Thursday, May 1, 2014

Z2 by Sherrie Cronin

Title:  Z2
Series:  46.Ascending #3
Author:  Sherrie Cronin
Published:  June 4th 2013 by Cinnabar Press
Length:  365pgs
Format:  ecopy
Genre:  Science Fiction
Shelf:  review
Rating:  ★★★


Alex once walked away from a rare ability to warp time, thinking it was only a young man's trick to play basketball better. Now, as a father and teacher, he needs to relearn the skill quickly before the past begins to destroy his own future. To protect his daughter and his most promising student, he must stop the school at which he teaches from turning the clock backwards to an era of white supremacy.

An old high school friend is in desperate need of Alex’s unique gifts to help solve an ancient Maya mystery. As the puzzling artifact offers a rare chance to bridge the past and the future, its story begins to intertwine with the growing tensions at Alex’s school. As both situations take dangerous turns, Alex knows that he must learn to control his temporal talents before he runs out of time.

z2 is part of 46. Ascending, a collection of loosely interrelated novels about five very different family members who each discover that they can do the extraordinary when circumstances require it. These books are designed to be read as stand alone stories or in any order.


Shelby had counted. She had picked up the phone exactly six times to call Stan and every single time she had put the phone back. This was not a situation she had expected to ever find herself in.

True, back in 1993, she had made a less than admirable decision. Not a bad one, not an awful one. She hadn’t stolen anything or even done anything wrong. But she had kept her mouth shut, and she still wasn’t proud of why. The best she could figure was that after a lifetime of being, well, just the sort of girl who would tell on people, for once she had wanted the cool kids to like her. Or at least not to hate her. At twenty-four, of course, Shelby told herself that she should have outgrown memories of junior high and high school, but somehow the feel of being less than worthy persisted into adulthood. Guys like Jake and Kyle with all their clowning around and deprecating humor took her right back to the lunchroom. Right back to being made fun of. So she had done a dumb thing and protected them just so they would think she was okay.

The worst of it was, she didn’t even know for sure if Jake and Kyle had done anything wrong either. Maybe she had agonized for years over protecting two boys who would have been annoyed at her accusation, but could have proven themselves innocent. She didn’t even know for sure.

When she read about the box being returned to Professor Drexler, it had dawned on her that not only would interviewing him be something of a career advancer, but it also might give her a shot at finally finding out more of the truth. The interview with Stan could provide her with clues to maybe piece the whole thing together at last. And then, if appropriate, she could consider how to rectify any wrong she had once committed just so two cute, cocky guys wouldn’t think even less of her.

It was a fine idea. Only Stan the guileless seemed to have changed. He had been wary and cautious, and Shelby was pretty sure he now had a secret or two of his own. Damn. Why did things like this just seem to get more difficult to straighten out with time?

The seventh time, Shelby hit dial. She’d had it. It was time to tell her old professor everything she knew and get this mess rectified before it got any worse.

My Review:

What a unique story. It took me a bit to warm up to the story, but once I did I was hooked. I read this without reading the 1st 2 books in the series as this is touted as being able to be read as a standalone. Perhaps had I read the others I would have been hooked quicker.

Cronin’s writing style is very natural and approachable. It was very realistic for the characters involved, right down to the dialogue. Her descriptions allow you to see the world surrounding her characters, all the while drawing you into this surreal world.

Overall? This was definitely a one of a kind read. It was time well spent, once I got into the story.

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About the author:

Sherrie Roth grew up in Western Kansas thinking that there was no place in the universe more fascinating than outer space. After her mother vetoed astronaut as a career ambition, she went on to study journalism and physics in hopes of becoming a science writer.

She published her first science fiction short story in 1979 and then waited a lot of tables while she looked for inspiration for the next story. When it finally came, it declared to her that it had to be whole book, nothing less. One night, while digesting this disturbing piece of news, she drank way too many shots of ouzo with her boyfriend. She woke up thirty-one years later demanding to know what was going on.

The boyfriend, who she had apparently long since married, asked her to calm down and explained that in a fit of practicality she had gone back to school and gotten a degree in geophysics and had spent the last 28 years interpreting seismic data in the oil industry. The good news, according to Mr. Cronin, was that she had found it at least mildly entertaining and ridiculously well-paying The bad news was that the two of them had still managed to spend almost all of the money.

Apparently she was now Mrs. Cronin, and the further good news was that they had produced three wonderful children whom they loved dearly, even though to be honest that is where a lot of the money had gone. Even better news was that Mr. Cronin turned out to be a warm-hearted, encouraging sort who was happy to see her awake and ready to write. "It's about time," were his exact words.

Sherrie Cronin discovered that over the ensuing decades Sally Ride had already managed to become the first woman in space and apparently had done a fine job of it. No one, however, had written the book that had been in Sherrie's head for decades. The only problem was, the book informed her sternly that it had now grown into a six book series. Sherrie decided that she better start writing it before it got any longer. She's been wide awake ever since, and writing away.

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