Second Chance – Book Review
Second Chance is the first of the Transcendence Trilogy – Book 1. I had been meaning to read and review this book quite some months ago but for various reasons my reading schedule was interrupted. Thankfully though, my blogging, writing, and reviewing schedules are now slowly returning to something approaching normal service, which is just as well as I shall now be adding Absent Souls, the second book of the trilogy, to my ever-lengthening reading list.
Second Chance by Dylan Hearn is a book I discovered via a reblog by Graeme Cummings (author of Ravens Gathering) of an excellent article by Dylan Hearn on mutual support among Indie and self-published authors. As well as being an author, Dylan Hearn writes and maintains a blog that is a wealth of information to any new or aspiring writer, particularly self-published ones. For further information and links to Dylan Hearn please see:
(The Transcendence Trilogy – Book 1)
By Dylan Hearn
(Available from Amazon in both Ebook and print formats… click on cover pic for further details)
This is a book I discovered via the world of blogging and occasional mentions on various other social media. Set in a near dystopian future this is a multi–stranded thriller that combines elements of science fiction with political intrigue, abduction and murder, all set against the murky backdrop of big business and globalisation. Mixed in amongst the plot we have a pretty young researcher who has gone missing, a newly elected politician trying to make a difference to the world she lives in, and some highly sensitive research into cloning and life extension, all playing a part in a world that is post major political and climatic upheaval. What makes this book especially believable is that much of the technology and the political landscape can all be seen in the world we live in today, albeit in embryonic form: Google’s driverless cars and data glasses, online polling, attempts to connect the entire world via the internet, speculation about both the climate and political consequences of global warming… all these factors are more developed in the book, but clearly have their origins in the present.
There is a lot going on this book, and it would be easy for the reader to get confused were it not for the author’s clever writing style and technique; the book is divided into three parts with over fifty well defined chapters. Rather than trying to combine all the elements of the book in one go, different characters and elements are introduced in separate chapters. The story and part each character plays is told via these different chapters but with sufficient overlap and reference to the others to bring the story together as a whole thus making an otherwise complex plot surprisingly readable and easy to follow.
The dialogue is sharp and crisp, and used to good effect to bring out the character traits of the protagonists and to drive the story forward. I must admit it took me a couple of chapters to get a grip of the way the story was going but that’s nothing unusual in a book of this complexity. Throughout the book there are hints and references to the events and circumstances which led to the world in which the book is set but very little specific detail, and I think more attention to that aspect would have given the book and the characters a greater depth. I would also have liked a stronger epilogue tying up some of the loose ends but with two more books to follow it’s quite possible we’ll be learning a lot more of that in the future.
Overall, this a thoroughly believable glimpse into a very possible future that might well be nearer than we realise. This was a fascinating and entertaining read that pushed all the right buttons for me, and I shall certainly be reading and reviewing book two of this trilogy.
Click on cover pic for link to book two in this trilogy: