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The Strange by Patrick Lewis

When the Superpowers come back, things get Strange. 

The Strange is the story of Goldberg on a summer day when Sex, Murder, Cash Windfalls, Death, Explosions, Crime, and Superpowers run rampant in his normally weird and sleepy home town. The thing is, Goldberg wants nothing more than to hang out with his friends and generally disappear. That’s a tall order for the luckiest man alive when your face is on the front page, you should be (but aren’t) wanted by the cops, and are chased by deadly trouble at every turn. Will Goldberg address his drifting life? Will his friend Dan be a help or a hinderance? Will the fetching Winter twins determine who is the fairest of them all? Will Teague London, star Tight End find his karma? Can Molly overcome the destruction of her house and finally find a home before freshman year starts? And most important of all, who is packing the bong? When superpowered slackers bump up against the world’s most organized crime boss and a world rediscovering its superpowered past Things Will Get Strange.

Note: The Strange contains pervasive harsh language; also, some graphic violence.

A serialized novel, updating weekly

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Listed: Apr 2, 2017


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Shoots out of the gate, trips over its own feet, falls asleep on the track

By TanaNari, author of Price

Apr 30, 2017: It opens with an incredible hook that held my attention from the beginning- and then the narration switched to another character, who I’m assuming was the main character. I say ‘assuming’ because he’s received the most story attention of any character thus far, and there are a dozen others sharing the spotlight.

From there, you have an enjoyable read, aside an excess of purple prose in the first couple chapters. For the most part the characters feel natural, the world is well established, and there’s a mystery in the background that drops little breadcrumbs here and there. Once the story starts to pick up pace, it’s an enjoyable, if meandering and unfocused, read.

Therein lies the problem. The story jumps around at random, often visiting four separate scenes with different characters per chapter, and adding a new character perspective at an average of one per chapter while lovingly describing the minutiae of their mostly mundane lives.

Most of these characters are reasonably interesting, some not nearly as much, and the story spends its efforts establishing each of these characters while hinting at some grand event behind the scenes that they’re building toward. Which consumes (I won’t say ‘wastes’, but certainly ‘consumes’) huge amounts of time showing us these people, most of whom don’t seem to matter yet.

If you have the patience to read through the purple prose and constant jumps to dozens of different people and scenes that may come to mean something in the future, then this story may be of interest to you. I think this story has a lot of potential, once it blooms and reveals all that mystery it appears to hold, but we’re over 40,000 words later while still waiting for the story to reel in a hook that was cast in the first 500.

For everyone else, I’m afraid I can’t recommend a novel for ‘future potential’. Especially when I don’t know how the Big Reveal will be handled, and in stories like this one, that’s a critical factor.

For now, I think the best course of action is to wait for the author to finish this draft and come back to carve off the excess in the editing process.

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