Monday, July 14, 2014

Book Review: The Forever Man: A Near-Future Thriller by Pierre Ouellette

The Forever Man: A Near-Future Thriller
By Pierre Ouellette
Publisher: Alibi
Published: July 8, 2014

Amazon Synopsis:

Portland, Oregon, was once a beacon of promise and prosperity. Now it’s the epicenter of a world gone wrong, its streets overrun by victims and hustlers, drifters and gangsters. Lowly contract cop Lane Anslow struggles to keep afloat—and to watch out for his brilliant but bipolar brother, Johnny, a medical researcher. Lane soon discovers that Johnny is part of an experiment veiled in extraordinary secrecy. But he has no idea who’s behind it, how astronomical the stakes are, or how many lives might be destroyed to make it a reality. 
Now Johnny’s gone missing. To find him, Lane follows a twisting trail into a billionaire’s hilltop urban fortress, a politician’s inner circle, a prison set in an aircraft graveyard,
and a highly guarded community where people appear to be half their biological age. Hunted by dueling enemies, Lane meets a beautiful and enigmatic woman at the center of a vast web of political and criminal intrigue. And behind it all is a sinister, desperate race to claim the biggest scientific prize of all: eternal life.

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My Thoughts:

The near-future setting of Portland in The Forever Man is bleak indeed.  The city almost seems to be a miniature replica of the entire world complete with areas of third-world status and other areas for the insanely rich. Crime is rampant in most areas except for the gated communities where the very wealthy live.

Lane Anslow is no stranger to life on the streets of Portland. He's a contract cop, struggling to make ends meet -- and watch out for his brilliant medical researcher brother who suffers from bipolar disorder. Johnny disappears after calling Lane and telling him he's found the answer that will solve all the problems and make them very rich. It's up to Lane to find him.

I found the first half of the book very difficult to get into as there were so many different characters in so many different places that didn't seem to really be connected that I couldn't easily keep track of them. It did become clear eventually in the second half of the book how they fit into the story, but did make the first half hard to maintain my interest.

The author writes with clear, concise language that easily allows the reader to visualize  the scenery and action that is taking place. I found that the action started to pick up in the second half of the book when Lane started looking for his brother and the man that Johnny was working for started to put his plan into action.

The profanity and sexual language in The Forever Man puts this book in the Adult only category on my blog.

The Forever Man was one of the very few book where I didn't have any strong feelings one way or the other for any of the characters. To be honest, I could have put the book down and not lost any sleep over how it turned out. I hope there are  other readers who will pick up this book and feel differently!

 While this book was meant to fit into the genre of suspense, I did not find it very suspenseful. The author told his story, but the story did not evoke any emotional response in me at all.

My personal opinion of The Forever Man leaves me with no choice but to give it 1 star out of 5. Please remember that my review of this book is my personal opinion. You and others may feel very differently about this book.

Thank you to the publishers via NetGalley for providing a copy of this book in exchange for a fair and honest review. A positive opinion was not required. All thoughts are my own.

About the Author:

Pierre Ouellette (aka Pierre Davis) entered the creative realm at age 13 as a lead guitarist for numerous bands in the Pacific Northwest, including the nationally known Paul Revere and the Raiders. He went on to play with such jazz luminaries as saxophonist Jim Pepper and bassist David Friesen, all the while composing sound tracks for short films and videos.

To support his music habit, he became a freelance writer and eventually co-founded KVO, an advertising agency specializing in high technology, serving as its creative director.

During this period, he wrote two novels eventually published in seven languages, with both optioned for film. His third novel, A Breed Apart, was published in 2009 to highly favorable reviews. He has also directed and produced The Loser's Club, documentary about struggling musicians, which was broadcast on public television and exhibited at numerous film festivals.

Pierre resides in Portland, Oregon, where he now devotes himself exclusively to writing fiction and playing jazz guitar now and then in a little bar just down the street.

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