Tuesday, July 05, 2005

DÉJÀ VU by Ian Hocking (UKA Press)

What do you get if you combine Primer, The Matrix, A.I., and Memento into a single, cohesive plot? I mean, besides a headache? Well, you get one mighty potent story, my friends.

I had received Ian Hocking's novel,
DÉJÀ VU , (a soft science-fiction thriller in the manner of Crichton) a few months ago and it wasn't until he posted a comment here that it jogged my memory. (In the past two months I've received 480+ .pdf manuscripts; I never thought I'd fill that gigabyte on Yahoo's free mail service, but there you have it.) I'd started reading his novel and put it aside to take care of editing [my own novel]; don't forget I'm a writer, too. When I finally (re)found it (took me fifteen minutes) I kicked myself because I remembered being enthralled at the time. But the story line is so involved, so complex (and admittedly confusing; I blame my own slowness) that I had to start over.

Let me put some things out there for you to ponder:

(1) It is 2023. Wait, sometimes it is 2012. And some stuff happened in 2002. But don't worry.
(2) The book is a murder mystery (David Proctor has been accused (falsely) of causing his wife's death) and he is out to solve the puzzle of what actually happened. However--it is really about identity (Hocking is a Teaching Fellow at the University of Exeter's School of Psychology.) Enough said.
(3) It's British. Take it with a grain of salt.
(4) Think about this for a moment: digital minds.

If you like puzzle-esque novels or really enjoyed (oh, God, forgive me) the DA VINCI CODE, this is one for your bookshelf. Save this book for when you can isolate yourself and dedicate some time to a thought-provoking experience. This is good stuff.

I must disclose: UKA Press is, for lack of a better term, a real publisher (designator: edits free of charge) and as a result had a leg up on the other titles I have reviewed here. Also, it's been released in the UK and I have no idea how you can buy a copy but I am sure Ian Hocking can give you an idea.

Get ready to to have mind-blowing experience.