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The Actuator: Fractured Earth Paperback – August 13, 2013
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"The Lying Game" by Ruth Ware
From the instant New York Times bestselling author of blockbuster thrillers In a Dark, Dark Wood and The Woman in Cabin 10 comes Ruth Ware’s chilling new novel, The Lying Game. Pre-order today
"Talk about an amazing concept! . . . it was amazing. . . . A great story idea, a fantastic start to a really interesting Speculative Fiction/ Urban Fantasy series." ---Janis' Journal --This text refers to the Audio CD edition.
About the Author
James Wymore is the award-winning author of several books, including Schism, Salvation, Theocracide, and Windows into Hell.
Aiden James is the bestselling author of the Cades Cove series and the Judas Chronicles, in addition to the Nick Caine Adventures (with J. R. Rain). The author has published over thirty books and resides in Tennessee with his wife, Fiona, and an ornery little dog named Pepper.
Roger Wayne hails from small-town Minnesota. He served in the Air Force as a broadcast journalist in South Korea before obtaining his BA in communications and journalism. Roger has recorded for video games, animation, and commercials, and he loves making books come to life. You can see what he's up to at rogerwayne.com. --This text refers to the Audio CD edition.
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Top customer reviews
Those readers looking for fiction set in fact-based alternate worlds will not in this story find what they are looking for. The Actuator warps reality in response to the literary fetishes of the so-called 'Machine Monks' who form the mental templates upon which the enigmatic device then acts. The book has more in common with Heinlein's "The Number of the Beast" than it does Dick's "The Man in the High Castle," as it takes us through various literary genres and some rather deep psychoses drawn from the minds of the operators. It creates worlds in which the very laws of physics (or magic, in some cases) have been changed.
The book is a variation of the Frankenstein myth and the Genie in the bottle, melded together into a fast-paced quest adventure. The area around the test site has orcs and dragons, but the effects of the Actuator do not, this time, stop at the test area limits. It goes on and on, apparently encompassing the whole world. In a search for the keys to reset the machine, a band of people from the secret base travel through the various worlds, finding such obstacles as aliens in flying saucers, airship pirates, Native Americans with huge chips on their shoulders, werewolves, vampires, and plain old regular pirates, not to mention their own loony-toon Machine Monks who were crazy even before reality got shuffled.
Since this is the first book in a three-part story, I don't count it against the authors that there are some loose ends and that the reader is left with the promise of another story to come. On the other hand, I do count against the authors that this book cannot stand on its own as a complete story. If you write a huge novel that has to be cut into three sections (e.g. "The Lord of the Rings") you have an excuse for abrupt cliffhangers. Otherwise, your story does have to be complete in itself, and the run-on into the next book has to handled in such a way as to keep the reader from being disappointed with the book in hand. As it is, you get to the end of "The Actuator: Fractured Earth," and you realize the story is not finished. What next? More of the same frenetic world-hopping that started to get tiresome toward the end? Another quest? More banal characters? More genres?
The premise of the book was intriguing enough for me to buy the book, and I did enjoy it despite it not being quite in the alternate-history genre I enjoy. Even though most of the characters were not likable, and a few were actually despicable and loathsome, they were at least on a quest that took them through some mildly interesting manifestations of literary genres, but like the characters themselves, I eventually began to tire of even the wild west steampunk world. I think the book's main problem is a lack of depth, or at least layers, to the story. A deeper story would have involved me more, made me more curious about the Actuator, which is presented simply as a "magic box," mostly devoid of history, and it seems to have no purpose other than as a plaything for some seriously disturbed people. When I finished the book, I found myself more glad that it was over than looking forward to the next installment. But hope springs eternal, in most universes.
Dampers contain the alternate reality within a one mile radius in the desolate desert, keeping the world safe. But someone has other ideas and sabotages the dampers. When the Actuator is activated the whole planet becomes the test area. Billions are affected by the changes wrought as the imagination of the Machine Monks spreads unhindered across the globe.
The only way to return the world to any semblance of reality is for a key to be inserted into the Actuator. These are created by the Machine Monks and are required to return the test area back to its former self. But this time the Actuator requires twenty five keys; one for each genre. There are two major problems. First, the keys could be anywhere across the earth and second, they could be any object that a Machine Monk’s imagination can create. Red, a Key Hunter, and a few surviving Machine Monks must find the keys and return them to the Actuator. A daunting task when every lethal monster imaginable is spread across the planet and rogue Machine Monks want their alternate realities to remain as they are.
A page turner that will keep you reading from the moment you open the book.
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