Monday, December 1, 2014

Quantum mechanics in modern fantasy

What a wonderful Thanksgiving weekend. I am grateful to have had such a relaxing break from work with my family. It really recharged my soul. I was also able to read quite a bit. One of the books from the weekend was a gift from the author. I really liked the concept of the plot so was pleased to be invited to review it. I think it could be placed somewhere in between the Sci-Fi and Fantasy genres; it definitely has aspects from both present. The novel should appeal to quite a large crowd.

The Branches of Time by Luca Rossi

I found this book to be very intriguing. The first couple of chapters were a little rough as I got used to the author's writing style. The flow and language didn't pull me in right away (which could be caused by some translation struggles), but I am glad I continued reading. The pacing evens out and we get to the meat of the problem for the protagonists pretty quickly leaving plenty of pages for the actual development of characters and plot. I was extremely pleased with the depth of world creation happening straight from the beginning.

There are a lot of threads being carried out simultaneously in both time and space. We have two countries that were once one. They are divided by physical barriers to keep each other safe from one another, but 2,000 years later the citizens are questioning the wisdom of their forefathers. Then we have some time travelers. Then we have some aliens/gods (who knows just yet) watching over all of it. That is a lot to have happening. Surprisingly, I didn't really feel all that lost with the characters. Each chapter has a feel of its own to separate out where the story is going.

Some of the character arcs are not to my liking, but that is all a matter of personal taste. Once again, I find a book getting a little too explicit without the real need. Especially when all the other scenes are handled so wonderfully without it. It does give the story a nice dynamic difference, however, and I certainly hate the character (which I am pretty sure is to be expected of me). I guess I'm just not ready to role with the literary times of gratuity.

What I truly enjoyed about the story was the concept. Time travel and quantum mechanics can bring up the most fascinating discussions. I really appreciated Rossi's description of how time and space are interconnected like the branches of a bush. There was a lot of thought provoking story line despite feeling like the narrative was a little chaotic. The ending just sort of happened, and I kept hitting the forward button on the Kindle anyway looking for the last chapter. 

Honestly, I just think there was a lot for the author to tackle with so many story lines needing to be woven together. Certain aspects are going to suffer with all the juggling. I look forward to seeing where the series goes, and I give this first novel a healthy 4 stars. 

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