Monday, July 13, 2015

Rich's review of This Changes Everything by Sally Ember

Reviewed by -- Rich M.        

Book Review of -- This Changes Everything by Sally Ember        

My overall star rating --- 1        

About the book:
Dr. Clara Ackerman Branon, 58, begins having secret visits from holographic representations of beings from the Many Worlds Collective, a consortium of planet and star systems in the multiverse. When Earth is invited to join the Collective, the holos choose Clara as liaison between Earth and the Many Worlds Collective to make the secret visits public and guide Earth's new leaders. While Earthers adjust their beliefs and ideas about life, religion, culture, identity and everything they think and are, rebellions and conflicts arise. The Collective works with Clara to create the Psi-Warriors who fight the leaders of the resistance, the Psi-Defiers. With multiple re-sets needed to revise the past and future to save lives, in which of the timelines in the multiverse does her love, Epifanio Dang, get to be with Clara? Over Clara's thirty-year term as Chief Communicator, Earthers must undergo major transformations.  

Book creation ratings:
Overall total -- 7 out of a possible 30
-- Story & characters -- 1
-- Cover & title -- 1
-- Editing & formatting -- 5
* based on a 1-10 scale with:  1-4, poor; 5-7, good; 8-10, very good.*

The review --
Confusing and dense. That’s the big thing about this book. A reader doesn’t know if this should be metafictional, metaphysical, or what? 

The author seems to be aiming for something along the lines of Fringe or some similar concept using alternate worlds, but goes into from the wrong way (at least to me, and I’m someone who can tell you who lived on Earth-2, Earth-X, Earth-616, and easily followed the dimension jumping in Heinlein’s books). This is one of many books that I’ve read recently that attempts to be “multimedia” and fails horribly. 

Many chapters are prefaced or consist of media-style transcripts of conferences and the like, that, had they been formatted a little differently from the main narrative (assuming that can be found here), they would’ve added a bit more to the story. As it is, it’s more of a mess than anything else. 

This is perhaps the first book that I have ever found to be offensive. I have no problem with most things; hell, you can write about fisting nuns and putting kittens into woodchippers while wearing Nazi regalia, and if it’s interesting, I’ll have no problem with it. And I can understand wanting to key the story into major real-life events, but to conclude that Chernobyl, the Challenger disaster, and the Columbia’s destruction were due to “memory lapses” is OFFENSIVE to the brave and talented people who died in those tragedies. That simple passage put me completely off this piece of crap book, and anything this writer WILL EVER write in the future. She is a non-entity from now on.        

I attempted to read another 20% or so into the book, but nothing really improved.  The book isn’t really worth wasting my time on. Let me give you a little background: I've read nearly 800 books over the past two-and-a-half years.  I've finished every single one of them, good or bad. Except this one.                

Reader Recommendations
Genre -- (supposedly) Science fiction        
Age recommendations -- Adult        
Sex content rating -- n/a                
Violence rating -- n/a

Links for the book:

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