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Posted September 15, 2013
Reviewed by Kathryn Bennett for Readers' Favorite
What would you do to save the one you love? Would you drop yourself into a virtual reality program that your wife created that is so advanced that when you are in it you cannot tell if it is the real world or the game? Welcome to "Speculum" and all the dangers that go with it. When a man entered the world his wife creates to save her he had no idea he would soon find himself hunted by government operatives and terrorists as well. Both sides want the game to use for themselves and their own purposes.
"Speculum" by Darryl Sollerh is indeed a very unique look into this world and what one would do for love and what you would do when pushed too far. The story line flows pretty well together and the book is interesting enough to keep your attention so that you will not want to put it down too quickly. There were a few points which I felt got a little bit mashed together; they could have been separated or explained a little better. However, even with those few points that were slightly confusing, the whole of the story is solid and with all the twists enjoyable and entertaining. I was thrilled with all of the thinking that I did while reading "Speculum". Not only was the story itself engaging to me but it truly made me ask, “would I do something like this for my husband?”, and “would he do something like this for me?”. Any book that can make me ask questions about my real life gets a recommendation from me to anyone who also likes to be challenged when he or she reads.
Posted September 15, 2013
Reviewed by Ty Mall for Readers' Favorite
"Speculum" by Darryl Sollerh is about Graham Lewis, a computer systems designer with a big problem. The morning after a great anniversary party, his wife Katie, who is a computer programmer for the government, is hospitalized. No one knows what is wrong with her, or how to fix it. Katie’s boss, Leo, finds Graham and tells him that her top secret project Speculum, which creates whole realities based on memories and feelings, could be the reason she is in trouble. Leo tells Graham to go inside his wife’s project to find the answers. As Graham is chased by two sets of men with guns, and wonders what is real with his wife’s doctor, a wine stain, and his dog, he realizes what has to be done. But the real truth is worse than anyone imagines.
The slight philosophical bent of this story fascinated me. I also enjoyed trying to put the pieces together with Graham, and thought the story did a great job of encouraging readers to search for the pieces that didn’t match up from the last time an event played out. I was saddened by the ending of this book. But sometimes that is what makes the most impact. And, by the end, I was confused about how Graham reached Speculum in the first place. I really enjoyed the plot, and I cared about what happened to Graham. Mr. Sollerh did a great job depicting Graham’s devotion to his wife, through it all. A whirlwind of a tale.
Posted September 15, 2013
Reviewed by Jack Magnus for Readers' Favorite
Speculum is a action/adventure novella written by Darryl Solerh. Graham and Katie Lewis are happily married techies who are celebrating their wedding anniversary with their friends after a leisurely morning in with just the two of them and their dog, Cha Cha. There’s much joy and merriment as the friends celebrate and toast the couple. Graham gives the perfunctory speech and Katie tries -- but all her practiced words fly out the window. After the speeches, Graham notices Leo, Katie’s lab partner, fixing a drink and seeming disoriented. Graham, still annoyed that Leo phoned earlier that morning, interrupting his and Katie’s Sunday morning moments, warns Leo to leave weekends to him and Katie. The party over, finally, Graham and Katie take, once again, the drive along the Pacific Coast Highway, renewing the spirit of the evening when they first fell in love. As they return to their car, their eyes are blinded by an oncoming vehicle. When Graham wakes up, everything has changed.
Darryl Solerh’s Speculum starts quite innocently, and even prosaically, as Graham and his wife celebrate their anniversary -- and this may lull readers into thinking that this novella is going to be predictable. I’m thrilled to say Speculum is anything but predictable. It’s an intense and thought-provoking journey into a nightmarish series of nested realities that Graham traverses in his quest to rescue his wife. In the fray, he contends with Secret Service operatives, hospital personnel, the terrorist Ahn Li and his cohorts, and his mercurial guides, Leo and Joe. There are vivid landscapes that flash before the reader’s eyes as Graham watches a tidal wave form and threaten to engulf the world or rushes through the deeply forested slopes surrounding Katie’s laboratory.
Speculum is a story you’ll want to read without stopping and then read all over again. There’s so much to absorb in this fast-moving and elegant story, and it’s all beautifully written. I highly recommend Speculum by Darryl Solerh.
Posted April 2, 2013