“Twenty years ago, a UFO crashed into the Yellow Sea off the Korean Peninsula. The only survivor was a young English-speaking child, captured by the North Koreans. Two decades later, a physics student watches his girlfriend disappear before his eyes, abducted from the streets of New York by what appears to be the same UFO.
Feedback will carry you from the desolate, windswept coastline of North Korea to the bustling streets of New York and on into the depths of space as you journey to the outer edge of our solar system looking for answers. -From Amazon”
Its easy and very common to say a new title is an artist’s best work, and when I say artist I am including any of the arts: music, movies and writing. Is it really the case? Probably no. After the initial newness wears off you usually go back to an artists previous work as the place to gauge their future works quality. I won’t tell you that ‘Feedback’ is Peter Cawdron’s best work, I will only yell you that you will find yourself reading his books and weighing their quality against this title.
Cawdron has given us several great novelas in the past two or three years and his stroytelling and science has always been what made his work unique and wonderful. ‘Feedback’ added a new element, depth. Before that sounds like an insult, consider that for a work to really be better than others you have to identify a quantifying trait.
I don’t know the method to Cawdron’s writing process, but in the past he has written wonderful stories with character’s in them. I typically finish them and remeber the story and the characters are just a vehicle to advance the story. Most of the time I don’t remember their names as the story was more than the character. Again, not an insult. Lots of authors write stories and the events of the tale are better than the characters, sometimes the book is about the story you tell, not the people who experience the events in the book.
In ‘Feedback,’ Cawdron built an experience that could not work without the characters he created, this is truely the “Story of Jason” and when you are done reading you don’t wish that the story was longer, you want to write to Peter Cawdron and tell him to write another story about what happened to Jason, Lily and Prof Lochan. The connection he creates between character and reader is deep and unforgiving. Unforgiving? Yes, you need to read the book.
If your first thought is that I am implying Cawdron wrote a book about one character rather than his signature story served with a side of science, you are wrong. Beyond the synopsis attached to this book written by the author I don’t want to really mention the story because of potential spoilers and unintended plot reveals that could ruin the twists and turns of the book.
What I can say is that the layout of the story and the method in which past and present blend are told prefectly. Planned so cleverly that bits of information all connect for a reveal that you will figure out moments before the characters throw it into your face for the folks who might need that extra push over the plot line.
“Feedback” is about 250 pages, and the book peaks very early and the climax runs from about page 100-200 making you feel like you are watching ‘Star Wars: A New Hope’ where you sit on the edge of your seat for 45 minutes while Luke and Company make a monumental Death Star run.
People like comparisons and identifying comments, so here you go. If you have read Michael Crichton you might have read ‘Timeline’ or ‘The Andromeda Strain,’ ‘Feedback’ is nothing like either, but it is clear those works both had a strong influence on Peter Cawdron’s creative mind while he was laying the seeds for a great story.
I meant what I said in the title of this review, while having the opportunity to beta-read this book I broke from my normal beta-process. Typically I would read a chapter and send in little grammar typos and feed back to Peter, after about 3 chapters I had a copy on my Galaxy Tablet, my Android phone and my Google Drive to read on my work PC in all my free moments, I was hooked the moment Jason yook Lily in from the rain and there was a very large gap where I missed 10 or so chapters of ‘Feedback’ feedback because I was lost in the book and the experience of the story.
Cheers, Peter. Brilliant story.
AMAZON LINK for Feedback by Peter Cawdron