Author: Liesel K. Hill
*Copy was provided by the author for an honest review.
There were several things I did not like about the book. For the first few chapters, I did not like the storytelling. It felt so raw and untried, showing signs that this is the first book of the author. And there was this mention of “rainbow of hazel”, I think in reference to someone’s eyes, which I truly do not understand. Is this like a monochromatic hazel hue? Second, by the third chapter, there was still no mention of Maggie’s whole name. In fact, in the whole book there was no reference to her whole name. I think knowing someone’s whole name is important, as it is part of her identity. And that is not something she has lost or forgotten. (For the record, it’s Harper. The detective referred to Jonah as Mr. Harper, but Maggie was never called Ms. Harper or Maggie Harper anywhere else in the book, aside from the book flap). Third, a major character was only revealed in the end. I mean sure, he was referred to around the middle of the story, but his name was only stated at the end.
By the end of Persistence of Vision, there were several questions still unanswered, such as what happened to Jonah for him to get all those terrible scars on his leg? Where did Maggie get her power boost? There was no mention of what happened to her family the first time she left, how long she was gone in her own time, what explanation she came up with. I’m hoping these are questions that will be answered in the next book/s!
There were also some mistakes in the punctuation and grammar. There is one part in the story where the statement of one character lacked a closing punctuation mark. Also, there was a grammatical error (i.e. “And when they’re abilities fail…”) which the editor should have spotted. I do not hold it against them though. Being a copy editor myself, I know how it is to make a minor error after reading so many pages day in, day out.
You might be wondering why I still finished the book and why I still gave it four stars. When I finished Persistence of Vision, I knew it was deserving of such a rating. Now here is why you should give this book a chance.
After my initial difficulties in reading the book, I found that the plot is actually very fresh, which is something that I’ve been looking for the past year. I think this is my first dystopian novel, so reading the book was quite a revelation for me. The plot had interesting twists and turns, and I am looking forward to its development in the next book or so. The idea of pitting collectivism and individualism in fiction was new to me. Those are very strong themes in the book; heck, the plot revolves around the whole battle between the two. I like the viewpoints from each side, which Liesel thankfully provides. In fact, I find myself, while not lured towards collectivism, at least sympathetic of how others can be attracted towards it. Escapism, after all, is not unfamiliar to me.
I truly enjoyed the book because it felt researched, despite it being fiction and fantasy. There were explanations for the scientific concepts mentioned. (Do check out the 8 Qs with Liesel for more info about this!) I even looked up whether the concept persistence of vision truly exists (for the record, it does).
The characters are quite likeable. Marcus is my favorite because while reading I kept envisioning him like Michael (Shane West) in the TV show Nikita. Doc makes me think of an old man with white hair...kind of like Einstein crossed with Lenard from Big Bang Theory, I suppose. I am so psyched to know why in the world that particular line chilled him. But I'm thinking it relates to B. There is so much more about these characters to be explored!
The writing improves as the book progresses, making it easier for me to get lost in the story and for my imagination to get fired up and be right where they are. Well, behind Maggie as she blows up crates. I love it when the author can create a picture enough for me to visualize it as I read along. I think Liesel would soon be giving us fantastic sequels, and I'll be right there with you reading them.
You know how I felt when I read the last word in the book? I was in disbelief. I couldn’t quite believe that’s the last page. I kept flicking the page in my Nook tablet, but no, that was it. I am so glad that this is a series, so there is more to look forward to! And I do want to get my hands on the next books. I’m feeling slightly giddy in anticipation already.
I have decided to call my author interviews "8 Qs". The mechanics is that for every interview I do, I will only ask up to eight questions. Why 8? Aside from that being my favorite number, it's to make sure I limit myself to asking relevant questions.
First up for My Book Musings' 8 Qs is the author of Persistence of Vision, Liesel K. Hill.
1. In 50 words or less, tell us a little about yourself.
I am a novelist that writes across three genres: sci-fi/fantasy, historical fiction, and crime drama. I come from a large, tight-knit family and live in northern Utah. I currently live with two of my sisters and my two-year-old niece.
2. How did you come up with the plot, with the idea of writing a fictitious tale about the clash of collectivism and individualism?
I think I was just enthralled with the whole idea of the idea dystopia, as many people are today. It’s almost always an individual or small group of individuals against a larger entity such as a government or ruling body. I was a Star Trek: TNG fan, which dealt with cyborg collectives, known as the Borg. I watched those when I was a kid, so I guess you could say it’s always been in the back of my mind. When I started formulating characters for this type of story, individual vs. collective just fit well.
3. Why did you choose the dystopian genre?
It wasn’t really a conscious choice. I knew what kind of story I wanted and that’s what I wrote. It wasn’t until after it was written and I was trying to categorize it that I realized dystopian is what is it is.
4. Which character do you relate to most in the story?
Maggie. She isn’t me, per se, but she’s got a lot of me in her.
5. The book has many science references throughout the story. How was the research process for your book?
You know, for the first book I didn’t do a lot of extra research. Before I stopped kidding myself and realized writing was my calling, I took a lot of science classes in college. While science wasn’t the right career path for me, it still fascinates me. In the years of those classes, I was especially interested in the brain and how the physical brain and metaphysical subconscious interact. I drew on a lot of what I learned back then for the book, but did little extra research. I’m actually doing much more to write book 2 than I did for book 1.
6. I noticed that the description of the Union/Collective has similarities to communism. Was this a conscious action on your part? If yes, why did you choose communism?
Again, this is a complicated question to answer. Yes the Collective is a lot like communism, but that is simply the nature of a collective, not something I plotted to make that way. And I don’t think of it as “choosing” communism, though I vehemently disagree with that political system. It was more about a certain idea—falling into apathy about the world and your own life; no longer being willing to think for yourself, deal with problems, or wade through the consequences of your own decisions—that I was trying to convey, and the devastation it would wreak on society. The collective is simply the way it showed up in the story.
7. Will David ever lose his “we” thinking and regain his “I” consciousness?
Yes. By book 2 he talks almost completely like an individual.
8. Is a love triangle in the works in the future for Maggie, Marcus and…well I don’t want to name names to avoid spoilers!
I hope your imagination and curiosity got fired up by this 8-question interview! I do recommend this book to all looking for something a little different. Persistence of Vision is a fresh new book that will grab your attention and just demands to be read. Grab a cup of coffee or tea, it's worth the ride.
You can purchase the book via the Tate Publishing website. You can also drop by the following links to know more about the author and the book:
Ciao! Happy musings! :)