A Book Review of R.E.birth, by Thomas W. Everson
A synopsis, excerpts from the book, and detailed author info follow my review.
R.E.birth is a story that will keep you guessing and keep you reading, from the opening scene to the final act. The first paragraphs introduce us to a dying man, mortally wounded by a long dagger to the belly. Believing the end is near, he collapses in the rain and loses consciousness. When he comes to, his wounds attended and his pain numbed, he finds he has near complete amnesia. Although he seems safe inside a strange house, with two very strange women—their speech is odd, their clothes are odd, and a vaguely ominous presence lurks amongst them—he quickly learns that safety is a relative term and his life is about to change forever.
Of course, he doesn’t remember anything about his life before the stabbing, so everything he learns is new. That’s my favorite part of this book; the narrator is learning who he is, just as we are. He does remember tiny snippets of the moment before he collapsed, but mostly he’s a blank. He doesn’t even remember his own name, and finally his new companions assign him one: Rain, because he was found dying in the rain and was saved. He questions everything, even his own motives and his very personality. As we move through the story, his actions reveal his character bit by bit. Since Everson writes in first person, present tense, we experience each new revelation together with Rain. It’s easy to like him, too; he’s a pretty nice, very attractive guy who instinctively knows how to kick serious butt, as it turns out. The person underneath the amnesia exhibits valor and violence in equal measure, though, along with questionable ethics and slippery morals at times. His memory block is still intact at the end of this book, but we get some enticing bread crumbs leading to what he will find out about his past as the series develops.
The mechanism by which Rain discovers himself anew is a unique take on time travel. After a brooding, mysterious ambiance during the first chapter or so, while Rain is still recovering from the dagger wound and trying to figure out what the heck is happening, the first puzzle is solved rather abruptly. The two woman explain that their house is trapped in a cycle of continuous, random time travel in month-long increments, as a sort of vengeful punishment by another relative. Just go with it and suspend disbelief, because the story isn’t how this phenomenon is happening (not yet anyway, though I’m sure that will come up in later books). The story is about what happens in such a situation, as unbelievable as it may seem. And think about it—this makes for great adventure. They never know to which era they will be transported next, who or what they will met there, and how they will survive until the next forced time change. Rain was picked up in the middle of a lush forest during the Dark Ages, next they are whisked far into the future to an enormous city of skyscrapers and elevated trains, and then they find themselves in what seems to be a post-apocalyptic desert.
I’m waiting for them to meet some neanderthals or ancient aliens or even some primordial ooze. The possibilities are endless and a month in each time is just long enough for Rain to get into trouble, but then be carried away to a new, completely different world. Considering the scope of human experience since the dawn of man is but a drop in the bucket of Planet Earth’s lifetime, a randomly time-traveling house could be cataclysmic. The author doesn’t disappoint in the final pages of R.E.birth either, and we’re left with the promise of more profound, transcendental investigation of the subject matter in book two.
And, guess what! Book two, R.E.solve, came out this weekend, check it out HERE.
Mortally wounded, a man embraces death on the cold and lonely forest floor. But fate intervenes, as Ami and her mother, Agatha, are brought into phase with his time. He is saved, however his memory is gone and he is vulnerable. With the fear that his attacker might return to finish what was started, he plunges into the unknown and follows his saviors through a time vortex to help in their struggles rather than face his own anxieties.
Traveling through time with Ami and Agatha provides a new life to fill the void within him. He is able to define himself and finds his drive to help others more than anticipated. The events and conflicts in time begin an internal battle against violent impulses. His personal discoveries, the new sensations and the exploration of time become the Rain Experience.
As I get to the window I look in to see the two thugs that seem to wander the city on Denis’s command stirring up trouble.
The smaller one begins knocking baskets off of their stands and stomping on her merchandise. I become infuriated. Swiftly walking toward the door I am forced to jump into a roll to my left as a table comes flying through Emma’s newly installed window. I hear Emma cry.
“Stop! Stop! I’ll pay! Just don’t destroy anything else!” she pleads for their mercy.
“It’s triple now. Denis’s angry that you haven’t paid him any of your protectin’ money,” the muscular thug hollers at her.
As I stand back up and move to enter the door, glass fragments crack under my feet and there is no element of surprise now. Swinging the door open hard I clear my throat to get their attention.
“You have one chance to leave,” I issue a stern command as I see Emma beginning to swipe a credits card. The big one turns around and glares at me from under his hat.
“Or what? You gonna teach us a lesson?” His rather deep voice gives the impression he’s attempting to intimidate me.
“I just might.” I see Emma still continuing to issue her transaction on the PayPad. “Emma, don’t give it to them.”
“But…” she looks up at me with tears.
“No ‘buts’ Emma. I’ll take care of this,” I step in one more foot length.
About The Author
Thomas W. Everson is father to Bubby, a rambunctious boy despite having autism and other health issues, and has been married to Brandi for over a decade. He loves to spend time with his family by indulging in fictional worlds through books, shows, movies, and games.
He was born in Seattle. He moved around to a couple different states, but ultimately came back to live and work in Washington. He loves his job working in an aircraft component repair facility, but he hopes that one day his ideas will take him on to become a great writer.