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‘Saurian Time-mine’; acronym, SAT-mine: The ultimate killing machine in this universe. Hit by a SAT-mine, the target is not only destroyed, it is erased from life by altering the universe’s configuration. That person would never have existed, and all its offspring, actions or interactions would be reversed - ALL. From the 'Universal Galactic Dictionary' The Universe is consc ‘Saurian Time-mine’; acronym, SAT-mine: The ultimate killing machine in this universe. Hit by a SAT-mine, the target is not only destroyed, it is erased from life by altering the universe’s configuration. That person would never have existed, and all its offspring, actions or interactions would be reversed - ALL. From the 'Universal Galactic Dictionary' The Universe is conscious, discreet, has many avatars, and likes to experiment on … us. Powerful Factions, the supreme form of social evolution in a galaxy where all civilizations are human-like, interfere for their own mysterious ends. When confident enough they challenge The Universe seeding war and political mayhem by altering the fabric of time. Rogue Factions want to eliminate the Erins – a mysterious quantum-mind experiment representing the next level of intelligent life. He has been chosen to stop the genocide and change the pattern of history, and the fate of the whole galaxy, but what can he do, when the enemy is using time mines to stop him?


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‘Saurian Time-mine’; acronym, SAT-mine: The ultimate killing machine in this universe. Hit by a SAT-mine, the target is not only destroyed, it is erased from life by altering the universe’s configuration. That person would never have existed, and all its offspring, actions or interactions would be reversed - ALL. From the 'Universal Galactic Dictionary' The Universe is consc ‘Saurian Time-mine’; acronym, SAT-mine: The ultimate killing machine in this universe. Hit by a SAT-mine, the target is not only destroyed, it is erased from life by altering the universe’s configuration. That person would never have existed, and all its offspring, actions or interactions would be reversed - ALL. From the 'Universal Galactic Dictionary' The Universe is conscious, discreet, has many avatars, and likes to experiment on … us. Powerful Factions, the supreme form of social evolution in a galaxy where all civilizations are human-like, interfere for their own mysterious ends. When confident enough they challenge The Universe seeding war and political mayhem by altering the fabric of time. Rogue Factions want to eliminate the Erins – a mysterious quantum-mind experiment representing the next level of intelligent life. He has been chosen to stop the genocide and change the pattern of history, and the fate of the whole galaxy, but what can he do, when the enemy is using time mines to stop him?

30 review for Io Deceneus: Journal of a Time Traveler

  1. 5 out of 5

    Alfredo_s

    This book is about time travel in a bizarre alive universe, a strange but a good read. If you like a little bit of philosophy try it. If you like adventure novels try it. After a long search some very advanced entities find that a nobody from Earth is the best choice to save a distant world from civil war. Now, why a depressive man, afraid even to fly in a plane, is sent in a galactic and time travel journey you will find in the book. In the end the novel is more than about time travel, it is ab This book is about time travel in a bizarre alive universe, a strange but a good read. If you like a little bit of philosophy try it. If you like adventure novels try it. After a long search some very advanced entities find that a nobody from Earth is the best choice to save a distant world from civil war. Now, why a depressive man, afraid even to fly in a plane, is sent in a galactic and time travel journey you will find in the book. In the end the novel is more than about time travel, it is about different futures our own Earth can have. Every event on that distant planet matches something from our own history, and every choice is made there can be our own choice. It reminds me, a little, of Gulliver's Travels happening at a galactic scale, a direct and indirect assessment of the most important issues of our time.

