by Arthur M. Doweyko
Kindle Edition, 280 pg.
Red Adept Publishing, LLC, 2016
Read: September 19 – 20, 2016
Apple Bogdanski is a morphine-addicted Vietnam vet still having trouble re-acclimating himself to civilian life. The re-acclimation becomes more difficult when the small Book Store he works at is broken into by some pretty nasty guys. There’s some fisticuffs, some gunplay and some damaged books. What keeps Apple from being as damaged as the books is a mysterious stranger, Angela. She’s a stranger, yes, but one that Apple is convinced he’s known for years — maybe his whole life — but he can’t put his finger on the “how” and “where” of such knowledge. What’s more important to Apple at the moment is that she’s saved his bacon from these thugs and is pretty attractive — a winning combination to be sure — he’s just not sure how she saved him, the explanation defies belief.
These events plunge Apple into a plot involving multiple intelligent races on Earth, a group of guys somewhere in outer space, a corrupt and powerful Roman Catholic Church, more beings like Angela and a good deal to chew on. Oh, and multiple threats to Apple’s life.
Aside from Apple, there are some pretty interesting characters here. We don’t ever really learn what kind of creature/being that Angela (or any of her kind) actually are — we do learn a lot about them, don’t worry, just not everything. Outside of battle, their abilities are a little to hard to get a real handle on. I was intrigued and wondered a lot — there’s evidence to support at least one interpretation, but it’s just a guess, so I’ll spare you. Shilog and Yowl are pretty interesting characters and one of them becomes pretty important to how things are moving through the later part of the book. I’m not going to fill you in on the details about them, because watching it be revealed is one of the most satisfying parts of the book.
There are some really painful anachronisms here — probably due to poor editing — they don’t ruin any plot points or anything, but they take you out of the moment enough to say, “Oh come on,” or something like that and make you doubt Doweyko’s idea to place things in ’75. Other than denying everyone around the action cell phones/cell phone cameras and surveillance cameras on every street corner, I don’t see the point in that setting, honestly. Again, it’s nothing to kill the story, but it’s enough to detract from it because you spend far too much time trying to figure it out.
This got the job done, and that’s about it, it was entertaining enough to keep you moving. But there’s nothing here that made me sit up and pay attention. I liked Apple as a character, and Angela really started to grown on me by the end. I do suggest picking it up if you have the means, but I wouldn’t urge you to rush into it.
Disclaimer: I received a copy of this novel from the author in exchange for my honest thoughts.