I first want to thank Faye Rogers for organizing this blog tour and allowing me to partake. I was looking forward to reading this debut novel when she contacted me. Faye always does a wonderful job organizing tours, I love working with her.
Now, let’s move on to the review of this beautiful debut novel by D.S. Smith. Be sure to check out the tour schedule and other stops, you can find the links to each of them at the bottom of this post.
Author: D.S. Smith
I am a sucker for cover art…I mean that is what usually makes you pick the book up in the first place. This one is beautiful. Here, you see two worlds that are similar but have slight differences. This perfectly describes a large portion of what this novel is about.
Though I have read many books, sometimes I find it difficult to put into words how it made me feel. Seeing the cover had me interested but the summary really grabbed my attention. After reading it, I knew that I had to give it a shot. Debut novels are tough. The author is putting something into the world without any idea how the public will react. Well, I will tell you how you will react to this particular story, you will enjoy it! I really did take pleasure in reading this. I am glad that I did not pass on participating in this blog tour.
Plot: I enjoyed that I was kept on the edge of my seat, not knowing what would happen next. The multiple POV was a good touch to this novel. I found myself wanting to yell at my book in warning, much like people do at TVs during horror films. There is not much worldbuilding that needed to be done considering it takes place in modern times.
Science: If you know me, then you know how much of a science nerd I am. I absolutely loved the detailed science information given here. I could follow along and know exactly what was being discussed. It makes it seem all the more real when concepts tie into those already in practice within our scientific community.
Love Vs. Lust: I loved the little speech Stuart gives about love and lust. They both have a place and purpose in our lives. Seriously, make sure you read this part because it is very well written.
Characters: I loved some of the characters(Dr. Milton, Stuart), but felt disconnected from others. I am unsure why I was unable to fully connect with some such as Lin. I just did not feel invested in them at all. It could simply be because I enjoyed some of the other characters so much that the rest seemed…meh.
For a debut novel, this was fantastic. The story pulls you in, making your hair stand up in excitement and wonder while you wait to discover what happens next. There are some issues I had with some small spelling errors, we are all human though right? It was not enough for me to reduce my rating. I thought this was well written, with a voice of purpose. D.S. Smith knew exactly where he wanted to take the reader and did it. He took me on a journey to a strange new place and back, filled with a myriad of emotions along the way.
“Dr. Carson switched on her laptop and opened up a file containing Stuart’s Initial Psychiatric Evaluation Form. She concentrated on one field in particular which was headed ‘Mental Status Examination’, under this she entered the following:
The patient does not reveal any of the typical indicators that relate to a mental dysfunction. His answers to the evaluation questions are articulate, intelligent and complete. He displays strong, controlled emotions at appropriate moments and often uses humour to hide or relieve embarrassment. Despite the amount of conflicting evidence concerning his perception of the life he has been leading up until now, he does not accept that he is delusional. His acceptance of the conflicting information presented to him is for the most part rational, however, he has demonstrated frustration at certain points. A diagnosis based on medical or psychological observations cannot be made at this time. However, the overwhelming amount of documented evidence and witness testimony conflicting with the patient’s claims do fully support a complete dissociative breakdown. Despite this, I consider the patient to be of no danger to himself or others and therefore recommend he be discharged from the hospital under the care of his brother. Further hypnosis sessions will be carried out in addition to conventional evaluation therapy. No medication is required at this time.
She read over the entry one last time before attaching it to an email addressed to Dr. Benton, the neurosurgeon who had admitted Stuart to the hospital. There was still a long way to go to get to the root of Stuart’s problems but there was no need for him to be hospitalized. The cursor arrow on the screen was pointed at the send icon and her finger hovered over the return key but she held off as something at the back of her mind was niggling at her. The clarity with which he described his first meeting Lauren at a party combined with the fact he was hypnotized meant there was a very good chance it was true. The way he described their second meeting, however, sounded fanciful and he was fully conscious when relaying this. When Stuart had talked about the events that led to this, he mentioned Lauren had worked for the eminent paleoanthropologist Richard Leakey. This was very specific information that should be easy to check out. She moved the cursor from the send key and clicked on the Google icon at the top her screen. When the search bar came up, she typed in “Richard Leakey, Lion research”. The screen displayed 450,000 results, most of which appeared to refer to Lion Research or Richard Leakey but not both. She refined the search to read “Richard Leakey + Lauren Bell + Lion Research. This reduced the number of hits to 9000. The first couple of sites she visited confirmed Lauren Bell did actually exist and was involved in the research of large cats. She scanned through them learning along the way that Lauren was one of the leading authorities on the behavioral traits of African lions. There was a picture showing her as part of a team lifting a fully grown lion onto the back of a pickup truck. Dressed in khaki shorts and matching shirt she looked every bit the part of field naturalist. Lauren was very attractive and Dr. Carson wondered whether Stuart may have become obsessed with her after their initial meeting at the party. She continued to read through a few more articles before finding one that made her gasp out loud and put her hand to her mouth in shock.”
D.S Smith was born in Bolton, England and, at the age of 20, despite never having previously left the UK, he found himself in Belize beginning a nine-year career in the RAF. Eyes opened to the world, Don took a degree in Biological Sciences and spent 7 years at The Natural History Museum in London where he worked as a Scientific Officer.
Smith currently manages a Subsea Engineering company in Ghana, travelling on a regular basis between there and his home in Manchester. The amazing people he has met and the places he has visited throughout his life are a major inspiration for his writing.
Unparalleled is his first novel.