  2. 4 out of 5

    Valerie

    An intriguing book about time traveling in an universe that appears to be sentient, but not in a way that human beings can fully understand. From the universe point of view humans are "experiments" - as are planets or solar systems - from which it will try to derive its own evolution. From time to time, DNA enhancements, at galactic scale, occur and the less prepared life forms disappear. Even some Factions, the most advanced civilizations, become sometimes extinct when their DNA is rewritten by An intriguing book about time traveling in an universe that appears to be sentient, but not in a way that human beings can fully understand. From the universe point of view humans are "experiments" - as are planets or solar systems - from which it will try to derive its own evolution. From time to time, DNA enhancements, at galactic scale, occur and the less prepared life forms disappear. Even some Factions, the most advanced civilizations, become sometimes extinct when their DNA is rewritten by "The Field", the main "tool" of the universe. Deceneus is a common man from Earth, and certainly the last person one would expect to see on hazardous time travel journeys. Still, a Field crawler has a different opinion, and a "Gate" is sent to convince him that a more interesting life is open for people who dare to try. Gates are the most captivating element in the book, they can take human shape but are "neither life nor technology". I can consider them as being a kind of AI - created by the universe to control and help Factions - but the concept is not yet completely defined in the book. Training is done on Earth, the ancient Egypt -where a philosophic encounter with Akhenaton and Nefertiti is setting the moral ground for his journeys- and on a still inhabited Mars. Then the galaxy is the only limit for his "missions". Factions are surprised by the sudden apparition of the Erins, and afraid of them as being the "next step" in the evolution. As Factions' scientists don't understand Erins' quantum brain they decide to eliminate them, therefore trying to stir a civil war on their planet, using Earth's model. And, of course, a hero from Earth is chosen to help that civilization in avoiding our own bloody history. There is adventure, romance but in the end what I was attracted the most is this surprising philosophy of a living universe, acting as almost being human.

  3. 5 out of 5

    Robby Charters

    We know the main character only as Deceneus. Even then, he's not quite sure of that name, nor in what sense he's “Deceneus”. There was one of that name much earlier in the history of that planet, and a belief in another yet to come. It all comes together in the course of the story. Not that we really need a name for him; the narrative point of view is from inside his head, but it's not just a simple first person POV – it's a stream of consciousness where each two-person dialogue becomes a three-w We know the main character only as Deceneus. Even then, he's not quite sure of that name, nor in what sense he's “Deceneus”. There was one of that name much earlier in the history of that planet, and a belief in another yet to come. It all comes together in the course of the story. Not that we really need a name for him; the narrative point of view is from inside his head, but it's not just a simple first person POV – it's a stream of consciousness where each two-person dialogue becomes a three-way conversation, his own thoughts interjected as the third party. It makes for a unique reading experience, though it may take some getting used to. But I like literary experiments like that. We begin the ride on Earth, where his name isn't Deceneus, nor is there anything about him that would suggest he's to be a hero of an other-worldly scenario – except, perhaps, the dream described in the prologue. We find him wallowing in alcohol and self-pity, having recently lost his job. Later we learn that dreams are the way that “gates” and similar beings test those who might be suitable recruits for time travel. Deceneus nick-names his “gate”, “Houston”, after NASA's Houston – as in “Houston, we have a problem”. And, there's no shortage of problems, which “Houston” has to mother him through in order to make him ready for his first contract. Apart from the “gates”, there are many other intelligent creatures inhabiting the universe. Most of them far surpass humans in brain capacity (a refreshing change from most SF I've read), so much so that humans and other similar races are seen as experiments, or even game pieces in the “game that's not a game” (you'll come across that phrase). The “game” involves making adjustments in timelines to affect the future welfare and/or extinction of whole races. Some beings treat it as a big game, while others are more concerned about the welfare of the “small brain” races. Among the more advanced beings are the “Factions”, the ones playing the leading roles in the “game that's not a game”. The most superior being of all is the Universe itself, who makes His presence known in our galaxy though what's know as the “Black Eye”, the giant black hole at the centre of our galaxy. Sometime during the formation of humanity, a mistake or accident occurred that resulted in humanity becoming an unusually ambitious and warlike race. It also made them suitable candidates to be sent to other times and places to interact with local populations to manupilate their history, as in our story. Thus, our main character accepts a contract with a “Faction” for whom Houston is acting as an agent. After receiving intensive Samurai training and gaining other skills, he is downloaded into a human-like body on a planet sometime in our distant past, that's inhabited by at least four different human-like races, as a member of one of those races. The local population has reached a level of sophistication approximating our 19th century. He has also had the local language downloaded into his brain, as well as an inner “encyclopedia” of local knowledge. Then, he's placed at just the right place at the right time to enter society as a hero. Of course, to complicate things, there's another Faction already at work there with a conflicting agenda. That last paragraph is a vast oversimplification: he actually makes several arrivals on the planet, involving a lot of trial and error. One of those arrivals is to the even more distant past, when the local population is in their stone age. Though that story is brushed over very quickly, he spends quite a number of years of their time teaching them basic civilisation skills and saving them from extinction. Actually, they did become extinct because of a wrong choice on his part, but Houston enables an alternative time-line, and they're saved. All that is a part of the preliminary learning experience. The book is full of creative applications of time-and-space theories and ideas about alternate time-lines. One more device I should mention is the “SAT-mine”, a giant spherical force field that has the potential of totally erasing ones existence, adjusting the time-line so as to totally exclude that person, and any effect they might have had on anything; so they were never born. They are meant to be a deterrent against destroying the fabric of space and time, but too often they're used against those altering the time-line in ways disagreeable to certain very powerful forces; which Deceneus is in constant danger of doing. If he were erased, an entire race of beings on that planet would also cease to exist because, remember, it was he who saved them from extinction back during the stone age. Deceneus still wants to save the local “small brain” races from extinction, which puts him in conflict with the Factions. So, that's the premise and the setting of the story. Because of Florian's narrative style, it took some effort to read through parts of it without taking a rest now and then, and a few of the stretches, ones involving local politics, were so long that I began to wonder if they were going anywhere; but they were necessary to the story, which was so superb and worth the effort that I'm giving it five stars.

