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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 a 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.
on April 05, 2016 :
"d4" is an action novel for intellectuals! It has a steady and gripping plot which incorporates a fully thought out phenomenon of seeing into the future, as well as addressing the philosophical question of what to do with that knowledge. It's loosely connected with other novels in the "46.Ascending" series - but only loosely; it can be read independently from the others and still make sense.
Sherrie really hits the spot when it comes to beautiful writing! Characters have depth and background and these attributes come into play in their conversation with each other as well as how they react to certain given situations. They're introduced early on and the connections between them become evident fairly quickly.
The main plot line in "d4" is clearly defined, and the pace is steady. A lot happens through movement of knowledge from one character to another. Consequences of holding that information are key in what happens in "d4"; let's call this an intellectual property-action novel!
You'd think that with several of the characters having knowledge of the future there would be little space for intrigue and mystery. I don't know how she does it but Sherrie masterfully maintains suspense throughout the novel. Ariel knows what's going to happen next - but we don't!
Ariel 'remembers' the future, or to use her word - she has "premories" of the future. I think it's a really nice touch to give Ariel's capability a word, and I'm embarrassed to admit like much like a test rat in some psychological experiment of some ilk, I found that having a word to call it kind of made her experience more understandable to me!
Ariel has ideas about the future which are fuzzy much like memories are. They can consist of sounds, smells and meanings - and she is also able to assign a level of likelihood of occurrence. Her premories arise mostly through physical contact with an object or a person.
Sherrie's added some extra 'features' for premories which make the capability to see into the future a fully comprehensive phenomenon, for example, a range in how far different characters can see into the future, and a contagion of sorts between those with the ability.
On a personal note, I didn't like the term's "psychic" or "clairvoyant" to describe Ariel's ability to see into the future. For me, these terms conjure up images of dodgy spiritualism, caravans, josticks and cheap gaudy bling. What Ariel (and the others) have is much more tangible.
Sherrie also incorporates a philosophical approach to the future in the novel. Underneath the main thrust of the story line lies a gentle question - what do we do with knowledge of the future? This is expressed most clearly towards the end of the novel, but prior to that there are several conversations and inner thoughts where this is brought to the fore.
So clearly - 5 stars for another brilliant novel in the "46.Ascending series" by Sherrie Cronin!
(reviewed 29 days after purchase)