New 4* review for MISSING TIME on Amazon, from reader (and writer!) Phillip T. Stephens:
“J. David Clarke’s Missing Time (313) runs your brain through a meat grinder, pounds it with a tenderizer and then, when you think you’re finally fashioned into a meat patty ready to be served up for the ending, he tosses you against the wall. Don’t expect to escape with a neatly tied up ending, Missing Time is the appetizer for the next course in the series and Clarke leaves you dripping down the wall hoping to be scooped up by the pages of the next book.
Yes, I prefer books to come to a clean cut end, even books in a series. Then they can set up the sequel. Hence, I’m holding back the final star. But in this case I’ll forgive him.
I recognize that sometimes you want to be left dangling. Not to mix metaphors but to switch them, if you ever had that girlfriend or boyfriend—you know the one—the classic tease, who could flatten you against that wall, totally electrify you and then walk away leaving you wanting more, this would that book.
Missing time opens with a shark about to discover he stumbled into faster waters than he can handle. The woman he’s stalking makes him look like a minnow, only she discovers she’s prey as well. If this seems like a peek into an Escher drawing, be prepared, Missing Time uses timelines like a roller coaster to propel readers through the Moebius-strip narratives of eight students who survive a bus crash (bus 313) that leaves them with supernatural powers.
The students experience more than new powers. Each experiences a different perception of the crash with a different origin story for their powers. Some try to hide their powers, others embrace them, but all become the targets of the military and a mad scientist who see them as a threat to humanity.
Or do the military see a threat? And is the scientist really a scientist?
Clarke has more tricks up his sleeve than Penn and Teller in an unrated Vegas show. As soon the heroes, and readers feel they’ve finally figured out the storyline, Clarke lifts the veil and they realize it’s all been misdirection. When will he finally reveal the gag? Hopefully by the end of book three, but until then readers will see enough smoke and mirrors to make the ride worthwhile and punch that button to download book two, Time Spent (which I have on my iPad waiting for me to read).
Phillip T. Stephens is the author of Cigerets, Guns & Beer and Raising Hell.”
Mr. Stephens, thanks for taking the time to read and especially to post a review. Judging by the colorful and punchy prose style of your review I’ll have to check out your books sometime! I appreciate all the kind words, yes “running your brain through a meat grinder” is fairly accurate, and things only get crazier in Vol. 2 and 3 (the final book is still in progress).
As for leaving readers hanging, what I have tried to do in this series is answer enough questions that the book will feel satisfying, while introducing new questions to tackle in the next book. The action is similar, the general plot reaches a conclusion, but all new plots begin.
Glad you enjoyed, I’ll be interested to see your thoughts on book 2, and I’m even more determined to get book 3 wrapped up and on shelves! Good luck with your own works, and thanks again.
You can check out MISSING TIME on Amazon here.