Saturday, August 22, 2015

"trial run" by thomas locke

If you like sci-fi thrillers, check out Trial Run!

Dr. Gabriella Speciale has assembled an international team of elite scientists with one goal in mind--to create and control out-of-body experiences that transcend the limits of time and space. Reese Clawson's mind-bending experiments aim to explode the boundaries of human consciousness--and annihilate the opposition in the process.

When a terrifying discovery and a string of failed tests threaten to dismantle both programs, the key to survival may reside in the mind of a gifted grad student whose unsettling dreams have thrust him into the center of a dangerous battle for control.

As the threads of perception and reality become tangled and time itself twists in unexpected directions, one warning remains clear: what you don't know can kill you.

Trial Run is marketed as a thriller/suspense title, but it's really more science fiction than anything—which is fine by me! In a way, Trial Run reminds me of the film Inception because of the idea of entering dreams, but really that's where the similarity ends. In Trial Run, people in a dream state are able to travel back or forward in time, but then several subjects end up comatose.

This novel features a very large cast of characters, and at first I struggled to keep them all straight. A few of these characters only appear sporadically, which sometimes made me stop and question who they were. Fairly quickly, though, the novel's main characters come to the forefront—grad students Shane and Trent, government operative Reese, and researcher Gabriella and her guard Charlie. When this happens, things get much easier to follow. I also appreciated that it took me a long time to figure out which faction (Reese's or Gabriella's) was good and which was bad ... and I'm still not entirely sure that the good guys are truly good!

The action moves at a rapid pace, and, while there's a lot of scientific mumbo-jumbo (which isn't actually mumbo-jumbo if you take the time to try to understand it), it doesn't become overwhelming or confusing. The ending features a great blend of dream world and real world action, and it sets up what is sure to be a fascinating second book.

Trial Run is not for everyone, that's for sure, but those who enjoy smart science fiction will really like it. I'm already looking forward to next summer when book two will release. 4 stars.

Buy the book.
Get the prequel novella, Fault Lines, free for Kindle.

Thomas Locke is a pseudonym for Davis Bunn, the award-winning novelist with total worldwide sales of seven million copies. His work has been published in twenty languages, and critical acclaim includes four Christy Awards for excellence in fiction. Davis divides his time between Oxford and Florida and holds a lifelong passion for speculative stories. As Thomas Locke, Davis is also the author of Emissary. Learn more at

Disclosure of Material Connection: I received this book free from Revell through the Revell Reads program. I was not required to write a positive review. The opinions I have expressed are my own. Also, some of the links in the post above are “affiliate links.” This means if you click on the link and purchase the item, I will receive an affiliate commission. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission's 16 CFR, Part 255: "Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising."

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