Would you take a pill that connects your mind to those of others? To have a bossy voice in your brain?
Publisher: Distant Shore Publishing Author: Tom Jolly
Page Count: 91 pages
I just want to thank Tom Jolly and Distant Shore Publishing for the chance to read this novel for free, in return for an honest review of the novel.
I wanted to start this review by stating that I have never read a book of this length before, the shortest novel I have read in the last few years has been over 200 pages at least. Whilst I was reading this novel I found it to be the perfect palate cleanser in between my longer reads. I read this book in a couple of days and I found it to be just what I needed, and it has definitely highlighted the idea of using these shorted novels as a inbetween book. Now on to the actual review
Have you ever wondered what it would be like to have a second voice inside your head? Have you ever wanted to know what other people see, hear or think? Would you take a pill that would make you smarter but you would gain an interconnected master personality, who bossed you around? Well this novel by Tom Jolly gives an interesting perspective into what that would be like!
The novel starts with a gentlemen called Cory, who is your typical out of luck guy, who has lost everything and is now living on the streets, desperate for money. In return for a little bit of cash and the occassional tin of food, he allowed a local scientist to test his latest pills on him to boost intelligence. Obviously with all these types of stories, things never work out as intended. Soon after taking the pill, Cory finds that he gains an inner voice known as Molly, who allows him to see and hear those who share an ancestrail connection to one another. Only those however who have swallowed the pill, have an awareness of this inner personality. Unfortunately, there is another personality in town, with their own collection of people who are after the secret formula to allow them to produce their own pills. The plot works really well, keeping me engaged throughout the whole novel and a premise which I found intriguing, wanting to see where the battle of minds would take me.
Within the book I really enjoyed Cory as a character, seeing his journey of redemption from a homeless waste of space, to someone who makes one of the greatest discoveries on the planet. His interactions with both his inner mind, Molly and the other characters withn the story was fantastic to read. Jolly did a wonderful job writing the inter-play between them. There were parts of the story where I felt my own emotional connection with Molly, feeling both pity and empathy for her even though she wasn’t a true person with a real body.
I found the novel easy to read, with the words flowing across the page. Sometimes I find Sci-fi novels to be a little vocabulary rich or too wordy, which can sometimes disrupt the flow. However, Jolly was able to keep the Sci-fi heart within his novel without burdening the book with too much science. The key concepts were never lost within the novel, and I always felt satisfied by the level of science within the novel or the rate in which concepts were introduced. At no point I was left feeling lost or confused, re-reading pages in order to untangle the science involved.
My only critique with the novel is based around the pacing and overall length of the novel. I found because the novel was shorter in length, some moments I felt were a little rushed and suffered from quick changes. I could overlook them with the understanding that it was a shorter novel, but at the same time I would have loved maybe another ten thousand words just to build up certain sections just a little bit more. This also applies to the ending of the novel, which I did enjoy and Jolly found a satifying way to end his story but I would have loved a tad more build up to allow it to feel like less of a jump to the finish.
I would give this novel a 4/5 and I think it is a perfect choice if you need something light after a longer novel! If you like sci-fi then this a great pick up for yourselves and I would highly recommend it!