z2

Rated 5.00/5 based on 3 reviews
Alex once walked away from a rare ability to warp time. Now, he needs to relearn the skill quickly. To protect his daughter he must stop the school he teaches at from turning the clock backwards to an era of white supremacy. An old friend needs Alex to solve an ancient mystery. Both are possible, but only if Alex can learn to control his temporal talents before he runs out of time. More

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About Sherrie Cronin

Sherrie Roth grew up in Western Kansas thinking that there was no place in the universe more fascinating than outer space. After her mother vetoed astronaut as a career ambition, she went on to attended Northwestern University studying journalism and physics in hopes of becoming a science writer.
She published her first science fiction short story long ago and then waited a lot of tables while she looked for inspiration for the next tale. When it finally came, it declared to her that it had to be whole book, nothing less. One night, while digesting this disturbing piece of news, she drank way too many shots of ouzo with her boyfriend. She woke up thirty-one years later demanding to know what was going on.
The boyfriend, who she had apparently long since married, asked her to please calm down. He explained that in a fit of practicality she had gone back to school and gotten a degree in geophysics and had spent the last 28 years interpreting seismic data in the oil industry. The good news, according to Mr. Cronin, was that she had found it at least mildly entertaining and ridiculously well-paying. The bad news was that the two of them had still managed to spend almost all of the money.
Apparently she was now Mrs. Cronin, and the further good news was that they had produced three wonderful children whom they loved dearly, even though to be honest that is where a lot of the money had gone. Even better news was that Mr. Cronin turned out to be a warm-hearted, encouraging sort who was happy to see her awake and ready to write. "It's about time," were his exact words.
Sherrie Cronin discovered that over the ensuing decades Sally Ride had already managed to become the first woman in space and apparently had done a fine job of it. No one, however, had written the book that had been in Sherrie's head for decades. The only problem was, the book informed her sternly that it had now grown into a collection of six books. Sherrie decided that she better start getting it on down paper before it got any longer. She's been wide awake ever since, and writing away.

Also in Series: 46. Ascending

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Reviews

Review by: Paul Wandason on Jan. 19, 2016 :
Disclaimer: I received a free (print) version of this book in exchange for an honest review. I needed to 'buy' a copy here before I could leave a review, hence my review is made the same day of purchase!

z2 is the third book in the 46.Ascending series and revolves around Alex Zeitman who has the ability to warp time and hence experience time slower or faster than the rest of us.

Several story lines weave and wend through z2, and characters interlace beautifully and this is where much of the elegance in the novel lies; the back cover blurb is perhaps a little too one-dimensional and really does not do the novel the full justice it deserves.

Reading about chasing after Mayan artefacts, high school physics lessons and sports coaching was a gripping ride which left me wondering how on Earth it was all going to come together in the end! When the end did come I had mixed feelings at first. It seemed to come early, it was rushed and even predictable. However as I continued reading I realised that the real conclusion is more subtle and goes beyond the obvious 'pseudo' conclusion I had read moments earlier.

Characters are fascinating and well developed and the writing style is excellent! For example, a conversation that Alex has with his wife has the potential to be a complete drag to read. But Sherrie provides the background thoughts and concerns that both Alex and Lola have, and this multiple character insight gives a seemingly mundane conversation a whole new level!

There are also original angles on otherwise 'standard' ideas and concepts; telepathy, for example, apparently doesn't have the accuracy that only words can provide! (I'd have assumed it would be more accurate!)

The main character is Alex Zeitman, and ultimately all story lines involve him to some extent. Indeed, the final conclusion is arguably about him more than about anything else. Like other members of his family, Alex has a special ability - to experience the passage of time at different speeds. We also meet Lola who has telepathic abilities and Zane (Alex's son) who is able to morph his body into other shapes.

Daughters Teddie and Ariel also have powers, though we don't see those at work in z2 and would need to read c3 and d4 respectively to see how Teddie has out of body experiences and Ariel is able to see into the future. (Incidentally, x0 centers around Lola and y1 around Zane.)

Although z2 is the third in the series, it is stand-alone. Perhaps there are cross-overs between segments of the plot in z2 and the other novels, but of course at this stage I'd be unaware of those. There was one moment where Ariel seemingly gives Alex some advice about the future and I thought that I may have missed something in an earlier novel, but a few pages later it's explained (although we should note that d4 focuses on Ariel and her ability to see the future - which comes after z2! ;) )

In summary, z2 by Sherrie Cronin is a delightful science fiction novel with a delicate undertone of time manipulation running right through it. A multitude of story lines and characters blend together beautifully to create a 5 star novel with inter-related characters with depth and a poetic conclusion to top it all off!
(reviewed the day of purchase)

Review by: Bob Craton on July 24, 2014 :
I'm a big fan of this author's first two books, 'x0' and 'y1', so it is no surprise that I love this third volume of the series. Once again she has put together a marvelous tale. I don't know of anyone doing better in the genre of magical realism than she does. All of the books involve the fictional Zeitman family with a different member featured in each volume -- Lola (wife/mother) in the first, Zane (son) in the second, and now Alex (husband/father). Each character is a very real and believable person who just happens to have a special ability.

The author is unafraid of tackling serious social problems, in this case racism, and she does so without being preachy. She also does a lot of research so the facts in the 'realism' part of magical realism are always accurate. (That makes those of us who just make stuff up as we go along feel lazy.) I don't give spoilers so all I will say about the story is that there are two subplots, each with its own set of characters, and that the story-lines merge and the characters meet each other.

As before, the ending is very upbeat and optimistic. As a skeptic, I would not expect such happy endings in the real world. In the Zeitman family's world, however, the conclusion shows the way things could be -- and should be. I find this approach very encouraging.

Note: Each book is a stand-alone story, but 'z2' makes enough references to events in 'x0' and 'y1' that it would help if they are read in order. Believe me, all three volumes are definitely worth reading.
(reviewed long after purchase)

Review by: Bob Craton on June 05, 2013 : (no rating)
I'm a big fan of this author's first two books, 'x0' and 'y1', so it is no surprise that I love this third volume of the series. Once again she has put together a marvelous tale. I don't know of anyone doing better in the genre of magical realism than she does. All of the books involve the fictional Zeitman family with a different member featured in each volume -- Lola (wife/mother) in the first, Zane (son) in the second, and now Alex (husband/father). Each character is a very real and believable person who just happens to have a special ability.

The author is unafraid of tackling serious social problems, in this case racism, and she does so without being preachy. She also does a lot of research so the facts in the 'realism' part of magical realism are always accurate. (That makes those of us who just make stuff up as we go along feel lazy.) I don't give spoilers so all I will say about the story is that there are two subplots, each with its own set of characters, and that the story-lines merge and the characters meet each other.

As before, the ending is very upbeat and optimistic. As a skeptic, I would not expect such happy endings in the real world. In the Zeitman family's world, however, the conclusion shows the way things could be -- and should be. I find this approach very encouraging.

Note: Each book is a stand-alone story, but 'z2' makes enough references to events in 'x0' and 'y1' that it would help if they are read in order. Believe me, all three volumes are definitely worth reading.
(reviewed the day of purchase)

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