By: Russ Colchamiro
First published: March 2013
Genre: Science Fiction/Fantasy
“A high-flying adventure of a novel, filled with ambitious ideas and a breathtaking conclusion.” — The Leighgendarium
In the SciFi/Fantasy spirit of Firefly, Buck Rogers, Flash Gordon, Stargate, and Escape from New York…
Hotdog pilot Marcus Powell has been selected to test Taurus Enterprises’ Crossline prototype craft and its newly developed warp thrusters, which, if successful, will revolutionize space travel as we know it.
But during his jaunt across the stars, Powell is forced into a parallel universe — including a parallel Earth — where he finds himself at the center of an epic battle he may have been destined for all along.
Meanwhile, back home, reclusive oil tycoon and Taurus CEO Buddy Rheams Jr. — who sent Powell on that very mission — has a mysterious past and a secret agenda, one that could prevent Powell from ever making it back to his wife and little girl.
From author Russ Colchamiro, Crossline is a psychedelic, action-packed romp across time, space, and dimension that asks the question: once you cross the line, can you ever really go back?
After a slow-paced beginning to set up the scenario to the lift-off of Marcus Powell, Crossline takes a nice increase in pace throughout until its finale. As time goes by, slow beginnings in novels have begun the normal pattern nowadays because it needs the time to give its characters and story some foundation. One of the well-done parts of Crossline is how its executed. There is a structure that I enjoyed. It took its story into parts, describing its current and how it lead to this situation between Marcus Powell in the current situation and where his space expedition had ambitiously taken him while Part 2 took the step to introduce the character of Buddy Rheams Jr. who plays a key part to the story and unravels some of the mysteries left off from Part 1 in the Marcus Powell bit. As it enters the final act, it blends the two situation and the two locations together as it guides its story to the big finale. Because of this structure, Crossline ends up becoming fairly action-driven by its final part and that makes for a page-turning experience that perhaps the first few chapters didn’t do as well.
Taking a look at the characters, there is the obvious two here with Marcus Powell and Buddy Rheams Jr. While Marcus Powell doesn’t have as much of a backstory, he has a bit more of a mystery behind him because he does some actions in the start that create the situation that he’s in while also have the human aspects of family and connections. While Buddy Rheams Jr., we soon learn of his identity and his motives for this expedition, while at the same time, he has more of a past that creates his back story making his mystery the missing pieces of “What next?”. These two main characters are created very well. At the same time, there is also a contained group of supporting characters for both Powell’s side of the story on Aretha while Buddy Rheams Jr. and the Earth side of things also has its own crew which start off with some very odd characters who also get their purpose. Its always nice to have characters that serve their purpose. One of two of them are fairly underused but then, there’s no clear way how to add them more to the story but they aren’t exactly disposable either. At least, the author remembers to address all these characters by the time we reach the ending and that is a always nice to see that the characters mentioned are treated with care.
Overall, Crossline is a fun read. It starts off slow as it builds the foundation but quickly finds its footing and gradually paces the action fast and faster making it more and more of a page turner reading experience. The story’s two locations and two character focus ties into each other very effectively. There are some little issues here and there where at some points there are a bit too many characters that pop in on the Aretha situation (particularly in the final act) and it gets slightly confusing but then, most of it does a good job of creating a decent structure to make it work.
ABOUT THE AUTHOR
Russ Colchamiro is the author of the rollicking space adventure, Crossline, the zany SF/F backpacking comedy series Finders Keepers: The Definitive Edition, Genius de Milo, and Astropalooza, and is editor of the SF anthology Love, Murder & Mayhem, all with Crazy 8 Press.
Russ lives in New Jersey with his wife, two ninjas, and crazy dog Simon, who may in fact be an alien himself. Russ has also contributed to several other anthologies, including Tales of the Crimson Keep, Pangaea, Altered States of the Union, Camelot 13, TV Gods 2, They Keep Killing Glenn, Thrilling Adventure Yarns, Camelot 13, and Brave New Girls.
He is now working on the first novel in a new series featuring his hardboiled private eye Angela Hardwicke, and the first of three collaborative novella projects.
Details: For your chance to win a print copy of this high-flying adventure in either print or digital, AND a $15 Amazon Gift Card, be sure to click the link HERE!
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