  4. 4 out of 5

    Derek

    I edited the second edition of this book. This is not going to be for everybody. Armas has written a story that will feel decidedly odd to most native English-speaking readers. It's stream-of-consciousness in a conscious that spans the entire universe. If you can work through the unusual presentation, it's an epic fantasy in a pseudo-scientific setting most reminiscent to me of C.S. Lewis’s Space Trilogy (Out of the Silent Planet, etc.), without the religious element. Strictly, the protagonist is I edited the second edition of this book. This is not going to be for everybody. Armas has written a story that will feel decidedly odd to most native English-speaking readers. It's stream-of-consciousness in a conscious that spans the entire universe. If you can work through the unusual presentation, it's an epic fantasy in a pseudo-scientific setting most reminiscent to me of C.S. Lewis’s Space Trilogy (Out of the Silent Planet, etc.), without the religious element. Strictly, the protagonist is unnamed, but he is nicknamed ‘Deceneus’ by the people he helps. Deceneus is recruited by an agent of ‘The Universe’ to help steer the progress of less-developed races on other worlds. Sort-of. But it's clear that Deceneus himself is considered a savage, and there are far too many similarities between certain periods of Earth's history and events he lives through with these other races for one to be entirely sure it is another planet. And the author certainly isn't going to tell you soon. Deceneus is a rather unsympathetic character (not quite as annoying, say, as Donaldson's Thomas Covenant, but he takes some getting used to). He whines a lot and makes the reader wonder why ever somebody would think he'd be worth the investment of their time, but over the course of the novel, he becomes more likable and understandable. In fact, he's a normal human being: he drags his feet when asked to do things outside his comfort zone, but when he discovers he has an aptitude for the task, he complains less and enjoys himself more. Consequently, we enjoy him more, too. This is clearly the first of a series, but this story stands alone, with a satisfactory conclusion.

