Didn’t Like It
“This may be the worst book I've ever read... not sure why I kept going!”see full review » see other reviews »
I really enjoyed this book, the characters, and the overall story of alternate universes with different outcomes. Occasionally I was a little confused, this book may have been too smart for me, but I think I have it all figured out. I would definitely read more of Ms. Maslakovic's work.”
The debut novel from engineer-turned-writer Neve Maslakovic. A smart and funny tale of a cookware writer, his alter ego, and a wayward rubber duck.
On a foggy Monday in 1986, the universe suddenly, without warning, bifurcated. Fast forward to thirty-five years later: Felix Sayers is a culinary writer living in San Francisco of Universe A who spends his days lunching at Coconut Café and dreaming of penning an Agatha Christie-style mystery. But everything changes when his Aunt Henrietta dies, leaving Felix a photograph of his father and himself—dated ten days before Felix was born. It can only mean one thing: Felix has an “alter” in Universe B. Panicked that his mystery novel may exist already, Felix crosses to San Francisco B and proceeds to flagrantly violate the rules of both worlds by snooping around his alter’s life. But when he narrowly escapes a hit-and-run, it becomes clear that someone knows he’s crossed over…and whoever it is isn’t happy about it. Now Felix must uncover the truth about his alter, the events of one Monday, and a missing rubber duck before his time in both worlds runs out.
“After Y day, two universes split off from each other, and up until recently Felix Sayers thought he was a unique, but it turns out he's not and goes on a mission to Universe B to discover if his Alter has written a book like he plans to. I did like the little details in this book (such as paper books being replaced with 'omnis' in Universe A) but I did find the constant repetition of the explanation of how the two universes came to split apart rather irritating and confusing. Perhaps this is because it's written from Felix A's viewpoint and he didn't understand it either!”Anna B wrote this review Monday, May 7, 2012. ( reply | permalink ) Was this review helpful? Yes | No
“Regarding Ducks and Universes is a fun tale that spans two dimensions. There is a definite "Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy" feel to this book, though the humor is definitely not on par with that book. That being said, the atmosphere of the book is light and fun. The book doesn't take itself too seriously, but it is a little too self aware (the reference to print books and eBooks and the dilemma they pose on readers, writers, and publishers happened way too much).
The book is written in first person perspective and follows the vacation of Felix Sayers as he takes a vacation to Universe B. Felix finds himself in the middle of a mystery as others believe he is a crucial part to the splitting of the one universe into A and B. The book definitely kept me guessing what the final item would be that set off the event chain that created the two universes, and the ending is satisfying.
A few things to note on this book, is that while it did keep my interest, it could have been shorter. The "Butterfly Effect" scenarios of how choices effect outcomes are discussed in the book a lot. Far more than is needed to get the point across that a leaf landing on a car windshield could set off a chain of events that causes someone to die or win the lottery or who knows what else.
Overall, the characters keep the story interesting. The constant contrasting of people and locales with the other universe, A, is fun to read about. I enjoyed the story from start to finish, and if you're into stories about dimensional travel, you should, too.
Or maybe you won't like it. You'll read half the book, put it down, and write a negative review on Amazon. At which point the author might read it and decide writing isn't meant for her. She then pursues a career as a tollbooth operator, only to be discovered by a big-name Hollywood producer. He hires her to star in his latest movie, which becomes the highest grossing film of all time. The author turned actress becomes so popular that people buy this book in droves, catapulting her to the bestsellers list for months. And she decides after it all, maybe she will write another book and shouldn't have brushed off writing so quickly.
Hey, it could happen.”
“When the universe split into two in 1986, those who existed already found out they had an alternate being in the other universe. Felix, in Universe A, has just found out that his birthday was altered by his parents, now realizes that he has an alter and is on his way to Universe B to find out if Felix B has achieved Felix A's lifelong goal of writing a mystery novel. Felix soon finds himself embroiled in a mystery of his own; someone is trying to kill him. Add to that a rivalry between research students and a wealthy corporation and a boss that will not let up about sourdough, and you get a mad dash around San Fransisco to find out what happened on the day the universe split.
Regarding Ducks and Universes is a rare breed: a fun, intellectually stimulating, sci-fi mystery. While the mystery aspect of the book doesn't seem fully developed, the philosophy behind the book is intriguing. What if we had alternates in other universes? Would they be just like us, or would they have chosen to pursue other avenues such as career choices, life partners, or hobbies? How much of what we are is in our genes and how much is a product of our environment. Maslakovic attempts to answer these questions in an entertaining way. Those readers who are looking for something new in sci-fi should check this book out.”
“If you need another reason to read this novel, check out an interview with Neve Maslakovic on Number One Novels to find out more about the book and Maslakovic's path to publication.