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)