Sunday, September 7, 2014

The Wastelanders by Tim Hemlin - A Review

5 Stars!

Tim Hemlin wrote this in prose so eloquent and beautiful it reminded me of F. Scott Fitzgerald in The Great Gatsby. This plot-driven novel was really good. I was confused for most of it, but I wanted to keep going and find out what was going to happen. The story was worth working through to the end. 

I have just a few critiques:

1. "All intensive purposes" is just so wrong. It's "all intents and purposes." That's a big deal to me, but it's really my only grammatical critique. There were a few mistakes spell check couldn't catch, but overall it's a clean novel, well written.

2. The progression through time is not easy to understand. Perhaps that was intentional, time confusion playing a starring role in the exciting plot, but I have no idea what kind of time frame this story happened in. A week? Ten days? A year? Dunno.

3. More confusion - why do they use British vernacular and drink hot tea when this is set in Texas and the weather is blistering outside the bubbles? I use British vernacular and drink hot tea while living in Houston - but I'm a bloody weirdo. Does this mean there are more of us in the future? A bit of explanation would have made that quirky phenomenon seem less contrived.

4. Even more confusion - I don't want to give away the plot, but the possibility of the past interacting with the future, of resurrection, of time witch stuff, it's never really explained. I know it's sci-fi/dystopian but there should be a logical explanation behind things. Like warp drive on the USS Enterprise - there's a basis for the technology that's explained well enough to be plausible. This book doesn't try to explain anything.

The Wastelanders is, in a word, enigmatic. At times it's climate change propaganda, at times it's religious in tone, at times it indicts the abuse of political power in America striking eerily close to home. At all times it's beautifully written, engaging, mysterious, and elusive.

You may wonder why, with my critiques, I gave it 5 stars. That's simple! It was a great story, well told and authentic. Beautiful prose, man. Well done.

Get your copy here.
The Wastelanders

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