From the Back: Applegate Bogdanski returns from Vietnam with a missing leg, a Bronze Star and a Purple Heart. A fair trade, he thinks, for a coward, whose only remaining passion is to dull his grief with morphine. He stumbles through each day working at an obscure Newark, New Jersey bookstore, looking forward to nothing and hoping it would arrive soon. Enter Angela, who claims to be his guardian angel. Neither one is an angel, but together, they uncover a conspiracy which threatens to undo humankind itself.
Cover: The cover is well-designed and modern, which is essential for a science-fiction novel, a genre dominated by amateur covers, writing, and mass-market paperbacks. It catches the eye immediately. The text used for the title and author’s name is typical of science-fiction novels: futuristic, and slightly robotic. The illustration on the cover is done extremely well, capturing the idea of “angels”, along with the main character, Applegate Bogdanski.
Content: The writing is decent. I’m not going to say it’s the best writing in the world, because it isn’t. The writing itself is above average for a novel in this genre. I have a feeling that the author had a thesaurus handy when he wrote this novel, and his decision to use more difficult language to understand pays off (for the most part). There were a couple places in the novel where the phrasing was too difficult to understand, meaning I had to skip entire paragraphs. The plot was, again, decent. For a genre as vast as sci-fi, it is difficult to find something that hasn’t been done before, and it takes a creative mind to come up with something unique. Arthur Doweyko delivers. Those who are accustomed to science-fiction will enjoy this novel for it’s refreshing plot. People who are trying to get into the genre, however, may be turned off by the plot’s complicated nature. Overall, however, this novel was an enjoyable read, but not suited for new sci-fi readers.
Characters: Applegate Bogdanski is not a common name. According to HowManyOfMe, there are only 1,617 people in America named Applegate, 717 with the last name Bogdanski, and 1 person named Applegate Bogdanski. In a novel, you want a name that isn’t too common, but isn’t too uncommon. This name is far too uncommon to be believable, and every time I saw the main character referred to as “Apple”, I had to laugh. Other than the name, the main character is believable. His struggles after returning from Vietnam with a morphine addiction seem all to true to many stories of veterans.
Final Score: 13/15 (B+)
If you want to read this book, you can purchase it here.
Disclaimer: I received this book, for free, from SAGE Blog Tours, in exchange for an honest review.