5-stars for ‘Paradox,’ by Chris Morton
‘Clever and Compelling’
Clever writers write compelling stories. They flesh out ways of hooking you at the beginning, setting a strong pace and charming you with crafty questions and mysteries along the journey to keep you engaged.
Chris Morton is a clever writer who, in his novel Paradox, delivers a thoughtful, engaging story that literally commands that you reach the ending credits once you’ve cracked open his book and read page one.
The Story: From the Author’s back cover blurb
There’s no record of any such occurrence ever taking place. Superstitions tell us it can’t. That it would mean the end of the universe. A rip in the space-time continuum. That it would be too much for reality itself to handle. But it must have happened somewhere, some time. Since travelling back became possible, there must have been instances … but as I stood there watching me and our eyes suddenly met, it was like a thunderous bolt had hit me for six.
Recognising, from Mr Morton’s shrewd, though vague, dust jacket blurb, his intention to avoid delivering spoilers, I will add my comments with similar intent.
The story, as the title suggests, has much to do with time travel, and more specifically, time travel paradoxes. The main character (The author cleverly withheld naming him through the first half of the book) is on a nefarious mission in time. But he’s hardly painted as an evil antagonist. In fact, the opposite is true. He’s simply doing his job. Or has he already done it?
The compelling conflict, vital in every well-told narrative story, manifests early when our hero/anti-hero encounters a woman with a very personal interest in his mission. A woman who claims to know who he is, what he is and what he’s about to do, or may already have done.
From there, the paradoxes continue to pile up leading to a finely tailored, thoroughly satisfying climax.
Paradox, is a slick tail with an intentionally dark, film noir-ish feel to it. When reading this book, one immediately draws the picture of a dark and dangerous, over-crowded city where everyone is wrapped in grey trench coats and the weather is never good.
What I liked most:
The fast pace and strong level of engagement.
Besides writing novels, I write and read screenplays for a living, which are largely about engaging the audience (reader) and maintaining a steady pace. Chris Morton wrote this book with both those interests in mind and made reading this book an enjoyable experience.
I have none. This was a fun read from the beginning to the very end. The characters are adequately described for a novella length story, the conflict is compelling, and there is clear, recognizable through line.
Summary and Recommendation:
Paradox, by Chris Morton, is a fast-paced Sci-Fi, film noir thriller written in novella form with realistic characters and sparkling dialogue. If you enjoy Science Fiction or suspense thrillers and like books that tease you with puzzles along the way, you’ll love this slick piece written by an author with a very distinctive style.
I give Paradox, by Chris Morton, 5-Stars and my highest recommendation.
Review by TE Mark – Writer / Screenwriter