BOOK REVIEW: EXTRA LIVES

by DEREK NIKITAS

AUTHOR: Derek Nikitas

PLOT: Kid gets time warped via cell phone. Paradox ensues.

4-Knives1/2

IMHO:

Suspense crackles from page one of Derek Nikitas’ riveting YA novel (but great reading for any sci-fi/action fan, regardless of age). Teenager and aspiring filmmaker Russ finds himself in a reality (or realities, rather) vastly more interesting (“May you live in interesting times” – ancient Chinese curse) than any fictional reality he and his Super 8 style pals could ever dream up.

Action, sci-fi, romance, and more abound as Nikitas hustles us through a grabber of a read about a poor kid who ends up atop a cell tower when his phone gets a mysterious message from – himself! Along the message comes a wormhole that blasts him through time and space to the same day. This is Groundhog Day for edgy sci-fi fans. This is Michael Crichton with the pacing of James Patterson, but for young adults and readers of all ages.

For real.

Russ piles upon Russ. Events unfold anew in vastly different ways. Metatexts abound. Reality spirals out of control. This swift, smart tale unleashes at least as much energy as the sparking wormholes with which his characters must cope.

They also must cope with a mysterious stalker who pursues them through realities. Chances are it’s someone they know. They’ve been warned. Careful who you trust!

And what is the mystery behind Russ’ dad’s old job? And what about this crazy tech? Nikitas ably has the reader’s brain careening ’round the mental race track with questions like these, while our fingers race in paper-cut danger toward ending pages of denouement.

This is goddamned good sci-fi, near top-of-the-heap. Mundane settings seethe with out-of-this-world energy in Nikitas’ contemporary-setting sci-fi masterpiece.

On this earthly reality, or the next, read this book!

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