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47 of 51 people found the following review helpful
on November 30, 2011
I downloaded Nine-Tenths last Saturday around 6:30 in the morning, and had it finished by noon. At 430 pages on my Kindle, this is not a short book, but I was so drawn into the story that I just had to keep reading straight through until it was finished.

Lately, I've been on a quest to find and promote self-published fiction that is truly good. I like the idea of people freely publishing their own work without depending on anyone other than themselves to decide whether they succeed or fail. But at the same time, I want that self-published fiction to be good. Professionally done. Edited. Free of misspellings. And most of all, I want fiction that causes an emotional reaction and makes me really care about the characters. Nine-Tenths is one of those books.

Nine-Tenths is both a time-travel story and a Dystopian future novel. While I'm always in when it comes to time travel, I tend to avoid most Dystopian society books on account of the fact that they depress the hell out of me. But I took a chance on Meira and Nine-Tenths, in the hopes that she could deliver a good story, and I'm glad I did.

Nine-Tenths is full of the kinds of tropes that you would expect of a book that explores a repressive society. Paranoia, fear, betrayal, a sense that the world is rotting from the inside, and that idea that is the most depressing of all; that Big Brother is watching every stinking move you make. And while there are those creepy, drama-filled scenes, the book doesn't descend into such a bleak place that you want to quit reading. There isn't a sense of hopelessness that can sometimes characterize this genre of fiction. The characters don't just give in to the inevitability of the System to control their lives--no; instead, the characters decide to vote with their feet for liberty and fight against their fates.

There are lots of juicy dramatic beats to this book. The clock ticking and time running out. Innocents lost to the crushing evil and oppression of Big Government. Rules and laws that make you rage at the thought of having to live under such evil policies. There were times I'd cuss out loud at the villains while reading. But at the end of the day, the book leaves you with a sense of hope at the spirit of freedom that lives in all our hearts. And as far as I'm concerned, that's just good writing.

Nine-Tenths is well worth the price and the time it takes to read. Give it a shot. I think you'll like it, you know...unless you're a commie or somethin'. :)
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23 of 28 people found the following review helpful
on February 18, 2012
I use my Kindle to hunt down fantasy and sci-fi themed books that cost .99 to 2.99 since I believe there is so much good out there missed by those looking for the next Game of Thrones. I personally have read so much that I have become tired of the same general theme to many fantasy/sci-fi novels, and even some of the deals through the Kindle are not that good. Then I came across Nine Tenths.

This book is definitely worth reading. It is really good and will keep you very interested up to the end. Yes, the book has themes coming from 1984, George Orwell, and Ayn Rand, but its all done in a way that feels different and refreshing. I was never bored and enjoyed all of the major characters. It left me asking myself how far down that road could we go in the real world.

I personally hope there is some kind of sequel where he tries to save his wife and take both his wife and daughter back to his world. I also would love to learn more about the dystopian world that they are living in. What is it like in other areas of the country? How does the rest of the world view the USA? Is the whole world like this? Why did Leonard's co-worker get so pissed off when he was talking about East Germany? What the hell happened in Europe? I want to learn more about the President and why hes such a lunatic. Maybe we could see Leonard become the leader of the rebels since he comes from a different world and knows what the twisted USA should look like. Can a man so uncaring about anything except himself in the beginning, with a lack of confidence in himself, become the savior of another world.

I could go on, but this book is just really good and leaves you wanting more.
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12 of 14 people found the following review helpful
on November 17, 2011
I'm not a guy who likes time travel stories or dystopian stories. Nine-tenths is both. I had to fight against that. It isn't the book's fault. It's my own hang up: I have a hard time suspending belief to get sucked into time travel tales and the dystopian stuff goes against my natural optimism for the future. I never understood the charms of the classics of this genre: 1984, Fahrenheit 451, Brave New World, Anthem, or A Clockwork Orange.

But I kept reading Nine-tenths because it had something different than those works. Those are about the individual raging against their particular machine. Nine-tenths is about a family doing so. None of those others (least that I can remember) deal with the issue of family and the sacrifices a family would make in a world oppressed. Why is that? I've no answer. The sex of the author? Maybe. (N.B. I've not read The Handmaid's Tale...yet.)

