E.A. Fournier has worked as a screenwriter and film editor in Hollywood (in a past life) and served similar roles for major corporations (current life). He has written for television and the big screen (and suffered mentally from both experiences). He has directed independent films in this country and overseas (oh, the stories I could tell). Yes, he has an advanced degree in film from the University of Southern California (sigh!) but he prefers to hide that – and yes, he roots against the Trojans whenever their football team is on TV. He currently works for a major international corporation writing and directing their audio visual productions. A native of the Twin Cities of Minneapolis and St. Paul, he escaped from the gulag of Southern California many years ago in order to raise his large family in Minnesota. “Now & Again” is his first novel.
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Now & Again
by E.A. Fournier
When a day begins with burying your wife, you’d think it can’t get worse, but for Kendall McCaslin and his son, Josh, it can. On their way home they’re caught in a chain-reaction car crash and both killed. Surprisingly, they don’t stay dead. After devising an escape route from alternate car crashes they find they're trapped in a parallel version of their former life: one where the dead wife lives.
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Smashwords book reviews by E.A. Fournier
The Star Alliance Chronicles: Crisis on the Rim
on Sep. 13, 2013
The experience of reading “The Star Chronicles – Crisis at the Rim” is a lot of fun sometimes and drudgery at other times. The novel is a space opera, and once the story gets into space and the antimatter torpedoes and disruptor cannons start flying, all is well – in fact, all is better than well. The writing then is moving and tense, active and up close; the dialogue is terse and controlled, and while we share the small battles and the individual fears and dangers and heroics, we never lose sight of how the larger battle they’re a part of is faring. This is where the reader’s most entertainment is to be found and it is a fun ride. The book definitely does interstellar battles well.
Unfortunately, not even space operas get to stay in the stars all the time. The book stumbles most when it’s on the ground, and it falls flat trying to handle romance. In those scenes the dialogue is bookish and emotionally disconnected; little of what’s said and how it’s said rings true. Emotionally, everything comes across as a high school crush masquerading as something deeper and more durable. Still, the characters themselves remain very likable and the reader is caught wanting the interactions to be more real, and disappointed that they aren’t.
After the introduction (which gives away too much of the plot) the first sections of the novel remain within the mind of the main character, and so everything that’s supposed to be exciting, feels passive. This continues in the very next chapter when his parents arrive. Now the reader is stuck listening to the main character talk extensively about key actions that happened some time in the past. It is tough to generate much excitement in the reader at the start of the story when you are two steps removed from the action described.
However, what remains even more curious to me is that the single, implacably negative, driving force for the entire story is the father of the main character’s first love, but this character is left off screen forever. He is the hinge plate of the entire plot, the main character’s ultimate foe, and yet we never meet him, never see him, never hear him, never really understand him, and yet there he is supposedly driving every scene, causing every twist, negating every triumph – always in the background. Honestly, I don’t know what to think of this.
Once the main character arrived at his assignment, I felt the book finally hit its stride. The writing became much more confident. I appreciated that the minor characters took on some additional complexities and nuance and proved to be far better than the flat, stock types they appeared to be at first blush. All of that helped and the pages began to finally fly by.
That brings me to the very end of the story. I have to say it was suddenly odd and strangely condensed. The situation was not credible and everything about the moment felt rushed, including the writing. What was the writer’s need for speed here? I know there are other books to follow in the series but surely it would be better to end this one with grace and not a hatchet.
So, overall, it was an enjoyable read – mostly. It seems to me that space operas require two key elements – sweeping space adventure with several wild battles and fascinating characters caught up in complex emotional situations. “The Star Chronicles – Crisis at the Rim” delivers the goods on the first but remains a bit wanting on the second.