Saturday, October 8, 2011

Now for a Little Exchange

A Great Swap Available
By Dale R. Cozort
Publisher: ByTech Services
Pages 252

From Amazon:
Exchange is an alternate history novel where our risk-averse society has to cope with a frontier again, through a series of "Exchanges". An Exchange temporarily swaps town-sized pieces of an alternate reality where humans didn't make it through an ancient bottleneck with chunks our reality.  With little warning, a town can be in a land where sabertooths, giant bears and even more dangerous creatures still roam, a wild, dangerous place people can go to start a new life if they're brave or crazy enough.

When her town is caught in an Exchange, computer guru Sharon Mack has to fight giant predators, escaped convicts, and a mysterious cult to rescue her kidnapped daughter before the Exchange ends, trapping them forever.

About this book:
The story opens as Sharon Mack, having been drafted into service, is helping to set a warning barrier to keep people from wandering under high-tension power lines that crews are dropping on the ground.  Why are they dropping the lines? Because in short order there is going to be an 'exchange' where part of the this world is exchanged for part of an ancient world.  Although most people flee the area due to be exchanged, because of the short lead time, some don't make it out of the area. Then there are those who want to stay either because they want to protect their property or because they plan to slip out of the exchanged area into the wilds of the ancient world.
     Sharon Mack is neither of these people. She intends on getting out before the exchange happens and meet up with her daughter, Bethany, and her babysitter, Mary, who were to leave before the event. But Sharon's ex-husband has other ideas and kidnaps Bethany. As Sharon chases Anthony, her ex, she finds herself entering the wild world surrounding the city, facing animal dangers, renegade dangers, and ex-husband dangers.
    Along the way she meets some interesting characters who she never knows whether they are on her side or not. This includes Leo West, Sister West, and Anna Morgan.

My take:
     This plot is excellent. While the idea of modern man ending up in the wilds with the likes of saber tooth tigers, dinosaurs, and other ancient creatures, is not new, the reason for this in Exchange is unique. The set up of the swap and how it fits into later parts of the plot make quite a story.
      The execution of the plot is entertaining. I enjoyed the part of the story where the ex-husband has so much working out for him.  Every time the reader thinks Sharon is finally going to 'win', something happens and Anthony gets the upper hand. I also enjoyed the vagueness of the Anna Morgan character, as well as other subplots.
    The characters could have been more fleshed out but that doesn't distract much from the telling of this tale. The story takes some interesting twists most of them surprising. The only things I did not like were some of the reactions of Sharon seemed strange given the life of her daughter was at stake and the execution of the romance part of the story seemed a bit forced.

Exchange is very interesting and I recommended to anyone who likes a general science fiction action story with a spot of romance. 


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