Book Review–SLIPSTREAM by Michael Offutt

From Goodreads:
Jordan Pendragon is crazy good at fixing situations that have gone bad. It’s a talent prized by his high school ice hockey team. However, when a car accident puts Jordan in the hospital, he wakes up with more than just an amazing slap-shot in his toolbox. Jordan can manipulate space-time and in just a few weeks, he’ll depend on it to save his life.

When earthlings detonated the first atomic bomb in 1945, something incredible happened. The detonation triggered an extinction level event on a parallel world. A computer program saved humanity and became the ruler of this place. However, its brilliant mind fragmented and became insane.

Jordan’s power strands him in this nightmare universe. To get home, he becomes a professional in a sport where athletes are killed to boost network ratings. To survive, he discovers that the most broken among us can be fixed and that love is unpredictable. Near the end, he also learns a startling truth about his own birth. If he fails to fix the computer’s insanity, both Earth and this sister world are doomed.

My Take:
Hold on to your seats, I’m sure many of you will not have seen this coming. The average Mormon Girl reads and likes a book with gay characters. 😉

Let’s break this down in to bite sized chunks.

The Science

This book is not for everyone. Michael does a wonderful job digging deep into the world of physics to explain what the slipstream is and how it works. I love this kind of stuff even though my mommy brain has a hard time keeping up with it. Perhaps this is why I love it. It gives me a chance to step out of my housekeeping roll and stretch my brain. Michael’s science is what makes this book so amazing. It ties everything and everyone together.

Avalon (The parallel world)
This is where the story really started for me. Before this point I was interested, but not really invested. Avalon is gritty and raw and the technology and society so different from our everyday that I was hooked. The world building was brilliant. In fact, I kept comparing it to the movie In Time. Stay with me for a moment. They are completely different worlds, but both are built and depend on certain truths: 1. Who has the power? and 2. What is the real world currency?

In the movie it’s time, in Slipstream it’s the essence of life (green, yellow, etc.) The layers of society fall into place based on who has enough power to get it. The lower levels work on selling or stealing it. Plain and simply brilliant.

The Characters
It took a little while to get into some of the characters, (and then I think I liked some of the minor ones more than the main ones), but these are not your average stock characters. Each one is unique and well rounded. My favorite is Dylan with his puma familiar.

The Plot
Who doesn’t love a quest to save the world? Two worlds even? The fact that the main character can use the slipstream to “see” and move through time to learn what he needs to is fascinating. He uses it to live through several unique circumstances. My only problem was they solve one problem and get the next quest in the last few pages. Now I have to wait to see how this team of friends is going to find the Black Tower in our world.

The Romance
The romance is simple but powerful. Two people looking to be accepted and loved for who they are. Isn’t that what we all want in the end? I didn’t read the actual sex scene, so no comment there. Don’t take it personally or think its an act of prejudice, I skip all explicit scenes no matter what combination of body parts are in play. Just a personal preference.

I give Slipstream by Michael Offutt a 4 because of the excellent world building and solid science to back up his creations.

Rating scale for book reviews.

1-5 scale and what it means:
1: I couldn’t even finish it / just plain bad
2: I hope I didn’t pay for this / disappointing
3: I didn’t hate it, but it was still missing something / forgettable but inoffensive
3.5: On the line between good and ok / like, not love
4: Solid mind candy / worth reading
4.5: So very close to perfection! / must read
5: I could not put it down and I’m still thinking about it! / a true treasure

Michael has a great blog, check it out.

Slipstream is available for:

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About charitybradford

Science fiction and fantasy writer and blogger. My first novel is now available--The Magic Wakes (WiDo Publishing, 2013)

Posted on May 4, 2012, in Book Review, debut books, follower appreciation. Bookmark the permalink. 8 Comments.

  1. Charity, very thorough review. And candid too. Thank you! I'm happy for Michael. I hope his book sells well.

  2. such a detailed, stellar review! yay! now i know what i'm in for!

  3. Thanks Charity! You are awesome. If I were a genie, I would grant you three wishes.

  4. And I would know exactly what I'd wish for!

  5. I'm about 200 pages in. Thanks for no spoilers.

  6. I read this on Goodreads already and I thought it was an excellent review, Charity. ^^

  7. Help people, let's unite for one good cause, be a volunteer"save live"!mawaddainternationalaid

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