4-Star Review by Liz Amri for Readers Favorite
Engineers Peter Childress and Charlie Womack are on their way to Phoenix for an important presentation, but Charlie's shortcuts have gotten them lost. They stumble across the Infinity Hotel and the promise of a meal, fuel and a good night's sleep before resuming their journey is too good to pass up. However, Peter soon realizes the hotel is frighteningly strange - an unlimited number of floors, guests that appear out of time and place, and the entrance to the hotel has disappeared. No one is allowed to leave.
The concept of Escaping Infinity by Richard Paolinelli takes the sense of wonder of classic science fiction tales that readers would love. Its prologue gives an intriguing foreshadowing to start the story, grabbing my interest right away. The plot is deftly formative, as we follow Peter's attempt to get him and his friend Charlie out of the deceiving hotel, while trying to avoid the watchful eyes of the hotel's manager and the front desk clerk named Liz.
The narrative is flawless, with its concise and clear prose. The pacing overall is solid, although there were some events that I thought could unfold quicker. That said, it's not necessarily a weakness, but merely my personal preference for the story.
Paolinelli's Escaping Infinity is a mixture of hard science fiction, mystery, and some interest in transcendence. There's a subtle metaphor of fixing societal problems when the opportunity arises in the last half of the story, as the protagonists discover more truth about the hotel and its purpose. All in all, a solid read.
REVIEW BY THE LITERARY REBEL (literaryrebel.com/books/)
Escaping Infinity is an interesting book that can only be billed as one part Twilight Zone, one part Hotel California. It is definitely worth a read if you are into speculative science fiction. We don't want to spoil anything for you, so we'll just give you the set up; two guys are on their way to Phoenix when they stop for the night at a hotel. What they don't know is that no one who checks in ever checks out.
The Good: Paolinelli understands what a good mystery is all about. That's right, mystery. At it's heart, this is a mystery book. The author does a better than average job of placing all the puzzle pieces in the opening of the book and giving the reader a chance to figure it out. Despite that, I was still guessing at the 3/4 mark.
The Bad: This book starts off at an almost leisurely pace but patience is will be rewarded. Other than that minor complaint, there are a lot of characters in this book and they all have back stories. While Paolinelli works hard to keep them separate and interesting, a few of them could have been edited out without the tale loosing any of it's impact.
Why we like it: The author thumbs his nose at the science fiction establishment with his verdict that the natural state of mankind is not improving, but rather spiraling into chaos. That is a grand departure from the current crop of science fiction cannon which suggests the future will be sunny and bright as mankind continues to adopt more and more SocJus from the enlightened progressive playbook. The author even has the audacity to suggest that Americans from earlier centuries may have known something we have lost or forgotten. To which Literary Rebel replies; Two Thumbs Up!
About the Author
Born in Turlock, California in 1964, Richard Paolinelli began his writing career as a freelance writer in 1984 in Odessa, TX and gained his first fiction credit serving as the lead writer for the first two issues of the Elite Comics sci-fi/fantasy series, Seadragon. In 1991 Richard began his sports writing career at the Gallup Independent before moving on to work for the Modesto Bee, Turlock Journal, Merced Sun-Star, Tracy Press, San Mateo County Times and the San Francisco Examiner. He also served as an editor and photographer with some of the newspapers. He won the 2001 California Newspaper Publishers Association award for Best Sports Story while at the Turlock Journal. In 2013, Richard retired as a sportswriter and decided to return to his fiction writing roots. He released two short stories - The Invited and Legacy of Death - as well as a full-length sci-fi novel, Maelstrom. In 2015, Richard completed nearly two years of research and interviews and published, From The Fields: A History of Prep Football in Turlock, California, chronicling 95 years of high school football in his hometown. One month later, the first book of the Jack Del Rio series, Reservations, was published by Oak Tree Press. In 2016, Richard was one of a dozen authors selected to participate in, Beyond Watson, an anthology of original Sherlock Holmes stories. Perfection's Arbiter, a biography of National League Umpire, Babe Pinelli, was released on October 8th. W & B Books acquired the Jack Del Rio series and released the second book, Betrayals, in November. The remaining two books in the Jack Del Rio series will follow in 2017 & 2018. His website is: www.richardpaolinelli.com