  5. 5 out of 5

    David Lindsay

    It took a few pages of the prologue for me to settle into this – it’s chaotic and disparate, neither the reader nor the protagonist is sure whether the author is describing reality, a dream, or something entirely different. It’s worth the reader’s struggle to get through those first few pages. The dialogue settles and periods of calmer narrative demonstrate writing to the level of a much more established author, some of it quite beautiful. The story is intense and challenging. This is not typical It took a few pages of the prologue for me to settle into this – it’s chaotic and disparate, neither the reader nor the protagonist is sure whether the author is describing reality, a dream, or something entirely different. It’s worth the reader’s struggle to get through those first few pages. The dialogue settles and periods of calmer narrative demonstrate writing to the level of a much more established author, some of it quite beautiful. The story is intense and challenging. This is not typical time traveller fiction; we visit not just different timelines, but different worlds and different evolutions. The writing style is also distinctive, told in the first person, dialogue is interspersed with the character’s thoughts, often frenzied and seemingly arbitrary. The shifting timelines and complexity of the story demand your concentration, but you are rewarded with a unique interpretation of a possible alternate universe, a fantasy world depicting a planet attempting to recover from a previous disaster. My one criticism is that at times I wasn't always sure which character was speaking, causing me to go back a little and re-read. However, what I loved about this book was that, although the majority of the story is set in a land at a time perhaps a thousand years behind in its evolution to ours, the author is able to draw parallels to many issues and challenges our modern society is facing. Its genius is to describe so accurately racial tensions and bigotry, fuelled by those who wish to brainwash for their own means, and for it to be equally applicable today as in a mythical, seemingly benign medieval culture. Readers, of course, will get different things from this book – it certainly has storyline, plot, adventure and creativity in abundance – but it is these more subtle thematic undercurrents that resonated with me.

  6. 4 out of 5

    Penney Nile

    For me, Io Deceneus by Florian Armas is a brilliant take on the concept of time travel. In the beginning, the protagonist, who is called Deceneus, though we are never really sure that this is actually his name, is tested by a being he calls ‘Houston’ after Mission Control for Earth’s space program, with what she describes as ‘Field Dreams’. It has been determined that he somehow holds the mind patterns of a former Traveler who had lived two thousand years prior to the lifetime of Deceneus, and H For me, Io Deceneus by Florian Armas is a brilliant take on the concept of time travel. In the beginning, the protagonist, who is called Deceneus, though we are never really sure that this is actually his name, is tested by a being he calls ‘Houston’ after Mission Control for Earth’s space program, with what she describes as ‘Field Dreams’. It has been determined that he somehow holds the mind patterns of a former Traveler who had lived two thousand years prior to the lifetime of Deceneus, and Houston’s masters, called Factions, want to train him to become a Traveler in order to stop some sort of galactic disaster from occurring. In his own reality, Deceneus is unemployed, and experiencing both anger at the loss and disappointment in himself for not being able to provide for himself as a responsible man should be able to do. It is this situation which drives him to accept that Houston and his dreams are an actuality, and that his participation is required to prevent the galactic crises Houston spoke of, and the destruction of Earth and everything he knows. As training, he is thrown into a number of different situations in places both familiar, such as Egypt in the time of Akhenaten and Nefertiti and the time of his most primitive ancestors. And alien civilizations, experiencing simulated training that is very much real as it happens. He interacts with different cultures in his training, such as Samurai, who teach him the use of swords for the worlds with less advanced societies. The plot of the book is delicately twisted, and thought provoking. The characters are defined and sympathetic, even those who are, in the beginning, ones you would consider the bad guys. The worlds Armas creates are beautiful and brilliant, and the societies much like our own. Many echoes of them can be seen in the pages of this marvelous book. I recommend it highly to anyone who enjoys fantasy and science fiction. The story will certainly keep your mind turning for a long time. Florian himself sent me this book for free in exchange for an honest review, and I hope I have given that here. I will definitely be looking forward to the next one!

  7. 4 out of 5

    thePromoParrot

    Io Deceneus: Journal of a Time Traveler by Florian Armas is the first book in The Living Universe series and is intriguingly a complex story of life and the universe. It is a story about time travel with doses of adventure, romance, science fiction, dystopian, and fantasy peppered all throughout. As the author is not a native English speaker, there are certain disadvantages but it does not spoil the beauty of the story in any way. The book is also about the future of Planet Earth which will fasci Io Deceneus: Journal of a Time Traveler by Florian Armas is the first book in The Living Universe series and is intriguingly a complex story of life and the universe. It is a story about time travel with doses of adventure, romance, science fiction, dystopian, and fantasy peppered all throughout. As the author is not a native English speaker, there are certain disadvantages but it does not spoil the beauty of the story in any way. The book is also about the future of Planet Earth which will fascinate many readers. Deceneus may not be your idea of your next-door neighbor but he breathes life into story. I received a copy of this book for free through Goodreads First Reads program.

