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2017 Reading Challenge

Jill Elizabeth has read 2 books toward her goal of 150 books.
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Book Review: Where the Hell is Tesla? by Rob Dircks

“Official Interdimensional Travel Observation #3: Be VERY careful with stuff you pick up in other dimensions. There are infinite possibilities, and infinite ways to accidentally kill yourself.”

This was a FANTASTIC read – I honestly cannot say enough good things about it… It was snarky and original and clever and absolutely one of the most fun books I’ve read this year. Rob Dircks has created a world that is believable, even in its most bizarre moments; characters that are endearing, even in their most inane; and a plot that is engaging and engrossing, even (especially?) when everything is running off the rails…

Chip is a delightful Everyman protagonist, full of personality quirks and foibles that would probably be infuriating in a real person, but are absolutely spot-on perfect in this story. His story arc is a nicely massaged personal growth tale, delicately buried in layers of infinite possibilities, ridiculously funny missteps, and a series of surprisingly sharp self-realizations that are delivered without an ounce of self-consciousness or preachy irksomeness. Pete is a fantastic foil for this, as are Tesla and the other secondary characters – all of whom provide just the right balance of personalities to keep the story relatable, regardless of which particular personality type you are/believe yourself to be.

The book is epistolary. I usually struggle with this as a format; it is difficult to write letters that don’t feel forced while delivering adequate backstory and detail to really pull readers into the lives they are reading about. In this instance it worked perfectly though, and I found myself sucked into the story within the first pages. I think what makes the style work so well is the meticulous attention to detail – it’s the little things, like the same date/time on every email, the grayness of the ITA, and the repetitive back-and-forth banter between Chip and Pete, that really make this story come together so tightly.

Honestly, I can’t say enough good stuff here – read this one, you will NOT be sorry. It’s hysterical and snarky and touching and clever and just plain fun.

My review copy was provided by SFWA (Science Fiction Writers of America) through NetGalley. Check them out – they have some seriously talented writers!

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