find myself bogged down slightly at one point with what seemed to be a slightly too long scientific explanation of a phenomena. That was earlier on within the novel and as the pages flew by, I could see that the author was hitting his stride. The prose really began to flow as the characters
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Posted February 10, 2013
Slipstream by Michael Offutt has a very entertaining concept. Combining Arthurian themes with examples of advanced technology, a society that where the rich buy the life essence of the poor, alternate realities, and spirit animals leads to a book that has a unique feel.
The story that the book tells heavily involves two things that I know almost nothing about hockey and advanced math. Despite those two things being featured I still really enjoyed this book. The characters are done well for the most part though I find the relationship between Kolin and Jordan to be pretty creepy. That being said I also feel the need to put in a disclaimer that there is a pretty intense sexual episode in this book, which is not something I enjoy personally.
I think this is the beginning of a great series and I'll be checking it out further. I've actually already read book II and will be doing a review of that soon as well. This is a great book for scifi fans who are looking for some new twists to the genre.
Posted September 18, 2012
This book grabbs your attention from the start and never lets go. I found myself devouring the pages as quickly as I could. I can't wait for the next book!!!
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Posted April 14, 2013
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Posted March 21, 2013
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