  8. 4 out of 5

    Anna Fantabulous

    The unnamed protagonist of the novel starts out as a 30-year old IT consultant tired of his boring job and impending unemployment, cursing the economy and it’s failure to protect him. He has visions, nightmares, dreams - of a girl/ woman Delena, a wolf, ‘Munti’ and lady in the castle - that he cannot decipher. He goes to the doctor who tells him it’s all because an enlarged pineal gland and a tumor which will be removed in a routine operation. An old man, Batranu, sitting at the same clinic tells The unnamed protagonist of the novel starts out as a 30-year old IT consultant tired of his boring job and impending unemployment, cursing the economy and it’s failure to protect him. He has visions, nightmares, dreams - of a girl/ woman Delena, a wolf, ‘Munti’ and lady in the castle - that he cannot decipher. He goes to the doctor who tells him it’s all because an enlarged pineal gland and a tumor which will be removed in a routine operation. An old man, Batranu, sitting at the same clinic tells him to do no such thing. His abnormal pineal gland is a blessing: it will help him open the door in his mind. Words like ‘omega point’, ‘noosphere’, ‘temporal storm‘, ‘the field’s guardian who is a Gate’ are thrown about that make no sense to the young man. Before long, he meets the Gate, a violet-eyed apparition, that he names Houston because she has none. She tells him he is - wait for it - The Chosen One. Because He’s Special. And The Universe Wants His Help. His job is simply to travel through time as and when requested and he’ll get a vacation at the end of it. There are rules he does not quite understand but says yes for the heck of it. He practices in a simulation, goes into prehistoric times for initiation, and learns ‘the Art of War’ in a martial arts school. The faction that has ‘employed‘ him is called Existential Life Enhances of Quadrants (Faction One). The bad guys are Faction Two: Celestial Servants of Proper Life. There are four populations in the conflict: Baragans, Munti, Erin and Nogi. His first assignment is to stop a brewing war between two life forms: Baragans and Munti. In one place, he meets the woman of his dreams, Delena, makes out with her. He goes to another place, a kingdom, meets Altmira and falls for her - marrying her and having kids who eventually rule that kingdom, though he never gets to see it - he’s already off to another place. Adversaries abound in the shape of Black Eye of the Desert Brothers who are looking for a guy named Deceneus, a priest, librarian, savior, basically someone important enough to kill. Guess what? He’s Deceneus, though in the middle of the story, he meets ‘the real Deceneus’ too. God is a traveler. Houston is neither life nor technology. Deceneus himself lives in many lives at the same time, in various pasts and futures. Everything in The Universe has the same basic DNA but is continually evolving, courtesy the Seeding Crawlers and time travelers. All failed experiments to change are stored as memories in The Field. New data has to be entered or codified in The Universe to change reality. The most advanced beings are the ones who have transcended the material form. One of them rebelled against the Universe and created a Time Warp. I don’t know who won the war, but I’m pretty sure it wasn’t Nogi. By the end of the book, Deceneus is reborn, with more ‘quantum nucleus’ to help him in his new mission: Go back to earth and destroy the big corporate sharks ruling earth that rendered the likes of him jobless! Everything from banks, ammo industry, electronics, internet giants, pharmaceuticals, have to go. Much work has gone into creating this imaginary world of wish fulfillment, infact it feels like a 235-page introduction into a series. If only this were a movie, it would be much easier to understand the concept, turmoil and feel the thrill of action. Armas’s world is for hardcore fans of sci-fi. I received a free copy of the book in exchange for a fair, unbiased and non-reciprocal review.

