“These days, people just relied on a machine to tell them where to go. But not knowing which way I was supposed to be heading reminded me that I didn’t live on a set path…”
Note to Self, by Peter Ward
Diversion Books, September 2013
science fiction thriller
230 pages (ebook)
In a world where technology controls everything, sometimes your own handwriting is the only thing you can trust.
Richard Henley is an ordinary man leading an ordinary life, but when he finds strange notes in his own handwriting warning that someone is trying to kill him, he is sent on a journey to places he never knew existed. With an ominous and all-powerful organization on his trail, his only hope is to trust unexpected allies, take control of his life, and uncover the truth about what happened to the girl he loved twenty years ago. A darkly humorous commentary on our app-obsessed culture, if Richard can stay alive, his world will never be the same again.
*** I requested this review copy through NetGalley. ***
The summary immediately pulled me in, but the reality of the book ended up being different than what I was expecting. This isn’t one of those books that flirts with some speculative science; it’s science fiction first, thriller second… which, for whatever reason, isn’t what I thought I was getting.
Note to Self is one of those stories where the main character is completely clueless, so you’re trying to figure out what’s going on right along with him. (You, of course, have the benefit of knowing it’s fiction, and therefore anything is possible.) The plot was constantly moving. The concepts – once explained – were interesting, if you like that sort of thing. I can’t tell you what “that sort of thing” is without giving away half of the book, except to say it’s very much science fiction.
But it’s not really solid science fiction. I had questions when it was all over, some science-related, some plot-related. The story seemed unnecessarily complicated; given the technology available, I would have thought the characters could come up with better options in a couple spots. It was fun, though. Sometimes fun is enough.
Despite my reservations, I really did enjoy this. In fact, the biggest thing keeping me from rating it higher is that the moral of the story is a little heavy-handed. On the whole, though, it was an entertaining one-day read. The author has one other book – Time Rep – which I intend on checking out.
Note to Self is available in print, as well as for Kindle, Nook, and other e-readers.
Does this sound like something you’d pick up? What would you do if your life suddenly took a turn toward the unexplained?