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Friday, September 28, 2012

Another Journey by Michael Sutherland

Another Journey by Michael Sutherland
Publisher: Musa Publishing
Genre: Sci-Fi/Fantasy, Suspense/Mystery
Length: Short Story (13 pages)
Rating: 3.5 stars
Reviewed by Astilbe

They wouldn't dare get in that machine themselves, but you? Who the hell cares what happens to you?

They stick you in a machine and send you on another journey, and they don’t care if it kills you.

Sometimes it’s easier not knowing what the future holds.

Mr. Sutherland certainly knows how to capture a reader’s attention by painting a vividly unforgettable picture in one sentence:

“Graffiti monsters lunge out of shadows, furies frozen in a flash of Day-go pink and lime, and yellow curves, and sherbet orange pikes, and everything is edged off, caged in a halo of lies, in scarlet and black so serious it makes my eyes ache.”

As much as I wanted to piece together the mystery I kept jumping back to reread certain passages. The images that popped into my mind were so imaginative and unexpected that I wanted to experience them again before moving on to the next page.

I really wanted to give this book a higher rating. The concept behind it is intriguing and the plot starts off with a bang but I was repeatedly distracted by the narrator’s flight of ideas. He jumps so quickly from one thought to the next that I had a difficult time differentiating between important and potentially irrelevant information. At one point I even wondered if the narrator could be trusted. Was his interpretation of the events swirling around him correct? Are readers intended to believe him or come to the conclusion that his impressions were at least partially influenced by mental illness or mind altering substances?

This piece have worked better if the narrator’s state of mind was explained more clearly either through one of his thoughts or by having one of the other characters comment on what was or was not actually happening.

Another Journey is a roller-coaster ride through the mind of one of the most interesting characters I’ve never met. I’d recommend this book to anyone in the mood for a mystery that is not easily unravelled.

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