  9. 4 out of 5

    Carolyn Young

    The best word I can use to describe this book is overwhelming. Not in a bad way - it is just very complex and detailed and often confusing, at least for me. The writing itself is excellent. I enjoyed the author’s prose quite a bit, and the first person narrative. The protagonist, an ordinary man from earth, travels through time and space, which makes the story fascinating – but that is where much of my confusion came from. I had to read back to remind myself of the setting. There is also much sy The best word I can use to describe this book is overwhelming. Not in a bad way - it is just very complex and detailed and often confusing, at least for me. The writing itself is excellent. I enjoyed the author’s prose quite a bit, and the first person narrative. The protagonist, an ordinary man from earth, travels through time and space, which makes the story fascinating – but that is where much of my confusion came from. I had to read back to remind myself of the setting. There is also much symbolism, with events that mirror actual events in our history, which was interesting and thought provoking. The book overall was just too much for me. I feel as though I can’t give it a thorough review because I would have to read it again – slowly. I don’t think I got nearly everything I could out of it. For me, to read it effectively would take much time and concentration. I would imagine that this would be a great book to study in a literature class! There is much to uncover, analyze, and discuss. I think that readers who enjoy a challenge, and who enjoy science fiction/time travel will love this book. I am rating this book high for that reason. It was a well-told story, even though I think it was a bit out of my league in terms of subject matter and complexity.

  10. 4 out of 5

    Dawn

    I received a copy of this book for free through Goodreads First Reads. "Io Deceneus - Journey of a Time Traveler" is entertaining, engaging and thought provoking. I was very taken with the story line, which in parts deals with regular life that we can all relate to. Florian Armas has taken the history of mankind and explored (in a science fiction setting) where it all went wrong, and toys with ideas for how we can put it right. I'm very much looking forward to the next instalment.

