Friday 15 April 2016

Patchwerk by David Tallerman - A Review

I believe there is only one word to describe this Sci-Fi/Thriller novella - Exhausting. But don't get me wrong here, not exhausting in a bad way, more in the fact that the story starts at pace and doesn't really have anywhere the reader would want to stop until the final page - at which point a few hours (admittedly, enjoyable hours) have passed.

The basic premise of Patchwerk is that Dran Florrian has invented a machine, The Palimpsest, that can manipulate alternate universes. A 'shady organisation' (as you might expect) wants the machine for their own nefarious ends and even enlist his ex wife Karen in their scheme. What ensues is a fight and flight story that follows Dran and Karen through several Alternate Universes (AUs) where we get to see different versions of them (including one where they swap genders)trying to keep the machine (and themselves) out of the wrong hands.

What I liked - This was a good, short read with plenty going on. It reminded me of something along the lines of The 39 Steps or North By Northwest but put into a future Sci-Fi setting. The idea of different versions of the characters in different realities was handled well as were the AUs. The resolution for the relationship of the Dran and Karen characters was done in such a way that it seemed more believable than your typical Hollywood ending.

What I disliked - There were moments when I had to go back and reread sections just to be clear on what was going on but that was mostly down to the pace of the prose not any fault with the writing itself.

I will say at this point that I read Patchwerk earlier on in the year with the intention of reviewing it but for some reason I seem to have mislaid that review. Anyway, on realising this and re-reviewing I read the book again and must say it is a better read second time around (probably because I had a better idea of what was going on and what to expect).

So, in short, a fast paced, if at times slightly confusing story that warrants a second read for full benefit - 4/5 stars

Final thought - somebody needs to get hold of the film rights to this - it would look great on The Big Screen

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