Rachel Brune's Reviews > The Journeyman

The Journeyman by Michael Alan Peck
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really liked it

I received a free copy of this book for an honest review.

First and foremost, I loved this book. I found it to be incredibly creative, well-plotted, and interesting, and it held my attention from the get-go. The prose was polished, and the author has an amazing gift for writing that leaves me wanting to read more and more and more. I could see this book as a movie, perhaps along the lines of "What Dreams May Come," or simply just an amazing Tim Burton flick, a la "Big Fish."

When we start, the main characters are on a bus heading out from Port Authority in a snowstorm. This is a situation I faced often when I commuted from the city, and I was brought right back to those days by the description of the scene. Something I always feared happens - the bus is in a wreck. From that opening tragedy, we find ourselves in another place, perhaps Purgatory, but definitely someplace where the people are connected on several different levels, including that of Essence. I'm not going to give away too much, but there is a bad guy who has been using this place for his own power, and our protagonists are left to fight against this tyrant.

As mentioned above, this story is well-plotted. The pace was excellent - I never felt like the author was rushing us along, nor did I ever feel like skipping over any section of the text to get things moving. The characters were well-rounded, with a mix of personalities, and none were all good, or all bad. The author had a great technique of throwing challenge after challenge at the characters, and leaving each section on a mini-cliffhanger, which kept me reading to find out what happened next.

The only quibble I had, which brought this to the 4-star rating, was something personal. One of the reasons I requested this copy was because one of the main characters, Annie, was described as a female Army veteran, and such characters are few and far between. As a female Army vet, I was very interested to see what the author did with this character. While I enjoyed the character for who she was, and like all the characters she was well-drawn and interesting, there were a few false notes with her right at the beginning that tainted my enjoyment. First, she was described as an "Army database manager." There is no such job. While some job specialties will utilize databases, there is no MOS (military occupational specialty) dedicated to managing databases. Also, her son is described as being treated by VA doctors. VA only treats veterans, not their children. Later, she was described as traveling in Iraq in an M113. I was wondering why she was traveling in this sort of vehicle instead of a HMMVW or MRAP, which was more common, especially for units that would be integrated by gender. Again, this is a personal quibble, and probably would go unnoticed by someone who wasn't a veteran, but I was left wondering if the author had done any sort of research before writing the character.

Other than that, again, I enjoyed the book. It is the sort of book I would read again, and if there is a sequel, I would definitely read that as well. I'm looking forward to more from the author, and definitely recommend this to all fans of speculative fiction, urban fantasy, or just a really good story.
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Reading Progress

Started Reading
February 20, 2015 – Shelved
February 20, 2015 – Finished Reading

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M.M. Hudson I just finished reading this book and reviewing it. I came over from his FB page to your review. I love your take on this and no, I would not known about the differences for military women. I really enjoyed reading that interesting and very personal take on his book.

Great review!

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