  11. 4 out of 5

    Sean DeLauder

    Journal of a Time Traveler is a story that chronicles the early adventures of Kwizatz Haderach , narcoleptic dreamer, mischievous somnambulist, and otherwise nameless, Io Deceneus (view spoiler)[though it may be that he's been mistaken for someone else (hide spoiler)] . Granted, his condition is no fault of his own, but the consequence of an enlarged pineal gland and a recruiting process by conscious components of the Universe, who share the protagonist’s understandable but distracting hatred Journal of a Time Traveler is a story that chronicles the early adventures of Kwizatz Haderach , narcoleptic dreamer, mischievous somnambulist, and otherwise nameless, Io Deceneus (view spoiler)[though it may be that he's been mistaken for someone else (hide spoiler)] . Granted, his condition is no fault of his own, but the consequence of an enlarged pineal gland and a recruiting process by conscious components of the Universe, who share the protagonist’s understandable but distracting hatred for the banking and investment industry. Good gravy I wanted to like this story. It had a superb premise that implied a philosophical bent to it. The (presumed) title character’s name had an inkling of profundity, being a combination of the historical title for Assenid kings (i.e., Io) and a philosopher from the first century BC or a Gothic God of some sort (i.e., Deceneus). It had a time-jumping hero meant to stick his foot into situations gone awry and send agitators tumbling to the ground. And look at the cover--the hero is defined by his absence. How fantastic is that? In many, many ways this reminds me of The Beginning of This, the End of That. Each touches upon interesting facets of history and mythology, but each suffers from similar ailments. It's for that reason I feel apologetic for not enjoying it more. PLOT The story begins with a dream. Dreams are disjointed and jumbled and nonsensical to all but the dreamer. In that sense, the opening is a huge success. No matter how many times I reread it, I was utterly lost, unsure who was speaking, what was happening, or where I was. Only after five pages of stream-of-consciousness narration, mentions of rituals, the narrator possibly leaping into and back out of the mind of a wolf, interjections from a raven, and an internal struggle I could not distinguish from other speakers, the scene ended in the revelation that it was a dream. I don't recall, but it's possible I cursed aloud when this was revealed. I applaud the author for restraining himself from being overly explicit. On the other hand, had there been some early indication that the main character was dreaming, even something simple such as retitling the Prologue to The Dream, I might not have suffered from the creeping fear that I was in for almost 400 pages of disjointed gibberish--I think relief alone carried me another handful of pages past that point. As a writer I know firsthand that we can sometimes be too clever for our own good. Sometimes it's a good idea to be blatant from the get go rather than risk alienating a reader. That's a tough decision to make, but at times a necessary one. Dream sequences are tricky to write. They require a balance between terra firma that a reader can latch onto and the niggling peculiarities that are characteristic of dreams. You always run the risk of losing your reader when you stick to the magical realism common to dreams while trying to appeal to a wide-awake reader. Different rules apply. The nonsense that makes sense to a dreamer can alienate a reader, especially when you craft it from the perspective of the dreamer, to whom all the jumps in perspective make sense. There has to be some kind of handhold for the reader. Fortunately, this opening scene, disorienting though it may have been, prepared me for other dream sequences to follow. Any time the text suddenly became filled with italic internal observations and jarring shifts to previously undescribed locations, I was immediately able to spring to my feet and shout "DREAM! THIS IS ANOTHER DREAM!" Very gratifying, and somewhat less disorienting. And THAT was just the prologue. CHARACTERS "An author in his book must be like God in the Universe, present everywhere and visible nowhere." Gustave Flaubert Although this improved as the book wore on, the author did not initially give Flaubert's recommendation much heed. Many of the characters struck me as caricatures meant as a proxy for the author to further his opinion rather than real people with opinions of their own. For example: it becomes apparent early on that the protagonist has lost his job during the financial calamity of the late 2000s (or something very similar). Even though the loss of his position was the consequence of narcolepsy combined with somnambulism that resulted in spilling hot coffee over his superior’s head, he feels plenty of scorn towards those responsible for the economic collapse, and those responsible are hyperbolically unrepentant and self-gratifying (a reflection of reality, to be sure, but this representation was cartoonishly so). A news anchor describes them with absolutely no artifice: "Our respectable bankers are marvelous professionals, really deserving high bonuses and salaries." A sarcastic remark that utterly shattered the fourth wall and made me feel as if the author had manifested his opinion into the form of a frying pan and leaned out of the book to hit me in the forehead with it. Interestingly, even though one might think they had broader and more cosmic concerns, the local conscious entities of the Universe feel the same way. Ultimately, the purpose of this disdain was to imply the main character had an appropriate (and apparently quantifiable) empathy score, a criteria necessary for his cosmic purpose. Frankly, this might have been accomplished more effectively by walking an old lady across the street than cursing a television talking head and making reference to lynching to improve the lives of poor people—after all, deeds speak louder than words, and the main character is meant to be a man of action. Fortunately, this seems to wear off as the book goes on (view spoiler)[... until the end, that is, where war is declared upon greedy capitalists. Not a position I wholly disagree with, but of a Dalek-like, total annihilation approach. Surely there must be some benefit to these institutions to warrant the preservation of a few. Even Abraham thought God could for certain find 10 good people in Sodom and Gommorah... He was wrong... but... well, I guess I've destroyed my own argument. (hide spoiler)] NARRATIVE STYLE The story presented itself as a first-person narrative that keeps a tight focus on the thoughts of the narrator, often without much external description. This can prove disorienting at times, and each time the scene changes it's a bit of a puzzle to figure out what is going on. Sometimes this is effective and sometimes I hope for a little more. There’s a lot of internal dialogue, and the author frequently mixes this dialogue into conversations. Not just the protagonist’s dialogue, mind you, but in response to the dialogue of others, usually within the same paragraph as the speaker. Perhaps this is a writing style that’s popular elsewhere, but for me, trying to determine the speaker in dialogue took me out of the story. Adding this to the fact that multiple characters could be present in a single scene, but no dialogue markers are used to identify the speaker, made conversations difficult to follow. Descriptions were forced at times, using words that tell without showing, and that proved a bit frustrating and utterly unilluminating for me. During a conversation, a speaker’s face changed, “getting older that [sic] I could think being [sic] possible”. In this case, the speaker isn’t genuinely aging, but he’s clearly under some kind of stress. I’m unable to parse whether he is surprised, disappointed, exasperated. The doctor who tells the protagonist he has a tumor has “uncomfortable eyes” and a “professional smile”. I certainly understand the sentiment here, but it’s not a terribly effective way of describing someone. The doctor is uneasy, obviously, because this is news no one wants. Sometimes it’s better to say so rather than apply it to an expressive component of the body in a way that doesn’t convey an expression any more than a hungry person has a “hungry face”, because I have no idea what that looks like if you don’t tell me. At other times, I simply didn’t understand what was being said. For example, after being whipped in Ancient Egypt, the protagonist’s “teeth clacked so hard that they burst into laughs”. This is, to say the least, an idiomatic progression to which I’ve never been privy and do not understand. WORD CHOICE The book had a herky-jerky relationship with words. In some cases the same word would crop up to describe similar situations, as though the author was trying to write within the limitations of a select number of words. (e.g., Tension surfaced in his voice… Next sentence: I did not like the tension in his tone.) Then a word like “complotting”, an archaic word that just means “plotting”, would send me running for a dictionary and wondering where it came from. [image error] This had a distracting effect. I would not enjoy playing Scrabble with the author, who seems like they would put together several rounds of 3-letter words before dropping something like Xebec on a triple word score. CONCLUSION I really wanted this book to succeed. In terms of concept, it’s fascinating. There is a wealth of imagination present. In terms of execution, however, it takes a bit of getting used to. For those of you who are completely undistracted by my issues with the book, you’ll certainly enjoy this. It’s initially confusing and grammatically challenging throughout, but it is readable, and the tale itself is thoroughly intriguing.

