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The Singularity Wheel Kindle Edition
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|Length: 492 pages||Word Wise: Enabled||Enhanced Typesetting: Enabled|
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Both the first and the follow-up stories concern the same characters, separated in time by four (or so) years but still in their teens, which puts these works squarely in the YA genre. I read that the author spent those same length of time crafting "Singularity," and it shows. He's a fine wordsmith and substantial writer. The work itself is nearly flawless and error-free (one rather looming exception: he doesn't capitalize Corvette - yep, that one).
Fedison spends the first third of the book – far too long - characterizing the four boys and their lives. I grew itchy for the story to get going. In any event, they're a rather motley crew and I sometimes wondered why they all remained friends, especially with Joe, who's a crude, coarse bully (and likely because of that the most developed character of the four). For all that, I felt the other three were rather undifferentiated and often found myself pondering which was whom and had to stop to refresh my memory about him. They were never as fully developed as the fist-slinging Joe. Most of all, though, I wanted the story to get going.
Monica Tisdale, throughout, remains (intentionally) a cypher, albeit an interesting and powerful one. (There is no romantic interest between her and the four boys.) She struggles against forces she can barely understand or cope with (as I'm sure is a common problem with teens of either gender) and apparently has no one else to turn to but the four lads from a parallel world who haven't a clue how to help her.
So the author has set himself a mighty task in trying to knit a story out of this situation, and diverges from the mission in a number of ways which tend to, in my most humble and apologetic opinion, drag on and on, unnecessarily lengthening the novel.
This is the most interesting and contradictory issue for me: Fedison is such a good writer that he crafts a narrative style that’s just too good for the story genre. Think Albert Einstein writing a detective novel or a bodice-ripping romance. A story of grave psychic (psychotic?) danger and alternate-reality, time-travel, adventure out to be written in crackling prose. IMO, Fedison ought to be writing much more sophisticated subject matter. And did I mention it’s just too darned long?
There are interesting ideas at play in this novel, such as the multiple dimensions of realities sandwiched one upon another and the non-Kurtzweil “Singularity,” but they just lie there, waiting to be explored, while Fedison watches his Corvette fly off the cliff. I wish I could say it was a sequel worth the time it took to read, but for me it wasn't. I read it all, beginning to end, but just kept wishing it was as good as "The Eye-Dancers."
I don't want to delve too deeply into the plot details, to avoid spoilers, but the secret ingredient that makes this story work is the friendship between the four boys: Mitchell Brant, Marc Kuslanski, Joe Marma, and Ryan Swinton. The characters are realistic, likable, and flawed, but always driven by good intentions. The science fiction is grounded, interesting, and serves to flesh out the deeper meaning that underpins the story.
As with the Eye-Dancers, The Singularity Wheel is clearly a labor of love: every page is dripping with the effort, research, and heart that Fedison has poured into this work. You can see just how much he loves these characters, and this universe (or, well, multiple universes!), and if you dive into the book, you'll fall in love with them too. Highly recommended for all readers.
I enjoy how the author explores the scientific complexity of the subject he is tackling. He approaches time/space travel with more realism than you typically find. He has clearly researched his subject matter, which gives the reader an immersive experience into the worlds that he intertwines. He also does an excellent job naturally evolving the characters that he created in the original story. The boys have issues, but we can rely on the fact that they are good at heart, and will do the right thing.
I recommend this to lovers of sci-fi who enjoy the good science along with a good story.