Indie Spotlight: Prescient (Book 1) by Derek Murphy

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Kindle Edition, 152 pages

Published: April 1, 2016 by Urban Epics

Setting: New Jersey

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Alicia’s quotidian life — filled with high school, spending time with her best friend and widowed father, and contemplating her unrequited crush — is derailed when seemingly harmless drug experimentation catapults her forward in time. As a time traveler in the near future, she enters a terrifying post-apocalyptic world.

After returning to the present, she finds herself unwillingly thrust into the role of Cassandra, anxious to warn others of what lies ahead. But who will believe her?

I won’t reveal more than that; I’ll leave you to discover this future dystopia for yourself. This author has combined some of the tropes of modern science fiction and fantasy — including time travel and a variation on zombie lore — along with elements of classical Greek mythology and Frankensteinian* themes — to create something original and fascinating. His excellent writing and storytelling abilities stand out. Although I’m well beyond the target age for this YA novel, I readily related to Alicia, enjoyed spending time in her head, and was thoroughly engrossed in the story.

A word of warning: this doesn’t quite follow the conventions of a first novel in a series. Although the story is well-developed, the ending is more of a cliffhanger than a resolution. The author did this deliberately, seeking reader feedback before continuing the series. This may be a budding trend in fiction, and it intrigues me.

But this, along with a handful of minor editorial errors strewn throughout the book, may be of-putting to some readers. On the other hand I consider myself a tough customer when it comes to fiction 🙂 and none of these issues diminished my enjoyment of the novel.

*Is “Frankensteinian” a word? I think it should be. 🙂

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One thought on “Indie Spotlight: Prescient (Book 1) by Derek Murphy

  1. Interesting! I have seen some videos and read one of Murphy’s books and have wondered how his indie fiction writing since I’ve viewed his author advice with mixed feelings.

    Murphy also mentioned in one blog post that he is an editor, and he edits his own books. I don’t recommend that if you can help it (and I’m an editor myself)!

    I guess I’m lucky to have a spouse that edits. He may not be a trained fiction editor (he does mostly medical stuff), but he reads a lot of fiction and doesn’t let me get away with linguistic/grammar/spelling mistakes, that’s for sure! I have beta readers—who are often writers or editors—for the rest 🙂

    That said, I’m not sure I would pick up book 2 if book 1 ended on a cliffhanger. If the series was already well established (say in book 3 or 4) and I knew that the author could deliver in the next book, I might be more tolerant.

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