Donna Hole's Reviews > Slipstream

Slipstream by Michael Offutt
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's review
Feb 27, 2012

it was amazing
Read in February, 2012

Slipstream was a brilliantly written, YA sci-fi novel. Once I started reading, it was hard to put down. The main character Jordan Pendragon is a little difficult to appreciate at first; he is extremely intelligent and a superior athlete, with a self centered attitude and emotionless demeanor that can be a bit off-putting, despite the tragedy the story beginning. As the story progresses, however, so does Jordan's emotional growth. I attribute the early lack as the author allowing his character growth potential; and that is well done because there is distinct growth.

I have to admit I was more drawn to the alternate world of Avalon and the overall story plot than I was to the characters. The characters were excellenty portrayed; but the world and its unique technologies and concepts carried the story. Surgically implanted electronic and mechanical devices replaced the mystical natures of the vampire and succubi and aguments the currency and addiction aspects of the story with the ingenius discovery of Life Green; and an artificial intellegience (AI) stands in place of an all knowing God.

Each new concept introduced was fully explained by the intervention of science; and yes, it all made perfect sense. The author's ability to describe his settings and gadgetry in minute detail made the word vivid, imaginative, and quite real.

The overall story plot progresses through a complex structure of introducing the characters, the importance of their roles in resolving the crisis the AI's split personality (a literal split in two), explaining ramifications to both world (Earth and Avalon) if the AI is not ultimately cured of its insanity, and the development of trust relationships between all the chosen hero's. I was impressed with the story's level of intrigue.

I would have liked the story to focus more on Jordan's use of the slipstream to resolve the overall story plot, but as this is the first book in a series, I understand the focus on world building. And of course there is romance; what hero would be complete without a love interest to make saving two worlds more than just a task to be completed. The middle of the story has a slow down where the relationship issues between Jordan and the sexy bad boy Kolin navigate their way through tumultous issues of age, celebrity, and for Jordan, first love; but it picks up again once the romance plot is resolved. Jordan's twin, Kathy, also finds her heart captured by the combat veteran Dylan, and his puma familiar.

Overall, this was an exceptional integration of science, social issues, romance, theology, and yes, enough action to intruge any James Bond/Dr Who enthusiast. While I had grivances with some of the author's stylistic choices (pov and consistent use of pronouns) which are acceptable for most readers, I highly recommend this novel with a five star rating for creativity, and I look forward to the next installment, Occulus.

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