Whiplash: Book 1 – A Rust Chronicles Novel

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Jack Flint wakes in the dead of night to a knock at his front door. Assuming it’s his sister stumbling home after a night of heavy drinking (a common occurrence), he’s unprepared for the two thugs who tase him, bind him, and force him into the trunk of their car. Before long Jack finds himself in a facility, presumably underground, and must endure test after cryptic test involving everything from word association to sword fighting.

Understandably, Jack has a few questions. Who are his mysterious captors? Why has he been abducted, when can he go home, what is he there to accomplish? Hold onto your hats because things get weird quickly. Although answers don’t come to him easily, it’s eventually revealed that Jack Flint possesses the rare ability to travel to an ethereal dream world called the Traumwelt when he sleeps. In fact, that’s how Jack was targeted—other members of this enigmatic organization ran into him in the Traumwelt and traced him back to the waking world.

The Traumwelt isn’t a fun place to be. It reeks of blood and decay. Its denizens are filthy, deformed, malnourished. And the outskirts of its hub city are crawling with the worst nightmare creatures ever imagined—literally. In some potent cocktail of The Matrix and recent Stephen King stories like Sleeping Beauties and The Institute, Jack must master the art of lucid dreaming so that he and a team of other young adults can infiltrate this nightmare world and stop its ruler from murdering people on Earth while they sleep. The motivations behind all this carnage can be a little convoluted at times but it all adds up in the end, and while the book reads well as a standalone, I for one can’t wait to tear into the follow-up.

Whiplash by Morgan Quaid skates around some pretty heavy topics but avoids becoming too dark with snappy dialogue and irreverent narration. Though the prose is sometimes inelegant it makes sense from eighteen-year-old Jack’s point of view. It’s violent, crude, and sometimes horrifying but it’s also teeming with funny quips from the main character. It’s an intensely fun read, one that always has another trick up its sleeve and never misses an opportunity to pull the rug out from under the reader. The action is breathless and well-choreographed, sometimes moving at such a fast pace that I had to go back over a page and see who made it out alive. Readers will find it hard to put Whiplash down.

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Star Count 4.5/5
Format eBook
Page Count 322 pages
Publisher Markosia
Publish Date 08-Nov-2021
ISBN 9781914926280
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Issue December 2021
Category Science Fiction & Fantasy