Monday, January 14, 2019

[Mrs. Y Reviews] Code: Revelation by Boris Sanders

Book cover Via
Whenever a writer is working on a series, they often get to the end of the first book and go “Ahh, there’s so much. How do I end this?” My friends, I found a book that should be a template for a perfect ending to the start of a series. Additionally, it’s a mix of realism, futurism, and probably one of the most fun premises for world-building that I’ve seen in such a mix.  Ready for something different? Get your fiance a decent gift, be sure your boss has his work done, and whatever you do, don’t let Steve get his way.  I give you a review of “Code: Revelation” by Boris Sanders. 

Boris contacted me from my blog and asked me to give his book an honest review. I am happy to do so. I picked this lovely book up from Kindle Unlimited. I’m happy that I did. I got to say this had my first impressions highly satisfied. The very first glimpse into the world Boris created is unique, fun, and has so many exciting aspects to it.

Recently I’ve noticed that Sci-fi breaks into either a fun kind of space thing or a very hardcore kind of scary science thing. I’m happy to report that Boris is breaking the tradition I’ve been reading. This is fun, but it’s not space fun, it’s science is present, but it’s not scary. This is a mix of so many cool things that make the plot fun to read through and progresses it lovely.

And for the first time I think in a long time, I’m going to say that my first impression on the plot devices as well as the pacing and natural tensions, is wonderful. I enjoyed the banter that goes on in the dialog, that there are real-world consequences to the main character’s actions, and that though it’s sci-fi, it’s still relatable.

Critiques time and this falls in my “Story, Structure, Foundation” portion of scoring. Specifically, word choices in the book feel strange at times. Let me clarify the critique to be a tad more specific, and these are words that are used in common dialog for everyday situations. I am not referring to anything Alien/science/computer tech. I’m not referring to a specific character’s dialog when it’s deliberately chosen to be incorrect. What I am specifically talking about are common word choices that are not fitting everyday situations.

For example, this is the opening line from a  restaurant maître d′ “Good Night, Miss. Do you happen to have a reservation?”

Okay, so for a line it’s not terrible but for my natural mind to wrap around this, it’s “Good Night” not “Good Evening” as waiters, or hosts and Matre D’s would greet someone normally. Think of Hitchcock in his classic old show, with the profound swagger that only Hitchcock had. And when his impressive personage appeared on the screen to open up the night's events, he'd give off a bass toned welcome that only he could. That welcome was always “Good Evening Ladies and Gentlemen," which could reverberate over television and through the years up to the spines of anyone who heard it.

I mention this because that "Good evening" is the ultimate in greetings. It sets the point of the line, and that’s specifically why I found the chosen word of “Night” instead of “Evening” out of place. "Good Night" has always been as far as I'm aware a farewell, and "Good Evening" always a greeting.

But there were a few other word choices I noticed, and below are three examples of what I frequently saw in the book.

“I don’t really get why, thought.” Instead of “I don’t really get why, though,” which makes more sense for the situation.

“If I want to go to the toilet” was chosen instead of “If I want to go to the bathroom.” or "I want to go to the restroom" or "I need to go to the Ladies Room" etc. There are many other ways it could have been said.

“He does help a lot around the house,” was chosen instead of “He helps around the house,” or possibly even,  “He does help a lot around the house.”

There is a few of this kind of word choices, and to be fair that toilet one can be argued to be more of a regional difference in how to say things. But with the tone of the book, these word choices are a tad off. I say that because the chosen word of “apartment” instead of “flat” or “condo” was used through the book consistently, which made me assume the dialog choice was to be more classically American English, and not European English, or the Queen’s English. This was reinforced with the bits of slang that were chosen at random times, such as “man,” or using the word “mad” for angry instead of crazy which would be a European English choice.  Though the odd word choices happen at random times, it’s not a giant problem, by no means does it wreck the story, but it did break me out of immersion a couple of times to figure out either how the line could have been better or, possibly, what the word should have been. I am only noting it to note it!

Now for the part of the critique where I go into the positives, I enjoyed about the story. Specifically, one of my favorite things about the story is the soul of it. There is morale superiority written into the story, which revolves on three points-of-view. For example, the conflicts the MC feels for what he’s doing, the fact the girlfriend has conflicted for what her job is when it comes to the plot and the way that the challenges to the ethics of this world work through the book, makes this a fun story. The character of Lucy in and of herself is such a significant aspect to the triangular dynamic. And this isn’t like a love triangle situation; this is ethics> morales > law situation. Those things can all either work together or work against each other. In this case, we see how they work together one way both in the world building, and work against each other when it comes to the conflict of the characters. This is such a significant part of the story. I enjoyed the conflicts.

Next, let’s talk about the pacing and tension in the story, and I want to give huge kudos to Boris for the work that was done. The plot is never stale or dull, the tension, both dynamic and even individual character or scene tensions is just right. He slams on the breaks when it needs it, and he pushes on the gas when we need to accelerate forward. There aren’t any unnecessary parts where we sit and wait, and every moment is done well.

Let’s go into the believability of the characters. If you ever worked for corporate America, or have had a management job over lower level employees, this is a book you will like. The character of Cindy from HR made me laugh and cringe. She’s so much like the HR lady I worked with years ago, just enough smiles and sunshine when she wants to be, but not one iota of care for other things when she’s not needed to do so. Boris captured it so well is just amazing. Steve, is another character that was incredible. The layering in of the role Steve takes is a slow buildup but it’s nice, and I like what happens with this character throughout.

Lastly, and I picked this topic last but it is by no means least, I cannot say enough good things about the story as it was presented. This is a whole story, beginning, middle and ending. While that is the case, this is a series starter, but the thing that makes this one unique is it is plotted so perfectly it could be a template.

“How do I end my starting book if I want to keep the readers coming to the next one?” This is a question I see all the time on Writer’s Twitter. If for no other reason, if you want to know how it reads to have a complete story, pick this book up and read it all the way through. It has a lovely epilogue that leaves you wanting to read more, hooked into new ideas for the next book, but the entire tale was told and ended with beauty. I do not feel rushed, or cheated as a reader to have gotten to the ending. If anything, I know that this is a beautiful start to a series, and I am excited to read more. I liked this wholesomeness to the book so much, and this book is going into my recommends pile.


And on that note, with my already saying this is going to be one of my “Mrs. Y Recommends,” I give you “Code: Revelation.” I am giving this a score of 94/100, and that makes this a 5-Star review on Goodreads and Amazon. Writers, if you want to know how to do your series justice with a complete story, read this book. Readers, if you want a fun adventure that will take you to a new take on several old premises, read this book.

Until next time my friends, have the best day ever, see you tomorrow for another review!