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Saturday, January 5, 2019

#NetGalley Book Review: A Book Without Dragons by Olivia Berrier

This is a unique and engaging reading. Spread the word.
A Book Without Dragons
by Olivia Berrier
File Size: 364 KB
Print Length: 256 pages
Publication Date: May 21, 2016
Sold by: Amazon Digital Services LLC
Genre: Dystopian, Fantasy, Mystery
My Rating:  4.5 of 5.0

This book contains no dragons. It does, however, contain individuals who Willow Ayers believes would benefit from the addition of some magical creatures. A broken marriage, a failed career, an abusive home: the people around Willow are trapped inside problems so isolating they can only be expressed by constantly changing tenses and writing styles. It is not the sort of book Willow would read; he prefers fantasy novels with consistent styles and happy endings.

But this is not a fantasy book, and Willow’s idea to bring about his own ‘happily ever after’ is crumbling. Decades ago, he saw the way humanity relied on so many flawed systems—Internet, GPS, cell phones, electronic banking—and created Unitime, the perfect system to unite all systems. Now his Satellites are malfunctioning, and what seemed an innocent glitch in technology might prove to be something darker, something infinitely more dangerous.

Even so, Willow believes people can overcome such things, even though it seems as unlikely as a book that starts in five different writing styles, but ends in just one.

Here are the characters identified by subsections in the first chapter:
The Police Chief With No Stories
The Wife Who Answers Phones
The Waitress Who Failed to be a Nurse.
A Dog Who Is A Good Dog
The Scientist in Charge of Unitime

Willow is one of the scientists who developed Unitime, a satellite system that controls all electronics and was put into place 14 years before. The system provided free energy and set the world on the path of a peaceful easy-going life with minimal crime and discontent. But now in 2054, suddenly the clocks are wrong – which means something has gone wrong with the Unitime system.

The government, communication, banking and other systems are breaking down. People go on strike or get relieved of work, frustrations and tempers mount. Crime and violence erupt with the chaos of having no control.

The world is hunting for Willow, depending on him to find the glitch in the system and fix it. They can’t even return to the old NASA satellites without getting the Unitme system fixed to launch them. Willow is working on simulations and reading a fantasy novel called Quest for the Enchanted Dragon while waiting for results. But he has a secret that could throw the world into more chaos – if that is possible.

The book starts with a little confusion as the seemingly unrelated characters are introduced with the point of view (first person, second person, third person) and tense (past, present and even future), changing with each character. I was pulled into the mystery and the plot ride as the flawed characters grew on me and their lives become woven together. I even loved Cider, the dog. The story is engaging and unique and well worth the read – well done. I recommend it to readers who like their sci fi with mystery or their mystery with fantasy and readers who just love to be entertained! Spread the word!

Source: NetGalley 2018. This qualifies for 2018 NetGalley Challenge.

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