INERTIA BY A. R. RIVERA
By Zaynab Merchant
Inertia was first published on November 15, 2015. This book was first reviewed by Zaynab Merchant on OnlineBookClub.org. It’s a great website, perfect for avid readers, writers, and reviewers alike. It caters to anything book-related – there are discussions on books, word games, books to add to your Bookshelves, and, best of all, book reviews. Authors send their book to the OnlineBookClub faculty, before the book’s publication date. Users can choose a book of the genre they prefer, and which they think they will like, and get to read the book and review it honestly. The best thing about reviewing at OBC, in my opinion, is… free books! What more could one want?
(Permission has been taken from the owner of the website.)
Inertia is the first book in A. R. Rivera’s sci-fi trilogy, Threestones. It revolves around the life of G, a man in his thirties. He was named after his father, Gerry Springer. Since he isn’t particularly in love with his real name, he calls himself G. Inertia is told in the first person: in the beginning, it is narrated by Gerry, while the middle and ending is told by G.
(Note: When I say G, I mean the son; Gerry is the father.)
Gerry Springer knew he was about to die; he knew when, and where. However, he wanted to save his son, wanted to make sure his G made the right choice.
G is in his thirties; one would think a man of that age would have something to show for himself, but not G. G had no house, no family apart from his father, no job and a car that cost too much to repair. One day when G is on the bus on the way to a job interview, he witnesses a strange man get onto the vehicle. Shortly after his arrival, the bus meets with an accident which G is sure will be fatal for all. But just before G slams into the wall, the stranger saves him by moving in front. G blacks out. Upon waking up, he finds himself transported to the year 1996, when he was a teenage lad with acne, when his whole family was intact. He feels hopeful; maybe he can change the tragic incident that caused his family to fall apart, his life to shatter. G knows he has travelled back in time, but as some days pass in 1996, he notices some details are different from how he remembered them. He attributes this to simply, a weak memory on his part. After some weeks, when G is unsuccessful in finding his way out of this bizarre world, he meets an unusual stranger who had saved his life on the bus. He introduces himself as Daemon. While not giving many concrete and satisfactory answers to G’s several questions, Daemon did manage to get G out of yet another quandary. G thinks he has found himself an ally; little did he know how wrong he was.
I absolutely loved Inertia, and fell in love with Rivera’s writing style the minute I began to read the book. Inertia is one of the best books of its genre I have read in a long time, and it is sufficient to say, the book and author are now on my favourites list! The novel was a riveting and nail-biting that had me engrossed and perched at the edge of my seat from the beginning. The various sentences in the book which the reader isn’t meant to understand until the end, such as “I can’t give him the stones…they’re buried too far away,” have contributed to the immense suspense and thriller this book provides. First of all, the cover and title were what intrigued me before I knew anything about the book. I love one-word titles and have a sort of weakness for them; they don’t say much, keeping you in suspense, yet give the general gist of the book.
The book started out well, with captivating opening lines which hooked the reader from the first page. I must admit, this book had me burning the midnight oil on more nights than one; it was simply irresistible to put it down! The story was well written, with near impeccable grammar, spelling and punctuation. The vocabulary used throughout the book was vast, while every now and then, the author used mild (not entirely inappropriate) slang. Good adjectives, idioms and metaphors were used, showing that the author has a command over the English language. Rivera’s ability to portray and convey her character’s emotions and feelings was incredible. She has a great way of describing emotions, making the story seem real and the people in them, relatable. The plot shows that the author certainly has a vivid imagination. G and Abi’s relationship provide entertaining yet suspenseful twists. The book was quite comical, with satirical humour, and I found myself laughing out loud in quite a few places. For example, “I was gonna take the bus but Jeanine insisted. One of the perks of being an old fart.” The sentence structure throughout was good, with a combination of simple, compound and complex sentences. The simple sentences were not over-used, and were used for a dramatic effect.
However, I did feel that some sentences were unnecessarily long and winding, and I would lose track until I reached the end. I then had to go back and reread those sentences to make head or tail of them. I also (occasionally) felt that, during the narration of the story, there was a lack of contractions (like isn’t instead of is not) that didn’t let the narration feel naturally flowing. There were a few punctuation and spelling mistakes/typos, the occasional incorrect use of articles (like “a” and “the”), and some general grammar mistakes like the repetition of a word in the same sentence. A round of editing and proofreading should do the trick, though. Another thing wrong with this book was the descriptions, which I thought were inconsistent. Some people and places were described extremely well, down to the mere subtleties, painting a detailed picture in the mind of the reader. Others were not described so well. A perfect example of this is Ahmed, G’s former boss. Close to nothing was said about his appearance. Granted, he wasn’t the most important character, but some basis on which to imagine him, and other people, would have aided the reader in enjoying the book more. The author did a good job of describing setting and characters’ appearance in many places, but she could have done better the rest of the time. At some places, a person’s feet were described in more detail than other people were described at all; 45 words just for ’em feet! However, I must say that what was happening in the book, the events and incidents, were told extremely well.
All that being said, this book is a truly remarkable piece of work. On balance, I think the merits of the book outweigh the negative aspects, which is why I rate this book 4 out of 4 stars. I firmly believe that this book has the potential to be something major out there, in the great world of fiction. In fact, I enjoyed it much more than I have some international bestsellers! I’m sure this book has the makings of a successful novel, that can be further refined with some slight effort. I am in no way doing justice to the book itself! I can’t wait for the release of the sequel, either.
Inertia by A. R. Rivera is definitely an enticing, gripping and nail-biting read that takes its readers on a thrilling journey. I would recommend this book the most to fans of fantasy, sci-fi, thriller, suspense and time-travel.
The author’s reply to the review:
“I’m so glad that you enjoyed my book. As a writer, all you want is for people to read what you’ve written and love it as much as you do. So, thank you very, very much.
About the typos; the file I uploaded was an advance review copy and not the final product. I should have mentioned it in the books description. It has had another round of copy editing since and all errors have been checked.