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Cinco de Mayo Paperback – August 25, 2010

4.7 out of 5 stars 9 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews

Review

"His writing flows naturally, his characters speak as if they were real people, and his setting seems so real that I wouldn't be surprised to find it on a normal, everyday roadmap. I wound up being firmly convinced that this place, these people, are real and living just out of sight, somewhere". - Dan L. Hollifield

About the Author

Michael J. Martineck has been writing since the age of seven, when he wrote and illustrated his own comic book. Since then he has earned degrees in Economics and English, and has applied his talents to a successful career in advertising. Michael lives on an island in up-state New York.
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Product Details

  • Paperback: 280 pages
  • Publisher: EDGE Science Fiction & Fantasy (August 25, 2010)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1894063392
  • ISBN-13: 978-1894063395
  • Product Dimensions: 5.5 x 1 x 8.5 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 8.5 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (9 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #4,503,066 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Customer Reviews

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Top Customer Reviews

By Parajunkee VINE VOICE on September 14, 2010
Format: Paperback
Don't judge this book by it's cover. I know sci-fi covers tend to lean to the cheesy side, so look past the dude getting struck in the head by Zeus and get this book, because it was good! It was overwhelming at some points with everything that was going on and the POV switches, but overall good and had me wondering if this could actually happen.

REVIEW: A world shaking event. Simultaneously across the globe excruciating pain that lasts a matter of seconds and then instant relief, almost bliss, as if your mind has completely reset. Then the memories slowly flood in, but these memories don't belong to you. A man in Chicago suddenly has recollections of murder and life within the Aryan Brotherhood. A third grader can speak fluent Korean, an ad exec in New York experiences life as a blind railroad worker in China, a rich playboy in Abu Dhabi learns what it is like to be a Indian slave...

Phones begin to ring as people's Others begin calling, because they know everything about them. They know phone numbers, bank accounts, personal details...everything. There is nothing hidden, nothing left behind. And no one has an answer as to why this happened.

The idea behind this science fiction number was very interesting. How weird would it be to trade memories with someone? Learn every single possible memory in someone's head. On top of the interesting idea behind the story, the character development was very well laid out. There were a lot of them though, which overwhelmed me a bit, especially at the end when even more were introduced. I think the amount of characters could have been nipped down a bit, while the story could have been expanded. Each one of these characters could have been their own book, expanded, examined and scrutinized.
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Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
The premise of every person earth sharing memories with one other person, sounded interesting but I wasn't expecting much more than a contrived "what if" story and it was cheap. I was pleasantly surprised. The author fully developed and used the memory swap as a device to explore social and philosophical subjects including racism, sexism, child labor, slavery, totalitarian oppression, ageism, income inequality, religion etc. without preaching or bogging down his fascinating story lines. The only fault I found was that it ended too soon. Then again, the story was so big, that I think any ending would have seemed too soon.
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Format: Paperback
This is the story of present-day Earth that is changed forever. It happens in the blink of an eye.

At approximately 10:20 PM on May 5, all 6 billion people on Earth get a blinding headache for a second-and-a-half. In that instant, everyone gets another person implanted in their brain; different thoughts, different memories. Person A gets Person B's thoughts and memories, and Person B gets Person A's thoughts and memories. There is no rhyme or reason about who gets whom.

Alastair is a transit worker from Chicago who exchanges memories with John McCorely, the head of the Aryan Brotherhood, and currently an inmate in the Pelican Bay Supermax prison. His wife, Valerie, starts speaking Chinese, and their two-year-old daughter suddenly speaks German. Alastair knows that McCorely will not let anyone live who knows his "secrets," so he feels that his only alternative is to leave his family behind and head for parts unknown.

Cindy is able to leave her abusive husband with "help" from a member of the Swiss National Police. Niven is a Manhattan ad executive on the verge of a Great Ad Idea, until Ming, a blind railway worker from China, is planted in his brain. Susan is a senior scientist with the National Institutes of Health, part of the group trying to figure out just what happened; her Other is a shaman from South America. A playboy from Abu Dhabi travels to India to rescue his Other, a young boy trapped in the world of human slavery. There are some tense moments at a Long Island middle school. The other of one of the teachers is a man from North Korea who goes to great lengths to find, or buy, enough food to keep his family alive for one more day. The Other of one of the students is an official from the North Korean government who really wants that person's name.
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I was introduced to Michael's work through a couple of children's books that my sons thoroughly enjoyed. While searching for additional titles I stumbled across this new release and finally had a chance to pick it up recently. I have been more than pleasantly surprised.

His writing has evolved tremendously and the book gripped my attention from the first few pages. I found myself making excuses to find time to read (instead of enjoying the sunny weather outside), and I plowed through the book in a few days. In this day of digital media, disappearing bookstores, and short attention spans - it's nice to discover a fresh author with the dedication and skills to slow the world down for a moment and allow us to lose ourselves in his prose. There are very few authors who can pull that off these days - thankfully Mr. Martineck has done so.
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A really interesting premise, and Michael makes it seem plausible. The points of view he chose to speak from really round out the experience- I think everybody can relate to at least one of the characters on some level. My problem with the frequent change in POV: I couldn't wait to see what happened to some characters and bounced back and forth! :) Read it! oooh- it's now up for Alberta Readers Choice Award! vote Cinco de Mayo....
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