I’ll be reading and reviewing every semifinalist for the Self-Published Science Fiction Contest! Check out my list with blurbs, covers, links, and first impressions for all the semifinalists here. Please let me know what you think of any/all of these books! I love comments, and love talking about books.
Echoes from Another Earth by J. Daniel Layfield
Cross-dimensional consequences are the name of the game in Echoes from Another Earth. We meet Josh, who has awareness that he’s living multiple different lives across different dimensions.
The book has a great opening, selling readers immediately on the story of Josh, even as it reveals that he’s not the greatest person. As openers go, finding out the city your main character is in is about to get blown away by an asteroid, and that he somehow doesn’t really mind much, is a good one. This got me invested in Josh as a character right away. I was going strong with it, and then more characters and viewpoints are introduced, and then we got more characters and viewpoints. And the book went from seeming to be pretty serious to introducing a bit more comedy than I was hoping for at the beginning.
The other viewpoints we get are a scientist who’s working to solve the problems that are cropping up with the dimensional interactions and an admiral who is dealing with questions of loyalty. As I read these other viewpoints and kept returning to Josh as well, I kept hoping for a tone and story more like those opening chapters than I was getting. Admittedly, that’s largely on me as a reader, but I can’t avoid feeling a bit disappointed by the way the story played out being so different from what my expectations were after the beginning.
The story we do get has stakes that are pretty high, but a lot of them are played for laughs more than for the intensity of the plot. Ultimately, the book is more a buddy comedy about multiverse than it is a drama. The obvious comp book is Blake Crouch’s Dark Matter, but where the latter plays it straight and serious, this one turns to some hijinks and humor. If that appeals to you, this book is definitely for you.
Echoes from Another Earth is an interesting take on dimensional interactions. Those looking for a take on multi-dimensionality should check it out.
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