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Future Tense Paperback – January 30, 2014
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About the Author
LJ Cohen is a Boston area novelist, poet, blogger, ceramics artist, and relentless optimist. After almost twenty-five years as a physical therapist, LJ now uses her anatomical knowledge and myriad clinical skills to injure characters in her science fiction and fantasy novels. Her most recent book, Dreadnought and Shuttle, (book 3 of the SF/Space Opera series Halcyone Space) represents her sixth published novel. Derelict, the first novel in the series, was chosen as a Library Journal Self-e Select title and book of the year in 2016. LJ is active in IPNE (The Independent Publishers of New England), SFWA (The Science Fiction and Fantasy Writers of America), and Broad Universe and blogs about publishing, general geekery, and other ephemera at http: //www.ljcbluemuse.blogspot.com. Contact LJ at firstname.lastname@example.org and http: //www.ljcohen.net
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Top customer reviews
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And now for an aside not exactly related to the story but to the ebook itself:
Originally, I only gave this book three stars, because a formatting bug made the book unreadable on my device of choice (an older Kindle with the keyboard). The bug chopped off the last few characters of every line of text, but only on the aforementioned Kindle. The Kindle Android app displayed the book fine, and I was able to read the book with minimal problems there, so I docked the book one star for the bug.
Well, to make a not-short story not-long, I managed to get in touch with the author via Google+, had a little back-and-forth detailing the bug, and she got on the ball, and BAM! the bug is fixed. I had to re-download the book, but now it displays correctly both on my old Kindle and on the app. So, for LJ Cohen being generally awesome about this: five stars.
When he sees a future event for a girl, Amara, he's desperate to stop what he sees happening to her, but everything he does seems to push her closer to the disaster rather than away.
That's a lot of weight on a 17-year-old boy in the foster car system. When he meets Amara's grandmother, Rose, he's baffled by her ability to see the future like he does, but with far less detail--she only gets a fortune teller's vague visions. One thing Rose can teach Matt is how to read the clues of what leads to an event. Maybe that little bit of foretelling will help Matt control his visions.
Future Tense is an absorbing YA read (adult language warning). Matt is a good kid. We readers are rooting for him throughout. We also hope he gets the girl and learns how to use those Tarot cards.
My only complaint, and it's small, is that I felt too much time was spent in Matt's head. While he's tortured by re-runs of events he saw but could not prevent, we readers don't need to go through them every time. Yes, we know what the smell of smoke means after the first three or four mentions. Leave the fifth through umpteenth in Matt's head and show us what's happening to him in the moment. The action is well-done and easy to visualize.
Like YA paranormals with tortured teens trying to overcome obstacles? You'll like Future Tense. The end is satisfying, but does allow for additional books in the series. I'd love to see Matt learn to control his visions and begin to use them for good.
Fighting myself to get through the beginning, no fault of Cohen, I slowly got hooked. Then quicker and quicker I read. I ended up staying up until 3 AM reading.
Having some experience with the system I found Cohen's descriptions and emotional pulls to be to close to truth. She captures well the emotional turmoil children in the system go through. I found Matt's struggle with his visions almost metaphor-ical for the hopelessness many children face in foster care. Each child at the Powell's seemed to be part of a whole representing the struggle of children that have been swallowed by the system, often being trapped in it until they age out.
The story itself has a quick pace that works to draw you in. We move from Matt's traumatic background to find internal conflict in rescuing a girl on the verge of being raped. Your further drawn in when he has his first vision in years but it's still of death. The story builds as each player is added and each vision works to further crush Matt's hopes. He looses everything but this seems to be the thing that builds his resolve. Finally he chucks all his misgivings and does his very best to stop death from happening again.
I was emotionally attached to the story by the end and I think you will be too.
LJ Cohen creates characters and worlds that vibrate with life around me. I slip right into her storytelling, and I always remember exactly where I was when picking the book up again. I cannot say that of many books.
My verdict? I loved the book. I want to meet all of these characters again. I want to see them develop.
Most recent customer reviews
Main character deals with a lot of real, emotional problems while having a supernatural "gift" (or curse depending on...Read more
Disclosure: I was given my copy of this book by the author as a review copy.Read more