Tuesday, 7 February 2012

Book Review: Renouncing the Future by Stephen Kata

Renouncing The FutureSarah is a single mum living in rural Minnesota, her life is her son and her job. She has seen strange stories appearing in the local papers about people blacking out and coming to without their clothes, but she doesn't realise she's going to get caught up in the story. James Noland is a space pilot from the 22nd century, and he's the one preventing bad deeds being perpetrated and erasing memories. After a plot to kill him goes wrong he travels through time and lands in Sarah's town, with a talking dog for a sidekick. His acts are a way of biding time until someone finds his ship, with its cargo of lethal nerve gas, so he can neutralise it and eliminate the possibility of wiping out a lot of people. As he gets to know Sarah he is finds someone to share his secrets with and romance starts to blossom.

This book is a real blend. There's an obvious sci-fi element, but while it sets up the story it has a minor role to play otherwise. The main ingredients are action and romance with a bit of humour along the way. I found this a quick and easy read, and once I started I found it hard to put down. It was one of those books where I kept lying to myself that I'd just read another couple of pages. The plot is uncomplicated and easy to follow and there's no baffling in-depth science to try and understand, explaining what has happened. Saying it wasn't a challenging read may sound like a strange compliment but it was a good thing, as I was able to sit back and enjoy rather than trying to figure out the whys and wherefores.

Noland and dog Newton make an unlikely pairing but the banter between them and their experiences made them endearing to me, and to Sarah. She has to overcome her initial scepticism about Noland, who after all has some pretty strange tales to tell. Sarah's new friend also attracts the attention of a local reporter in search of a scoop, threatening to undermine his efforts. This adds to the tension and provides a good counterpoint to the developing romance. Noland has a hint of a modern knight in shining armour, rescuing the damsel but without being too saccharine about it.

I found the book well-formatted and don't remember spotting any typos. The writing flows nicely and, although sci fi and romance aren't my usual thing, I really enjoyed this book.

Format: Kindle, review copy
My Rating: 4*

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