Find out the latest indie author news. For FREE.

Formats
Ebook Details
  • 10/2018
  • 9780993119613
  • 345 pages
  • $5.50
Paperback Details
  • 07/2019
  • 9780993119606
  • 477 pages
  • $15.00
Connecting Obsessions
Neil Mavrick, author

Adult; General Fiction (including literary and historical); (Market)

Notting Hill meets The Time Traveler's Wife

How far would you go to save the woman you love? Beyond the known boundaries of established science?

Perhaps – but what if you had never actually met her?

Teenager Richard Stevenson stumbles across the photo of a young actress taken at a Gala dinner in Los Angeles in 2014, and is intrigued by the haunted expression on her face. Subsequent research reveals that she killed herself following an assault a few years before the gala. This triggers an obsession with the girl.

Richard is also frustrated. Studies to expand upon the theories of General Relativity, especially those concerning the flow of time and space, are ignored by all his contemporaries.

Rachel Starr is a wannabe actress. She has been in Hollywood for two years but is not alone. There are hundreds like her, many facing dangers from those who would entice them into the world of pornography, prostitution, or simply into bed.

One day, Rachel meets Paul Lander, an enigmatic character seemingly possessing an intimate knowledge of what the future holds for her - and, indeed, the rest of us - unless he can use his three obsessions to intercede on her behalf.

Three connecting obsessions

Plot/Idea: 7 out of 10
Originality: 6 out of 10
Prose: 7 out of 10
Character/Execution: 5 out of 10
Overall: 6.25 out of 10

Assessment:

Plot: Mavrick integrates concepts relating to quantum physics and General Relativity, and while under close examination readers may find flaws in the author’s logic, these threads inspire a degree of verisimilitude. Mavrick's mystery is engrossing and well-plotted, if ultimately more narrow in focus than the premise first suggests.

Prose: Prose is invitingly clear, if overly formal in tone--most notably in Paul’s mannered way of speaking. Mavrick gradually details the complex circumstances in a manner that doesn’t initially overload the reader; as a result of this pacing, however, the conclusion features heavy expository dialogue.

Originality: Readers may find parallels between this work and other time travel romances, but Mavrick brings a unique sensibility to the story, notably through its focus on the darker aspects of Hollywood, the ever provocative butterfly effect concept, and the story’s ecological angle.

Character Development: Mavrick introduces an unavoidable power differential into the romance between Paul and Rachel: in Rachel's present, Paul is a much older man who possesses the wisdom of a far distant future. His seeking to protect Rachel across temporal dimensions is certainly romantic, but also leaves her with relatively little agency of her own. Nevertheless, readers able to overlook this aspect of their relationship will swoon over the time-spanning romance.

Date Submitted: August 22, 2019

Reviews
Mavrick’s heartwarming debut neatly combines time travel and romance. Environmentalist Richard Stevenson decided to travel from the 22nd century to 2010 after seeing a picture of Rachel Starr, a beautiful actress who committed suicide in 2017 due to trauma from being raped in 2012. Richard, who takes the name of Paul Lander, interrupts the rape and helps Rachel launch a successful acting career. They begin dating, get married, and enjoy an idyllic life with their twin girls while Paul works tirelessly to protect the environment. After Paul disappears in Australia, Rachel is devastated. Then she meets journalist Allan Dupre, who reminds her of Paul, and is happy with him until he too seems to vanish into thin air. Though Rachel suffers significantly from these losses, she finds the strength to go on with her life and enjoys the support of her daughters until Richard’s secrets are finally revealed.

Readers who love tales of grand passion will be drawn to the romantic concept of a man abandoning his life to travel back in time for a woman he’s infatuated with. The tender romance between Rachel and Paul is enhanced by Mavrick’s clear, concise writing and even pacing, continually holding the reader’s interest. The characters are solid, though Mavrick focuses on their actions, leaving their thoughts and feelings more obscure. Paul’s quest to save the environment from destruction, and Rachel’s determination to survive Hollywood with her spirit intact, help to round out both their personalities and the story.

Though the novel is set primarily in California with American characters, Mavrick sprinkles the dialogue with British vernacular such as “I reckon” and “Hollywood mums.” Readers will easily overlook this small flaw as they get to know the warm, affable protagonists and hope for them to finally find happiness. Richard’s impulsiveness and Rachel’s steadiness are perfectly complementary; they are truly a couple for the ages.

Takeaway: Romance fans will quickly become immersed in this tale of time travel, Hollywood fame, environmental activism, and profound love.

Great for fans of Great for fans of Audrey Niffenegger, Diana Gabaldon.

Production grades
Cover: B
Design and typography: B
Illustrations: -
Editing: B
Marketing copy: -

Blue Ink Reviews

 'An ambitious amalgam of science fiction, mystery, and romance

 ‘A shrewdly constructed page-turner and a highly entertaining, emotionally compelling read that will likely resonate stronger with romance readers than science fiction fans’

Formats
Ebook Details
  • 10/2018
  • 9780993119613
  • 345 pages
  • $5.50
Paperback Details
  • 07/2019
  • 9780993119606
  • 477 pages
  • $15.00

Loading...