Welcome our newest Pal, Sooz, with her first review today.
Reviewed by: Sooz
Genre: Science Fiction/Dystopian
Approximate word count: 25,000-30,000 words
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Gregory M. Thompson is a horror, science fiction and fantasy writer. He’s published about half a dozen books and short stories with one of his most popular being Nightcry. He’s had work appear in Macabre Realms, Aphelion Webzine, Digital Dragon Magazine, Dark Gothic Resurrected, Midwest Literary Review, The Fringe Magazine among others.
For more information, visit the author’s website.
Each citizen of the United Conglomerate of States is allowed to own just one book. When Morton’s daughter comes home from the university with a book she stole from her professor, Morton promptly returns it only to find the professor has something for him – a way into the rumored Secret Library. From there, Morton is tested after a series of events and deep heartache that lead him to make difficult decisions.
The idea behind My Only One is interesting. Citizens of a dystopian future are only allowed to own one book, and this is something the government takes seriously with random sweeps by agents. Owning more than one book or writing books seem to be some of the worst offenses for a citizen to make in this future reality.
However, I had one burning question by the end of the book – why?
It was never addressed why people couldn’t own several books, which is important because it would allow readers to connect to the characters that want to change the world.
Another major issue was the lack of editing and simple proofreading mistakes throughout the book. While I normally look past a proofreading mistake as long as it doesn’t dramatically change the concept or create too much confusion, the biggest problem was continuity in the story.
One early example is when Morton, the main character, tells his daughter he is going for a walk when he is really going to sneak to the secret library. His daughter, Eliana, wants to go on the walk with him but when Morton refuses she says: “We haven’t done anything together like this since...” Eliana lowered her head. “Since mom passed away.”
I don’t think I am giving anything away by saying this – the issue is that her mother died just two days after she was born, according to a couple of different passages. While Eliana’s age is not revealed, she’s presented as a teenager. So, according to that statement, they have never in at least 15 years gone on a walk. In addition, someone who didn’t know their mother wouldn’t likely make a statement like that.
This story reads like a rough first draft with too many mistakes and continuity errors to truly enjoy it. There are also places where the book could have been flushed out, especially when it came to the government’s reasoning to have such strict rules for literature.
One of the positives of the book was a pleasant recap of literature history as Morton goes through the different floors of the library featuring completes works of Shakespeare, mentioning books by Patterson, King, Reese, Shelley and others.
I wish Thompson would take another crack at My Only One because there is an interesting concept there, but this book is simply not ready.
A number of errors and continuity issues
Rating: ** Two Stars