Tuesday, January 15, 2019

Review: Sickness in Time by M.F. Thomas, Nicholas Thurkettle

Sickness in Time

In 2038, the human race is in a death spiral, and most people do not even know it yet. Technology that was supposed to make us better and stronger instead is birthing a strange and terrible plague we may not be able to stop. When the young daughter of Josh Scribner, a wealthy tech entrepreneur, starts to succumb to the illness, he dedicates his fortune in a desperate effort to save her life. Working with a friend & celebrated physicist, Josh develops the ability to send objects back through time. Their goal to recruit an agent in the past who might change our fatal path.

In our present day, a broken and traumatized Air Force veteran finds a strange message in the woods, drawing her into an adventure spanning decades. All humanity is at stake, as she and her small group of friends become the unlikely heroes taking up the secret fight against our future doom.
My Take:
In 2039, A plague that attacks the brain is spreading across the globe, and wealthy tech entrepreneur Josh Scribner is convinced that the tech he developed to make the human race better is at fault. As more and more cases come in of the strange and deadly plague, Josh realizes that warning the public is the only choice, even if it ruins him. 

But his warnings have come too late to save the human race. Until he joins forces with a close friend and celebrated physicist. Together they develop a system to send messages back in time and change the past, eradicating mankind's fatal future.

In 2015, Maria Kerrigan, a traumatized Air Force veteran, finds a strange message in the woods, plunging her into a gripping fight against a dark and determined evil foe to save mankind from certain doom.

Drug Content:
PG-13 - Most of the main characters drink, some to intoxication, and one is a recovering alcoholic who falls off the wagon into a destructive spiral. Brain-altering tech and mind-enhancing drugs are pandered in the future.

PG - There is a scene where a man is tortured without any real physical harm, but with a brain implant. Discussion is made how an extended or increased level of this procedure has killed multiple people. A man is shot to death in his own home. A stalker kills a person with a rock. A person is strangled. Several are killed by remote control. Bruising and blood are mentioned, but none of the violence is graphic.

R - The D word occurs about 25 times, GD is there 3 times. The F bomb is dropped 4 times.

Adult Content:
PG-13 - Four of the main characters, although involved in platonic friendships, are repeatedly mistaken as gay couples. One of the main characters has several drunken sexual encounters, though the action occurs off-screen. Urination is mentioned a few times. 

Christian content:
Nope. God doesn't really get discussed even in an offhanded way here, nor attendance at church. This is a great adventure story, with some overarching moral themes of self-sacrifice, the greater good, loyalty, duty, and persistence in the face of insurmountable odds. It takes a hard look also at mental health and the hubris mankind sometimes has in the violation of ethical standards for monetary gain and power. Good and evil were clearly delineated, save for certain minions led away by duplicity.

Final analysis:
Sickness in Time was an amazing adventure story. I found it an action-packed dystopian page-turner. The main characters were very real and raw. Character development and setting were excellent. The stakes were as high as they come, and the antagonist, though relatively two-dimensional, had his own dark stakes that were quite real. Though I could do without the language, I found the book gripping and couldn't put it down, losing sleep several nights. Not one I'd recommend for the kiddies, but it's a great adventure for the adult crowd. Five Stars!

About the Authors:

MF Thomas
MF Thomas has lived and worked in over 20 countries. He is very happy to be home in the United States. His website is www.MFThomasAuthor.com.

Nicholas ThurkettleNicholas Thurkettle is a writer, actor, and filmmaker currently living in Southern California. Born in Los Gatos, California, he grew up in the suburbs of Cincinnati, Ohio, turned teenage in Huntington Beach, California, and studied at Bradley University in Peoria, Illinois, where he earned B.A. degrees in Theatre Performance and Music. He has worked, among many other jobs, as a feature film story executive, a limousine driver, a film critic, a luggage salesman, a teacher of screenwriting, a professional smeller for a Sanitation Department, and something called a "data migration project supervisor."

His first novel, Seeing by Moonlight (co-written with MF Thomas), debuted in autumn 2013 and was called "an intriguingly dark thriller, with enough twists and turns to keep the reader turning pages up until the rather surprising conclusion" by IndieReader. In August 2015 he published a collection of 15 short stories entitled Stages of Sleep, which was praised as "immediate, lyrical, and lean". A second sci-fi thriller novel written with MF Thomas, A Sickness in Time, was released in August 2016.

As an actor he has an extensive resume of on-stage Shakespeare and roles in upcoming independent feature films including "The Revelator", "Cloudy With a Chance of Sunshine", "Aventura!" and "Reclaiming Friendship Park". He is a member of the Writers Guild of America for his screenwriting work in Hollywood, and is the producer/writer/director of two short films. The first, "Samantha Gets Back Out There", had its world premiere at the 2015 Laughlin International Film Festival and received an Honorable Mention from the IndieFEST USA Film and Music Festival. The second, "The Retriever", is currently in submissions to the film festival circuit for late 2016 and early 2017.

He is a proud member of the Writers Guild of America for his screenwriting work, as well as the Orange County Playwrights Alliance; an Artistic Associate/Casting Director with Shakespeare Orange County, and a producer/writer/performer with the award-winning audio drama podcast Earbud Theater.

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