Another aspect I liked about Nine-tenths is a difference in world view from prior dystopian novels. Most seem to work on the Marxist assumption that history is a tidal wave of inevitable social and cultural forces overpowering and overturning people and institutions. It holds the assumption that a single man is powerless. I can't abide that. Maybe that's why I don't like most of dystopian literature. It assumes that on the path to totalitarianism no one is 'standing athwart history yelling Stop'.

Nine-tenths beginning seemed to keep this tradition alive. However, throughout the book it is slowly countered and a certain unexpected and surprising twist completely rejects it. That made me smile.
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10 of 13 people found the following review helpful
on April 16, 2012
I usually read reviews from other readers before purchasing a book, but this one I based solely on the Product Description. It sounded interesting, and the story did not disappoint! This is one of the best books I've read in awhile. I found myself actually needing to put it down from time to time because the situations the characters found themselves in were stiffling even to me, and I needed to step away to lose the "walls closing in" feeling.

The main character of the story accidentally killed a young child 30 years before, and spent every waking moment working on a machine to take him back so he could fix his error. When he finally gets the machine to work, he emerges into a world competely changed, and not for the better. He now has a family, and they are trapped in a world where Big Brother watches every move, and personal freedoms are lost to the government. He now must find a way to save himself and his family from this new (to him) nightmare scenario.

As another reviewer suggested, the ending leaves an opening for a sequal, and I hope the author gives us one! Highly recommended story!
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7 of 9 people found the following review helpful
on August 9, 2012
Reminiscent of Orwell's 1984, this book had great potential but simply fell very short. The authors need to continuously highlight how the realization of the current "liberal agenda" (i.e., the excessive expansion of government, a "desire" to promote mediocrity over ingenuity, the plot to destroy the traditional family, energy efficient light bulbs, how recycling's a scam, etc., etc.), led to the dystopia described in the book made it impossible for me to remain "inside" the story; the authors apparent disdain for the Left made it hard to maintain the necessary suspension of belief required when reading good dystopian fiction (like Nineteen Eighty-Four, Centennial Edition by Orwell, Brave New World by Huxley, or even The Handmaid's Tale (Everyman's Library)by Atwood). Good fiction, even one with a message, must to allow the reader to remain lost inside the story's pages - and this tale simply doesn't do that.

Furthermore, the novel's ending was less than satisfying. Overall, I'd say dystopian fiction is difficult to end (The Handmaid's Tale abrupt ending is a great example), and this is especially true if the author decides he/she wants a "happy ending". Recognizing this, I was expecting a choppy landing that might feel a little forced or overly "convenient", but the outcome for the main character's wife was just too much. Good fiction reflects real life, which means when someone makes a sacrifice they actually lose something - there's a cost. Alina's (the wife) miraculous ending was cheap and I felt cheated as a reader.

Finally, the "reveal" at the end was predictable. It's unfortunate that the author didn't use it earlier in the tale to spur the main character into action - possibly returning to that faithful moment and letting history repeat itself. It's incongruent that a character who spent 30 years of his life trying to save one little boy would not recreate that technology to save thousands, if not hundreds of thousands lives...

On a positive note, the stories overall character development was pretty good and the initial time traveling plot devices was spot on. For these reasons I gave the book two stars instead of one.
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5 of 6 people found the following review helpful
I just finished Nine-Tenths by Meira Pentermann and LOVED IT. The author did an excellent job of capturing the bureaucratic, collectivist mentality of people who are in positions of authority in a totalitarian regime. It was a mélange of Atlas Shrugged, Brave New World and Nineteen Eighty-Four.
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6 of 8 people found the following review helpful
on August 25, 2012
I have a hard time giving books mediocre ratings because I have such respect for authors, even authors I don't particularly love to read. I mean, it's hard to write a book. Unfortunately, I just didn't enjoy Nine-Tenths.

The premise of this book is interesting and it's relatively engaging at first, but then it left me behind.

