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Altered States Paperback – March 15, 2011
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"Rebound" by Kwame Alexander
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The plot: Aaron Braun, a master of reading non-verbal communication, drawing out people, and making exactly the comments that will shift them onto a positive life-track, is employed by people who would automate the non-verbal analytic skills to use AGAINST people. Aaron, realizing that his employers are lethal, fakes his own death to escape them. Living under a false identity in a state of unhappiness, he learns that a former friend is near death and that her daughter is dead.A virus is to blame. Aaron, though upset, does nothing until hearing that someone has been arrested for the child's murder. Then he springs into action.
Conner is a cop. Since drugs are no longer illegal, the underworld has shifted to knock-offs of brand-name clothing, and with the fashion industry incensed he does his best to combat it. Eventually forced to do some serious thinking about exactly who is hurt by the knock-offs - he connects with Aaron for a wild and woolly ending to a suspense-filled tale beautifully spiced with Ericksonian methodology. I loved it!
personal lives, the main character is able to infer motivation by studying facial expressions and body
language. He uses his skill in reading others to help them reach their potential. He also uses it to find
clues to who has hurt or killed those he loves.
The plot takes lots of interesting twists and turns touching upon local police, national security agencies, organized
crime, and genome-mapping doctors. One interesting genetic turn changes the course of the story.
I recommend this to all who like a good read. It drags a little in the beginning, but keep reading because it builds to
a real page turner.
Yeah, it sounds a bit like that TV show, but actually it's much better. Well written lines - for example "I respected the fact that his eyebrows alone were better communicators than most cab drivers around these parts." "after 30 minutes of walking and thinking, something finally struck him. It wasn't so much of an idea, more of a ...bat."
A bit of a dig against western society and our obsession with fashions and brands, and the plausible power of multinational corporations and over reaching spy agencies combined to make is an entertaining read.
A few twists I didn't see coming, and a few I did, kept the story racing to its conclusion. The discovery of the real bad guy and the end action was something I didn't expect at all.
The only reasons I haven't given this book five stars are minor Kindle version formatting flaws - text drops into blockquotes for no reason, then back to normal, which upset my obsessiveness, and the clever lines dropped off towards the end - not that the writing was at all poor.
Storyline 1, told in first person, is about a guy who trained himself to detect when someone is lying. He went far beyond most people's capabilities and was essentially never wrong. He gets tied into some quasi-government study that tries to put his abilities into software. However, he finds out that this one of those organizations that you can never leave, except to die. So he decides to "die" and disappear. From there his storyline really becomes hard to follow.
Storyline 2, told in third person, is about a cop, a detective following the "rug trade", or fraudulent name brands in clothing and fashion. In this book, drugs have become not very profitable because legal versions of most of them have been invented. Consequently, now much of the criminal element that pushed drugs then push "rugs" now, or fake designer labels.
Each main character has a "lost love" of some type that gets intertwined into the story, but does not help in making the story more understandable. The storylines jump between the two, sometimes being more towards one than the other, but they both get their share of page time.
The writing is definitely British; thank heavens for the Kindle thing where you can pick a word and it will give you the definition. I used it a lot. It wasn't just British spelling, one gets used to that. it is more unusual words like boffin, punter, nous, and many even stranger than that. Spelling was decent, overall sentence construction was OK, although there were a fair share of dropped word and disagreeing tenses.
The most frustrating part of the book was that there was some very interesting writing and philosophical thinking going on. However, because the author likes to bring up a subject, get you to a critical point, and then backtrack for four chapters on a sideline of information on how the character met, dealt with, and sometimes left the person or situation in the past involving this critical juncture is maddening.
The first third of the book is almost pure stream-of-consciousness writing, and is extremely hard to follow. Then to about the 70% point or so I felt like I was slogging through muddy minutiae to get to the next chapter. The last third of the book was quite a bit better and nearly had me up to a three-star rating, but in the end, the overall jumble that is Altered States settled more into a high two-star rating. Obviously far more people disagree with me than agree, so try it. Just be prepared to follow some very winding story paths in order to finish.
Most recent customer reviews
Moved along at a good pace.
Highly recommend it.
I'm going to look for more by this authour.