When a cosmic storm enters Earth’s atmosphere, scientists are baffled by its composition and origins, but not nearly as much as they are by the storm’s side effect – anyone who has died and chosen not to cross over is suddenly stranded here, visible, and can interact with the living.
With the world thrown into chaos, Thomas Pendleton is eager to make up for many broken promises to his six-year-old son, Seth. Soon after the storm, they set out on a road trip to the National Air and Space Museum in Washington DC, completely unaware of the social and political maelstrom they’re heading into that will change their lives forever.
I had the dream again last night. It was a recurring nightmare worse than any monster I could conjure in my sleeping brain as a child. I have been an adult now for a number of years, but time and experience don’t make our nightmares any less terrifying, in some ways it makes them more real.
As the father of a mischievously precocious six year old boy, I share the same fear as a multitude of parents, a fear that their child may one day disappear. This worry seems more and more justified each day with another smiling angelic face on the news, snatched from their innocent existence by another real life monster. These monsters are not the ones under the bed, a product of juvenile imaginings. No, these monsters are real and they could live next door; a fact that makes them all the more terrifying.
Who would have imagined that a simple father-and-son trip to the National Air and Space Museum could turn into such an adventure?
This is technically a sci-fi novel, but really, at its heart, it’s the story of the love of a parent for a child. As the story starts, Thomas Pendleton is so preoccupied with providing for his family financially that he forgets to be there for them physically (and emotionally). All that changes after the cosmic storm hits earth and Thomas finds himself given a second chance to follow through on the promises he made – and broke – to his son Seth. And Thomas finds himself facing unimaginable challenges as he struggles to keep his promises to his son in the new world that the cosmic storm has created.
There was some fairly heavy-handed foreshadowing… obviously any big suprises or revelations need to be woven into the plot appropriately, but don’t need to be as obvious as “Some really bad things are going to happen to these people in the very near future.” (This is not a direct quote from the book, just trying to get the basic gist across – but I’ve griped about Stephen King doing the same thing, so maybe I’m just not a fan of foreshadowing?) That being said, even though the foreshadowing gave a lot away, there were still several surprises in store.
I received an eARC of this book for review purposes. I did notice some issues with grammar, spelling, tense shifts, and plot inconsistencies, but since my copy specifically stated “this version has not been proofread,” I’ll assume the editors found and corrected those issues before the final copy was published.
As an interesting side note: Thomas Pendleton and his family live in Conway, Arkansas and that’s where Thomas and Seth’s road trip begins. My oldest son and I actually made a road trip to Conway, Arkansas from our home in northern Michigan way back in 1999 (when my son was three years old). I found that a kind of neat coincidence.
I was happy to learn that the author, John D. Mimms, is currently at work on book two of The Tesla Gate trilogy. I don’t know if he’ll be providing answers to my questions about Thomas and Seth in book two (or book three), but he definitely set up an intriguing scenario with a lot of conflict, and there are several characters that I’m hoping will appear in the next book. (And one whom I really hope gets what’s coming to him!)
Author John D. Mimms
John D. Mimms is a business owner, paranormal researcher, and author. John served as the Technical Director for the Arkansas Paranormal and Anomalous Studies Team (ARPAST). During his four-year tenure with the organization, he helped supervise over 100 investigations and wrote more than sixteen technical articles. One of John’s articles, titled “A Christmas Carol Debunked,” was read live on Parazona Radio by Paul Bradford of Ghost Hunters International fame. John also wrote the ARPAST technical/training manual which is a comprehensive guide on equipment usage, investigation protocol, and scientific theory for paranormal research.
In 2009 John decided to couple his knowledge of paranormal phenomena with his lifelong love of literary fiction. Among his titles are The Great Keep, Death Theory, and The Lemonade Girl. John is currently working on book two of The Tesla Gate trilogy.
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