So, the basis of the story is a guy (who's really great with computers/technology) feels really guilty about a car accident he kind of caused in which a young boy died. He's sent most of his adult life, sacrificing his personal life and what was surely a brilliant career, trying to build a time machine to go back and prevent the accident. Well, he's finally successful and is able to "time-travel" back and miss hitting the car, but the accident happens anyway involving another vehicle. Once he exits his time machine, he's in a different world - everything has changed. Think butterfly effect. He's married and has two kids and works at some big technology complex. Okay, so not a bad start, right?

This is where the author started to loose me. The government has basically taken over everything a la 1984. Big brother is literally watching and listening everything, or at least that's characters think because they can't be sure. Kids are being brainwashed at school into thinking the family unit is unnecessary and even wrong, and that planned eugenics is the way to go. The president got rid of term limits and is essentially now a dictator. Really? All this happened is the twenty-five or so years since the accident that the main character changed? I had a really hard time believing so much could change so quickly. I mean, our government can't agree enough to pass a budget, but in a few decades, they'll agree to demolish most of democracy?

I also felt like the author was preaching a bit on politics. I feel like 1984 is kind of like this as well, but it's still an amazing book. And really, Big Brother could have been a government, or a corporation with a monopoly, etc. This author really pounds you over the head with the death of capitalism and rise of an essentially communistic government. I can appreciate books like this, but it was just a bit weak and entirely one sided. There really wasn't anywhere in the book that explains the government's motivation, even it was something silly like "good of the many over the good of the person." Plus, the only "good guys" are the rebels, living off the land with stock piles of weapons - cliche anyone?

I was able to look past most of this and finish the book, but even the ending was too obvious for me. in my opinion, the book is pretty shallow and doesn't realistically address a dystopian world in which an evil government runs amok.
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6 of 8 people found the following review helpful
on May 29, 2012
Contains Spoilers**This was supposed to be a time traveling, dystopia story. I found it lacking in overall storytelling. The idea was very good it just wasn't terribly well developed. There were too many things that I felt weren't believable and just resolved themselves a little too cleanly. The twist at the end was pretty cool, but you started seeing it coming towards the middle of the book. Again I think the idea and the premise was pretty good it just needed a little more execution and development. I read this looking for something similar to The Hunger Games trilogy and this left me a little flat. The whole idea of the wife just accepting his story of being from the past and his time machine was a little far fetched. I think most spouses would have called psychiatric help with the way he presented it to her. Also, his being able to essentially bluff his way into a supposed top secret government facility where his future self worked was way far fetched. Also his guessing his top secret passwords for his computer and finding his secret ID just wasn't believable in my opinion. All in all I just think there were too many things that just resolved themselves a little too neatly when the author could have used them to really fill the story and created some tension in the story.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
on July 30, 2013
The basis of the story was quite interesting but there was little to no character development. Many of the books I read actually go way too far in character development but this was one was well short of where it needed to be. Another 25-50 pages would have gone a long way in making this a very good book.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
on November 25, 2012
This book was a fairly good read and I found it on Amazon for a great price! While time travel is involved, the book is more of a dystopian - which is one of my favorite genres - so I was pleased by this! It is also nice to find a good Adult Fiction Dystopian once and awhile, as I feel so much of the genre is taken over by Young Adult Fiction, so I really embrace those that aren't YA when I can.

The main character leaves a World much like our own and enters into a World that is very reminiscent of East Germany & The Soviet Union. I found the characters to be very interesting and flawed in a way that felt very authentic and endearing. I read this quite quickly and I was surprised by a twist in the book, which does not happen often. Also, this book seems to be very well-edited, which goes against the norm for most bargain Kindle books.

So why if I loved this book and found it so interesting am I only giving it 3.5 stars? The ending. The ending was rushed and if I am honest, pretty unbelievable at times. Much of the book is geared toward reaching a certain point and after they reach it, it ends almost immediately, making it anti-climatic and frustrating. My only other hangup with the book would be that at times, it was very slow and I would find myself almost skimming the page to get through it.

That being said, a lot of this book was highly enjoyable and a page-turner. While there were some flaws, I would still recommend this book, as it is still an interesting and quick read.
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