Where Honesty Never Ends.
Press F5 to Load Game by LeVar Ravel
Amazon Author Page
Disclaimer: A copy of this book was provided by the author in exchange for an honest review.
How to win an election:
1. Shake hands.
2. Kiss babies.
3. Travel through time.
“Politics is more difficult than physics,” said Albert Einstein. Now that we can time travel, this is no longer true.
All the State House gossips go abuzz when an influential senator forms an alliance with Rep. Frannie Upwood, the capital’s most famous underachiever and favorite butt of jokes. Why his sudden interest in such a lightweight politician?
It’s up to Lars Uxbridge, the senator’s disloyal staffer, to find out, after he joins a network of political spies. What Lars discovers is a secret far beyond anything other state reps can muster. To get ahead in politics, Frannie’s got something better than snappy slogans, wealthy donors, and door-to-door volunteers.
She’s got a time machine.
Frannie shows that when you’re armed with time travel, you’re the star athlete in a game where the world is your playing field, you make your own rules, and you always beat the shot clock.
But as Frannie will learn, this game has opponents to contend with. Rivals who might not play fair. When the prizes are enormous power, money, and control of time itself, watch out for cheat moves and low blows…
Hello and welcome to The Review Board. Today, our very own Harmony Kent will be giving us her thoughts on “Press F5 to Load Game” by LeVar Ravel. Harmony, take it away.
Although categorised as ‘sci-fi/suspense’, this book would fit gamer-types better. It reads almost like a B-movie that would fit the title ‘Carry On Politicking’ (you know, in the ilk of the old British Carry On films filled with silly capers and flawed characters). Despite the time travel element, it has only a loose fit with a traditional sci-fi novel. Likewise, I didn’t pick up much in the way of an element of suspense. It’s more of a comedic political satire, to my mind, with two highly immoral main characters that will do anything to get ahead.
The book cover drew my attention and promised a great read. I love the cover. Sadly, I found myself becoming bored all too soon, and the numerous hiccups in the writing proved too many for me to keep notating. The writing is passive in the extreme, filled with extraneous words such as ‘own’ and ‘very’ when they are not needed, peppered with split infinitives, and telling rather than showing, not to mention delaying the action unnecessarily with the use of ‘began to/started to’, instead of just getting on and doing it. Descriptive dialogue tags abound, and tell what should be shown; also, they are used incorrectly at times, as you cannot giggle your speech, and nor do humans growl or coo. Also, ‘ovular’ has nothing to do with ‘oval-shaped’, and I’m certain that in the context the author used this, he did not intend to imply anything related to the ovaries.
With a little work, the writing could be tightened. Take the following sentence, for example: Frannie proves better at manipulating MegaDave than her own son was … this would be an easier sentence to read by the simple removal of ‘own’ and ‘was’ … Frannie proves better at manipulating MegaDave than her son. While this may seem picky, with the whole book full of formulations like this, it feels unwieldy and unpolished. Likewise, much of the scene setting could be trimmed for a more dynamic read, and the needless repetition could be cut drastically. Readers are intelligent enough to remember the basic plot points and don’t need them repeating time and again, and certainly not listed for them later in the narrative!
I didn’t connect with any of the characters; they came across as one-dimensional and not at all complex. Add to that their despicable personalities, and you get something hard to like, let alone love. They fell so flat, though, that I couldn’t even muster up a strong feeling of dislike. I suppose their questionable morals work as a caricature of the political scene in general, and edge on the satirical side. I liked the concept of saving your point in time by pressing F8, and using F5 to reset to the saved point; it has so much potential.
If you like gaming themes, and are at all politically inclined and like a bit of satire, then you may well enjoy this book. At a little under two hundred pages, it’s a short enough read with a well-rounded conclusion.
It gets 5 out of 10 TRB stars from me, which means flip a coin and/or take a chance (if you dare). This equates to 2.5 out of 5 stars on other rating scales, which I round up to a soft 3 for posting purposes.
Well, there you have it folks. Thank you Harmony for your insight. And, of course, thank YOU dear reader, for stopping by. Don’t forget to like, share and subscribe. Have a wonderful day!