The thing about untenable choices offered by mad men (and women) is that nothing worthwhile is really on offer. The choice is not actually between winning and losing, but rather solidly set at lose-lose, as REALITY, DC Wince’s gripping mystery suspense thriller, explores. Readers who believe life, as humanity has been living it, might be nothing more than a poorly scripted, sadistic video game overseen by shadowy power players operating behind-the-scenes, will likely be spellbound. The storyline revolves around four kidnapped individuals competing against one another to see who will reach the one and only antidote for a poison they’ve each been given and though jumps in timeframe are a bit jarring, the plot generally holds together well.
The protagonists are interesting and varied, unveiling unique personalities from an ex-tabloid journalist to a young Australian Aborigine. Additionally, the shadowy antagonists known as The Syndicate–along with Metatron, an A.I. supercomputer constructing the game–brim with complex, unsettlingly logical evil. The memory sequences of getting to know each of the four players endeavoring to survive are quite fascinating. Though pivotal to the tale being told, least engaging are many extended scenes of struggling across a bleak Sahara to reach the goal. But questions of morality as critical choices arise, along with tentative alliances formed, manage to mitigate this weakness somewhat. Tightening the focus to predominately action and dialog rather than allowing the story to become bogged down by too much expository explanation in spots would be beneficial towards maintaining a strong, swift, can’t-put-the-book-down pace. Especially resonant are moments of ironic tongue-in-cheek humor, which occasionally appear when a character says, for instance, that if he survives he intends to write a book regarding all he’s learned about how the world really works…though probably no one in their right mind will believe it.
REALITY by DC Wince presents a mesmerizing web of conspiracy theories in the form of captivating fiction regarding what might be going on ‘behind the curtain’ in terms of current and historical world events.
~C.S. Holmes for IndieReader