Wednesday, July 23, 2014

Sci-fi meets fantasy in Shawn Stern's Doppelgänger


I've read sci-fi and I've read fantasy but sci-fi-fantasy that's new and I have to admit it's rather cool!

Doppelgänger by Shawn Stern is certainly a bit of a new genre for me. It's a novella but with a novel's weight in all the details, research, characterisation and depth it entails.

The novel starts with a lab scene, an infant is being extracted from a failed experiment and a female scientist gives your life to save the child. The following chapters trace the life of this child growing up into Shane Fisher, a too-ordinary book store manager.

The novel shifts between Shane and another character called Cole, a martial artist and assassin, and whom the reader later finds out is a replica of Shane from the experiment mentioned earlier.

Naturally, when the two characters come in contact 'all hell breaks loose' as one of the chapters is adequately called.

The description throughout the novel is detailed and vivid. I loved the descriptions of Trent and Manny, one is described as a dwarf with a malicious smile and the other is described as it is an ape among other huge animals, and is nothing short of a T-rex: big, bloodthirsty and stupid.

Although Shane and Cole are very different, you can't help but like both, especially as there is a lot of Shane in all of us.

Fragile too is a likeable character with intense depth and importance to the novel.

"When performed correctly, there is little difference between science and magic." A note Fragile makes to himself and it sort of sums up this book.

Doppelgänger ends at the climactic point and I can't wait for the second instalment, which I've been told is called 'Cabal' and should be out later this year.