Overstrike, by CM Angus: #BookReview.

373 pages

Time Travel/Science Fiction/Alternative History

Thoughtful, engaging science fiction with a real handle on a scientific topic is less common than might be expected, bearing in mind the name of the genre. But Overstrike is a great example of how it can be done well.

Looking at themes of free will and ethics, and exploring the idea of multiple universes as a practical phenomenon, touching on retro-causality, cause and effect, and retribution, it takes the reader on a complex journey, where reality is often difficult to separate from fantasy, confusion, dream and unreliable memory.

In this story the protagonists are faced with an opportunity to do great good using a rare gift that is, perhaps inevitably, misappropriated by those with venal ambition and others who embrace the right-wing creed of control for the ‘good’ of those they master.

That the mistaken abuse of the gift is exposed for what it is does little to prevent those in charge from taking all steps they feel are necessary to retain control. It is a study of the bully placed in a position of power, of the gifted individual with the courage to risk all in a stand against such abuse.

There is building fear here, great tension, and a convoluted plot that takes the reader on a ride that is sometimes violently undulating. It is a book that will make the reader wonder at the nature of truth and even of reality.

The protagonists are frequently misunderstood, rarely valued for their remarkable abilities, but continually subject to the whims and demands of those who control them.

Will right overcome the abuse and undo the deliberate distortion of the misused gift? You’ll have to read the book to find out.

This is the first in a proposed series and I was delightfully surprised by the way that aspect of this book was handled. Unlike many series, this first book can be read on its own; the story is complete and very satisfying. But the sequel promises to re-engage readers.

[Any review is a personal opinion. No reviewer can represent the view of anyone else. The best we can manage is an honest reaction to any given book.]

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