Wednesday, November 28, 2012

Edi's Spotlight: Revision 7: DNA by Terry Persun

Dear Readers,
it is time for my first review in November 2012. This review is a bit special because so far there is no review of the book available on GOODREADS.

A few weeks ago Emily Duncan from Booktrope sent me a review request which I accepted after reading the book description. She has been so kind to send me a digital copy of REVISION 7:DNA (e-book and pb, 2011) [ASIN:B009AHUELE; ISBN-13: 978-1935961505] by Terry Persun. In the meantime the author contacted me on GOODREADS and he is looking forward to my thoughts about his book.

Book Store Information
In general my decision to read a book is mostly based on the cover and the blurb/synopsis delivered on the back cover. You do not get more information when you are in a book store. The world of books is changing which means I also will take in account blurbs and descriptions on GOODREADS and other places.
Here we go:

REVISION 7:DNA (e-book and pb, 2011) 
[ASIN:B009AHUELE; ISBN-13: 978-1935961505]

"Time traveling robots, a walking medical experiment turned detective genius, and a kidnapped psychic combine in a story that will tear at your heart and get your adrenaline pumping.
The problem…
When it comes to investigating missing objects, Neil Altman stands out. After all, his parents severed the two halves of his brain when he was a child and then trained him to use each half independently. The problem is that he doesn’t believe in time machines, so Dr. Eric Steffenbraun’s project, stolen or not, already sounds far-fetched.
The proof…
Video is hard to deny, but Neil isn’t sure if the beings coming through the time machine are humans with masks or illegal humanoid robots. Besides, Dr. Steffenbraun could have faked the video if he feared the project was about to be cancelled.
The complication…
Neil’s wife, Mavra, is a well-known psychic in the area, and believes that Neil could be in danger. Knowing how she can get involved even when asked not to, he includes her in on the investigation. His plan is to keep her out of harm’s way. That is until she’s kidnapped.
The wildcard…
Miles away from Neil and the time machine, Fenny is trained to think on his own. He’s a utility robot with little understanding of what’s going on around him except what Dr. Smedley Klein has taught him—for now. Things are about to change for Fenny once Revision 7 is installed." [Source]

My Expectations
I like time travel stories. I must say I have been really curious how the author will cope with time travel.

The Delivery
The 265 pages of the story are divided into 34 consecutively numbered chapters. That means you get neither a map nor a list of characters. But to be honest you do not need them for this book.

After reading the blurb there is nothing left what I could and/or want to tell you about the story itself.

But there is still enough left to talk about. There are several story lines which are connect the one way or the other. It does not take long to identity that these story lines are represented by the characters. A lot of characters follow their own plans even they work together in a group.

This is definitely a character driven story enhanced with time travel theory.  There are two characters I liked most but for different reason.
Let me start with they extraordinary and strange Neil Altman. What a fascinating and eerie idea to train the two halves of his brain to act independently.  Imagine you talk to somebody who fix you with one eye while he is reading a book with the other eye and he follows the book and the discussion at the same time! I would always doubt if such a person would pay full attention to me. I admire Neil's wife Mara who lives together with him.
The second character is the robot named Fenny. Author Terry Persun did an incredible good job to describe he development of Fenny. There have been times during reading where I thought I could sense the same impressions and emotions as Fenny.

There is a lot of technical stuff - robot technology, time travel. Fortunately the author found a way to present this in an understandable and entertaining way.
Terry Persun did not forget to add a dose of action - do not expect planet wide battles - and a dash of humor.

No complaints? I must say I would prefer the term slight disappointment when it comes to the end of  REVISION 7:DNA. From my point of view the ending is shrinked to the minimum of explanation and emotion. I wanted to know more about a few things which I can't tell you because I do not want to spoil. Beside that the characters deserved to express more emotions because emotions are really important for the story.

Anyway if you like time travel, developing robots, a few extraordinary characters packed a in story with twist and turns and a dose of action, you should give REVISION 7:DNA a try. This is an entertaining science fiction story without starships, lightspeed and foreign planets. It covers the thrilling question about how human can robots be and gives you new input about time travel theory.

Additional information
There is an interview over at The Tarasphere where author Terry Persun talks about the idea behind the book and more.


Alex J. Cavanaugh said...

I like the sounds of it then!
And hope your day ended better than it began.

Rosalie Skinner said...

Looks like an interesting read.

ediFanoB said...

Hi Alex and Rosalie,

unfortunately I suffer from a sore throat and a severe cold since Wednesday. My voice nearly disappeared. Went to doctor Thursday who sent me home immediately. Had to take antibiotics.

It is definitely not a run of the mill sf story.

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