Feedback contains three stories:
- one set in the Koreas (an unusual choice for science fiction and well done) where a South Korean rescue helicopter goes down behind enemy lines while on a search for survivors of a UFO crash
- one in New York City where Jason is drawn to an oddly lost young woman, and
- an epilogue off-world.
They all tie together by the end.
Jason is a physics student and I enjoyed his professor being more interested in the equations he “doodled” on the backs of his homework pages than in the assignment. His best friend talks in vulgar banter all the time, which you may find funny or irritating. Once Jason invites the odd young woman into his apartment to dry off from the rain (it rains a lot in this book), things get rapidly odder.
To avoid spoilers, I’ll simply say physics explains all the bewildering events and apparent inconsistencies that Jason experiences. You’ll recognize the premise involved even if you don’t read much science fiction, but there are satisfying twists at the end.
Peter Cawdron’s book is wildly popular – in the top 3% of its best Amazon kindle category. [UPDATE: It’s over a year since I posted this review and Feedback is still in top 4% of its category of Time Travel – yowzer!] If any of my books did that well, I’d be doing a very big happy dance. Those reviewers who disliked the book generally said the ending was confusing or left events poorly explained. Even some of the reviews Amazon calls “critical” as opposed to “positive” said the book was enjoyable, including some from readers who are not usual science fiction fans.
In addition to some action-oriented violence, possible triggers include a few f-bombs, the best friend’s randy chatter, and torture.
A note on torture:
As most Americans, I was horrified at the Abu Ghraib scandal where members of our military tortured Iraqi prisoners. While individuals must be accountable for their actions, I couldn’t help but feel our nation had let our soldiers down. These men and women were allowed to practice evil in a way that must scar them as well as their victims. Was it poor training? Lack of oversight? Deficient understanding by those in charge?
Or is it a larger cultural issue?
Since Abu Ghraib I’ve become sensitive to torture scenes in TV, movies, and books. I never realized before how pervasive torture is in our entertainment. Even old favorites from my youth, like Star Trek TOS, include torture – though mostly performed by “bad guys” in older shows. Today, even the “good guys” torture, commit violence, or threaten torture to succeed. Now I’ve even got a president who thinks torture is okay.
Are we creating a culture where torture is acceptable? It’s enough to make me wish for the good old fashioned Superman.
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