I need to start off this article with something of confession and apology - yes I know, it wouldn't be the first time...... though at least this one doesn't take place in a court of law for once. Some weeks ago I was sent a science fiction novel to read which came all the way from across the pond in Mississippi, U.S.A. The author in question, C.P Dunphey, had kindly offered to post the novel for an honest (is there any other sort?) 5D review.
I was genuinely excited to read the book after being told the basic of information - "The Manus Dei system proved that a deity exists..........The universe was changed forever...........Mankind desires equal footing with the God.............The God seeks to abandon mankind."
However here comes the confession and apology - because, as you can see from the accompanying image, I did indeed receive the package, did dutifully and eagerly unwrap it, devoured the synopsis with relish and then posted a picture of the package on my INSTAGRAM account (feel free to check it out, there are lots of pretty pictures on it). I then put it in my personal 5D drawer in my workroom............... and then promptly forgot that I had put it there. What a douche. It was only a few days ago when I realised that something had been niggling at the corner of my twisted mind, something that I had forgotten to do, something that I wanted to do - but for the life of me I couldn't quite place my finger on what the problem was.
That was until I went to the drawer with the intention of tidying it out when I saw the thing responsible for nagging at my memory - oh bugger!!!. Cue two days of frantic binge reading of the book before the much delayed review. On the one hand this wasn't easy, in the main because I am a notoriously slow reader. However the thing that eased this problem was the fact that Plane Walker, is a remarkable piece of writing.
Here is the cover blurb......
"After his wife dies during childbirth, Lazarus’s life takes a turn for the worst. Addictions and neglect spread across the years as Lazarus focuses on the Deity as the apex of his frustration. During a freak accident, his daughter Elisha disappears. At his weakest point, Lazarus’s last memories of his daughter are erased, leaving him stranded with no clue of her final whereabouts.
On a final whim of desperation, Lazarus locates the last Manus Dei system in existence, hoping to use the machine to find the memories he has forgotten in life. But not without harsh repercussions.
Will Lazarus find Elisha? Or will he succumb to the terrible consequences of using the Manus Dei? Will Lazarus’s ulterior motives turn his daughter’s rescue mission into a war against the God?"
Plane Walker clearly takes its inspiration from a number of literary and cinematic origins, Phillip K. Dick, H.P Lovecraft, Twelve Monkeys, John Carpenter, Alien - to name but a few of those that immediately occurred to me. These examples like many others of the ilk share certain age-old themes; namely a cloying feeling of despair, frustrated psychological isolation and then all wrapped up in a feeling of ever-increasing claustrophobic terror.
This novel very nicely embodies some of the same themes of despair and horror here in the form of the first person accounts of the main protagonist, Lazarus. The character's feelings of confusion and frustration at his loss of memory after suffering from brain damage, plus the trauma of the loss of his daughter, is hugely effective. The consequence of of Lazarus's confusion, hopelessness and terror is to subsequently place the reader in the same emotion state of barely suppressed turmoil. Quite simply, the narrative carries one along the very same hallucinogenic journey so that we too are constantly sharing his fear and trauma in trying to determine just what is real and what is fake.
There may be some readers who may be put off by a narrative that time refuses to adhere to any form of traditional linear approach. However I found the whole experience refreshing in that the the fear and the torment experienced by Lazarus was made all the more authentic. Fear not, Plane Walker is a hugely enjoyable slice of scifi/horror that will have you thinking, contemplating, questioning, fearing and confused in equal measure. And that in my book is no bad thing.
ABOUT THE AUTHOR:
C. P. Dunphey was born in Staten Island, New York. He grew up in Southern Mississippi and had an interest in writing since he was very young. In 2015, he founded his own publishing company, Gehenna Publishing House. His first novel, Plane Walker, was released in 2016. He hopes to further his writing as well as offer authors opportunities to be heard and read, his dream being that Gehenna Publishing House becomes a household name. The sequel to his novel, Plane Walker, titled Heiron, is slated for release in early 2017.
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