TPG Reviews: Second Chance, by Dylan S Hearn
I first came across this book a while ago and wasn’t originally expecting to read it. However, the author contacted me directly and ended up giving me a free copy, so naturally I just had to try it out.
A decent, though flawed, debut.
It was a struggle but finally the ravages of climate change are in the past. Normality has returned and humanity is blossoming once more.
But a return to normality also brings the return of old behaviour.
Flushed with recent success and bored of being a figure-head, newly-elected delegate Stephanie Vaughn decides to take a more active role against government control. But in choosing to back a campaign to find a missing student, Stephanie unleashes a series of events that puts both herself, and anyone connected to her, in danger.
Set in the near future where everybody is connected and death isn’t final, Second Chance is a story of what power is willing to do to retain control, and what one person is willing to sacrifice to obtain revenge.
My rating: 6/10
Second Chance is certainly an ambitious piece of work. It follows four very different characters through a post-global warming world, where humanity has seemingly learned from the mistakes of their past. All is not as it seems, of course, with the flow of information controlled by shady corporations and shadier politicians. And when one of said corporations can clone people back to life, you just know that trouble won’t be far behind.
The novel that follows is practically brimming with interesting ideas. The book explores such things as future tech, dirty politics and the potential complexities of private policing. Most of the time, it does a fantastic job. The technology was particularly well done in my view, being suitably futuristic without being unbelievably so.
One thing that goes under-explored here, sadly, is the titular “second chance” itself. I’d have expected the nature of the Re-Life technology to be important, but for much of the novel it simply doesn’t come up. Granted, when it is explored it’s explored well, but it still struck me as an odd omission at the time.
An additional problem is the editing – or rather, the apparent lack of it. The book is plagued by editorial problems, ranging from stodgy formatting (improper indentations etc) all the way to wrong words, missing words and bad grammar. To call this distracting would be a massive understatement; in fact, I’d go as far as to call this the novel’s single biggest flaw.
I should also mention that the ending isn’t particularly conclusive, and serves mainly to set up a sequel rather than to provide any real closure. Not necessarily a bad thing, perhaps, but I still found it rather anticlimactic at the time.
If you’re into indie books and you’re into dystopias, then Second Chance is worth looking into. There are better dystopian books out there, sure, but there are also plenty of worse ones.
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