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The Last Iteration of Dexter Maxwell Paperback – December 14, 2012
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I am so tired of going to the "science fiction" section of the bookstore and finding it populated with vampires, werewolves, magicians and combinations thereof. This is actual science fiction. And unlike a lot of scifi we find at more specialized and online shops, not so unnecessarily overreaching in science possibilities that it becomes unreadable ("what is it again when a gizomo calls a thribbit a gnorf? I think thribbits were explained about 4 chapters ago...") The book is very readable, but still engrossingly didactic. Even parts that may readers would find hard to keep straight -- like the time-travel plotlines -- are so clearly written with clean context so that they are painless and support the plot... while still engaging the reader in the conundrums of operating within this story's time travel rules.
Very polished... another reviewer shares one of my peeves -- under-edited, under-proofread and badly structured books coming through the less-supervised pipe... this is assuredly not one of those... it's a quality piece of work.
Thanks Matt for this and I look forward to more in the series. And your credible explanation of the unexplained technologies.
More I'd like to comment on, but that would go as far as "spoiler"...
The readers find themselves selfishly casted into a dystopian setting; a speculative future of sorts, where mankind has graciously engineered their species to live longer and well connected lives across planets. The cost (and irony) of such sophistication is that time becomes the universal currency, nature's ultimate revenge, and we witness an addictive story whose characters and connections eventually become an important part of the way against the system.
The orgy of organic and artificial ingredients becomes a mind-warp of episodes, each masterfully cooked so that it got better as the story simmered. Mr. Hart expertly seasoned each chapter with a nice blend of love, war, nature, science, and time-travel that my mind discovered nothing excessive from each bite of his marinated mix. The sharpness that came from each serving was masterfully cut, much like the sword our hero Dexter yielded as he reluctantly sliced his way through adversaries.
Ultimately, the book spared us from digesting a typical story of good vs. evil. Instead, we are reminded of the times we dined alone and the personal reflection that came from battles between our own will, desires, and choices. Talk about self-discovery - for both the reader and Dexter Maxwell.
The Final Word: The Last Iteration of Dexter Maxwell continues Matt Hart's impressive ability of bringing us stories that only keep getting better. This is the most emotionally charged episode thus far, and it brings with it more than a few difficult contemplations. You'll laugh, you'll cry, and then you'll curse even more when you realize you'll have to wait another year for book 2.
I worried about the editing and proofreading; I hate poorly edited books. I am am happy to report that I found only a few typos, and only one confusing pronoun reference when I read the book for pleasure, as opposed to reading with the purpose of editing. That's fewer typos than I often find in modern fiction these days. This isn't one of those books you buy and ponder the lack of proof reading, and curse the new publishing model that eliminates editors.
I worried when I realized it was about time travel. As a general rule, I avoid time travel in books; time travel fries my brain. I only like time travel when I can just accept that it is, and not fret about all the paradoxes too much. I love Doctor Who, and the definition of Doctor Who is all that timey-wimey stuff. I also love the Outlander series by Diana Gabaldon which is all about the history and time travel. Like those two worlds, TLIoDM is strong on character, setting, description, and plot, all of which means I can just enjoy the story, and not break through the 4th wall. I can enjoy the imagery of time travel as described by Matthew Hart, and think about it later with pleasure, as well.
I am so glad that those and other concerns were unfounded. I loved that the book was long, and wasn't rushed. The story unfolds. The story has surprises. Lots of surprises. The story has realism where realism is required. When the characters are fatigued, or scared, I feel their emotions. When I found out something bad happened to a minor character I liked, I was sad. I can't think of a better compliment to authors than to say I was pulled into their worlds, and didn't want to leave. That's how I feel about Matthew Hart's writing. I can't wait for the next book. I want him to quit his day job, and get busy writing. I want to solve the mysteries he left like Easter Eggs in the plot. I want to know what happens to the characters, and I want to know how the characters became who they are.
I have high hopes, Mr. Hart. Get busy! Don't be another George R.R. Martin (working on so many side projects, his fans wait forever for his books), or Robert Jordan (who wrote and wrote until he died before he finished). You've got years left, but take no chances. As far as I know, no one has used time travel for real, and if you stop writing for any reason, I'll never find out what happens!