Sunday, 6 April 2014

Obvious Child by Warren Cantrell

Available from TWCS, Amazon, B&N, iTunes and Kobo - April 3rd, 2014

My Thoughts:

Obvious Child by Warren Cantrell is a strange story to describe, it's part sci-fi, part modern culture, and part drama. 

The sci-fi is easy to explore as the tale begins with the first successful time travel experiment being broadcast on YouTube. Of course YouTube is hardly a private medium, so it is not long before the discovery goes viral and the Government is forced to decide on the best use of the technology through a very public forum. Enter the modern culture aspect... Reality TV and the Global Financial Crisis.

How do you chose the first suitable candidate to travel through time in today's society? More importantly in today's insecure financial climate, how do you fund such a project? Well... you invite applicants to submit an application along with an entry fee, you choose a select few to compete against each other and have the public vote. A simple enough premise with the obvious elevated drama that accompanies such programs. 

But the real drama, the real depth to this novel centres around the main character Sam Grant, who goes from being a loveable larrikin to being a perfect scoundrel, before he finally chooses a more honourable path. I love stories where a character can grow and change, and come out a better person in the end.

My main criticism with this book is the author may have taken the degeneration of our Hero a little too far over to the dark side. It's a tricky to balance to maintain and in the end his redemption was proportionate, so I guess that the tension created by Sam's shenanigan's was justified. 

My Rating:


I obtained an ARC from the publisher (via Netgalley) with a view to providing an honest review. The thoughts expressed above, are entirely my own. I don’t really like the concept of rating novels as they are subjective and subject to change. A five star book today, may be re-evaluated when compared to future novels.

The Summary:
Sam Grant doesn’t want to be famous, but he doesn’t have much of a say in the matter.
On the verge of graduating from college with his master’s in History, Sam and the rest of the world bear witness to the invention of time travel. Revealed via a YouTube broadcast, the brothers responsible for inventing time travel find their remarkable device coopted by the U.S. government. In a magnanimous gesture, the U.S. government holds a worldwide competition to decide who will be the first time traveler in history. This turns Sam’s world upside down after a half-baked joke application he sends in gets him accepted as a contestant for consideration.
Thrust into a political and media blender set to puree, Sam and his fellow contestants vie for the affections of a worldwide audience who will vote on the eventual winner. As the successive rounds of the contest pass by, and Sam tries everything from indifference to wild irreverence to get himself voted out of the competition, he finds that all his actions only serve to make him more popular.
As the contest goes on, Sam and the time travel project become more of a referendum on our society’s fascination with celebrity disasters, and what they will do to make sure the entertainment doesn’t stop anytime soon. Unable to get out of the contest via logical means, Sam learns to embrace the perks sudden celebrity provides, yet also suffers some of its typical consequences.
Stuck between two worlds—one he can’t handle, and another he can’t control—Sam finds himself considering a third option, one that has him confronting a time traveling reality that terrifies him to his very core.

The Author:

Warren Cantrell is a film and music critic based out of Seattle, Washington. One of the few surviving journalists of the Gonzo school, Mr. Cantrell’s work has appeared in such publications as Lost in Reviews and Scene-Stealers.
A classically trained scholar with a bachelor’s and master’s degree in History, Mr. Cantrell has spent the majority of his time since graduation writing novels and paying off his student loans. Working as a critic and an on-the-ground correspondent, Mr. Cantrell has covered the Seattle International and Sundance Film Festivals and has had the pleasure of interviewing people ranging from Sissy Spacek to Joss Whedon.
As an established film and music critic, Mr. Cantrell finds that it is best to keep his political views private, except to say that he feels Greedo definitely did not shoot first and that The Misfits ceased to exist the moment Danzig left the band.
A life-long Arizona Diamondbacks, Cardinals, and Phoenix Suns fan, Mr. Cantrell enjoys fast cars, Italian opera, Norwegian cinema, Kentucky bourbon, and Motörhead concerts.

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