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The Darkest Loop Paperback – August 20, 2017
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Dallas, the protagonist, is an ordinary guy with a tendency to stray from anything that could possibly be serious. His best friend, Kevin, invites him over for a Labor Day cookout only for Dallas to discover that it is all a ploy to set him up on a date with Kevin's sister, Thena. At first thought, they had nothing to bond over, but a tragedy strikes that soon changes that. From Labor Day until the tragic events of 9/11, Dallas and Thena become closer than they ever imagined, until the day after 9/11 when Kevin wakes up and it is Labor Day again. Did he dream all of that, or what?
Or what, indeed. The mission of stopping the September 11 terrorist attacks was suspenseful, thrilling and interesting. I even enjoyed the romantic sub-plot between Dallas and Thena. The first several chapters of the book weren't the easiest for me to get into because of the need for build-up. Personally speaking, I'm not one who likes repetitiveness, but for a book dealing with time loops and deja vu, it is necessary in order to really tell the story. The first several chapters established plenty of confusion, which is what Dallas was experiencing as he kept reliving the same week of his life over and over again. I really wanted to see what the author was going to do with this storyline, so I kept turning the pages. Once Dallas figured out what was going on, however, the fun really began.
There were so many turns. Every time the clock restarted, the same days would pass yet something new would happen. Obstacle after obstacle appeared out of thin air that wouldn't have even made sense to Dallas if he were not the one going through it himself. Who are these strange characters that appear in one loop, then disappear? Some things are left to the reader's imagination and ability to cook up conspiracies.
What I liked most was how the main characters remained ordinary people. They never turned into superheroes. They remained relatable, flawed. They were decent, regular, imperfect people who were just trying to do the right thing, even if it was a stretch as huge as them stopping September 11, 2001 from becoming a day of tragedy eventually written down in history books. Their efforts were not fruitless in the least, though they resulted in an ending that neither of them were expecting and some lives were saved.
I also enjoyed seeing the relationship develop between Dallas and Thena. They had a sort of love at second sight type of attraction. They had known of each other for years, but never got to actually know each other. A lot of the little things that Dallas noticed about Thena were very endearing and sweet. I felt that it rounded the book out and gave the readers a little taste of everything from romance to suspense to sci-fi. I had an idea of how things would end with Thena and Dallas, which took a little bit of the edge off while I was trying to figure out how everything else would turn out.
I knew that I'd read another book by James Fant eventually, once I tackled some others on my to-read list, but I am glad he asked for my two cents on this one because it was a very fun and exciting read. I'll have to make sure to keep his titles near the top of my to-read list.
I would definitely be interested in reading more from this author. This book is just great entertainment, pure and simple. Reviewed by Emily
4 1/2 Stars
Full review at UncagedBooks.com