Tapestry of the Second Born, a contemporary science fiction novel recently published by Matthew Dickerson is a well written, compelling book for anyone who enjoys reading fantasy depictions of the apocalypse. There are three elements that I put into consideration when reviewing a book by a new author: originality, composition, and plot development.
Originality What I found most interesting about the book is how Dickerson introduces some of the supporting characters first, in a third person point of view and then continues in first person when we meet Josh, the protagonist of the story. The book takes place in modern times, with Josh being the average working class man (seemingly underemployed) who is hard pressed for luck when it comes to relationships.
The book's antagonist, Alexander, is a power hungry young man who will stop at nothing to get what he wants and feels no remorse in physically removing any person who might hinder reaching his goal. As the story unravels, the reader quickly learns that Alexander might be assuming allegiances with supporting characters that seem to have his back... but may have ulterior motives for giving him support.
Composition Authors who pen their novels in a fast paced fashion tend to keep my attention longer than an author who spends an entire page describing a tree. Such drawn out descriptions are unnecessary, and, well, boring to read. If you like impervious style writing much like science fiction writers Dan Brown or Michael Crichton, this book is right up your alley. The only aversion I found was that Dickerson spent a little too much time introducing each character in various scenes. The penmanship just needed a little fine-tuning for a smoother transition into how the main character and supporting characters were connected, but overall, the book was very well written.
Plot Development Dickerson's fast paced writing styled seemed to coincide with the plot development of the story. The very humble Josh seemed to be only faced with a personal problem, with his best friend and love interest showing dismal signs that she might have a mysterious psychic connection to the people around her. Josh decides to squelch his desire to convey his true feelings her when he learns he is part of an old forgotten prophecy. My only qualm with the development of the story is that Dickerson kept reiterating how some huge disaster was about to unravel. Dickerson conveyed that several people were involved in the story's climax, but instead of putting the action into play, many of the characters just talked about the great "horror" that was about to happen.
The reiteration was a little tedious, but it did not hinder the culmination of the action that soon followed. The plot intricately involves many players and I was surprised at the philosophical twist at the end of the story. The concept of good conquering evil is presented in an unusual fashion. The metaphor of threads coming together to create a tapestry is finally revealed as a series of seemingly unrelated events connect together.
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I was quite captivated by this first novel.It had all of the intrigue of a Dan Brown novel and the pacing of a Michael Crichton book. Dickerson has a gift for capturing human interaction so vividly through dialogue and diction , mannerisms, and body language. I was slightly confused at first because of so much going on, but as the plot pulled me in and the characters' lives became intertwined I held on for dear life. I look forward to Matthew Dickerson's next work.