Publisher: Quarky Media
Date Published: May 27th 2016
Genres: Science Fiction
Audiobook Length: 10 hrs and 53 mins
Audiobook Narrator: Susan J Iannucci
Source: Provided for review through Audiobook Blast/Boom
Description: What would you do if you found your perfect life? When lonely physicist Chloe Carsen discovers a parallel world she becomes addicted to her life there with a perfect family and a perfect career. She doesn't even care that her physical body in the real world is wasting away. But, then, in the alternative world her ideal life begins to fall apart. Her anti-gravity experiment unleashes a government manhunt for her and her family; they'll do anything to get their hands on her tech. The lives of Chloe's alternative-world husband and sons are endangered. Chloe is torn away from them as her real-world brother finds her on the verge of death and destroys her equipment. Heartbroken and torn between two worlds, Chloe pushes her scientific expertise to the limit to find a way to reconcile her two lives. Can the husband and sons be saved? Can she build a life for herself in the real world?
I received this book for free in exchange for an honest review. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.
Reality Alternatives is an interesting premise – I do love stories with alternate dimensions and seeing what kind of life our parallel self is leading and comparing with our own life path. It is almost like seeing into our futures or pasts, where a different decision would have taken our life is a different direction. Our parallel self would still have our personality and basic interests but could have a completely different life experience. That fascinates me. I was a fan of Fringe.
Starting with what I did like, the attempt at explaining the reason behind the alternate dimensions – the experiment lead by our main character and professor of physics. The theory behind why the alternate reality professor and her family have certain abilities is interesting as well. I liked that sci-fi explanation and aspect of the story. I liked how the virtual reality equipment was a crucial part of the experiment, making it more believable that the viewer gets pulled into an alternate reality and feels like they are really living it.
I also really liked the other version of our main character and her family best, as I think we are meant to. The “our reality” Chloe is lonely and shuts people out, while the “other reality” Chloe has a loving family and is very social in the community. I can understand why our Chloe was so addicted to watching the other version of herself living her happy life.
What I wasn’t so much a fan of was the style of storytelling. The beginning and end address the reader as opening a book, which is super awkward to me. The rest is told from “our reality” Chloe’s POV. The writing style is quite simplistic, even in the sentence style. It is very much “I did this, I did that” type of narrative, which is a strange contrast to the physics-based sci-fi being used in the book.
Also, the audiobook narrator was not working for me. The voice was too sweet, too almost child-like, and the situations that seemed quite scary and dangerous (you know, being shot at by secret service) just didn’t come across that way. As someone who devours audiobooks, the bar is set quite high for a good narration.
I do have a fan theory on the abilities the other Chloe has. Perhaps they are amplified or even caused by the experiment and being observed/accessed in that way from another dimension. I mean, other reality Chloe did say it all started at that birthday party, and she didn’t know she had the abilities before that. Anyone else who read this book have a similar thought?