  12. 4 out of 5

    Susie

    GOODREADS FIRST READS I tried to finish this last night, although I didn’t quite make it before being too tired to continue! So just finished the last three pages now… I really liked the premise for this book. A totally fascinating concept where the universe has a consciousness and it employs both terrestrial and extra-terrestrial life forms to work to update and improve life as a whole, with each being directly involved in the evolution process. It also uses these as an explanation for many myths GOODREADS FIRST READS I tried to finish this last night, although I didn’t quite make it before being too tired to continue! So just finished the last three pages now… I really liked the premise for this book. A totally fascinating concept where the universe has a consciousness and it employs both terrestrial and extra-terrestrial life forms to work to update and improve life as a whole, with each being directly involved in the evolution process. It also uses these as an explanation for many myths, whether religious or scientific. In the beginning I didn’t find it completely original, as I’d just started watching SG1 (I haven’t watched it all the way through from the beginning before) and the events there and in the book were both discussing Egyptian rulers as having been extra-terrestrials. It was a bizarre coincidence, as it happens, as the book doesn’t follow what happens in other sci-fi books or programmes at all, not that I know! Yet the link with ancient Egypt seems quite a common one that reoccurs. Although this was a learning experience for our main character, before he went on to get involved elsewhere himself. On the whole, I did find I really enjoyed it. But the flow of the story does let itself down in places – there are points where I wanted to read more and other places where I started to lose interest, the ebb and flow not always at its peak. There were also places where I found that the scene changed too abruptly, which meant it took a bit of time to work out where we now were in the story(view spoiler)[ for a quick example, right at the end, when Decenius is talking to Houston in Greece, it was quite a jump from him having just talked to the universe. Perhaps if it was placed in a new chapter, it might not have noticed as much. But he’s talking about the children he had, as if talking about the Baragan planet, yet it isn’t completely clear if he did return in that period between him communing with Houston after meeting the universe and his meeting with her in Greece or not (hide spoiler)] . That compiled with the several grammatical errors that are still in this second edition, it made it a slower read than it otherwise could have been. Although I am aware that there is now a new edition in which further corrections have been made, so it could well be possible that a lot of these have since been corrected. So I wouldn’t let that put potential readers off as, these issues aside, it’s still a really good read. I’ve noticed that some people have called this a “dystopia”, but I wouldn’t, unless you want to say that we are currently living in a dystopian society with all the references to/from modern day. If you are talking about the “controllers”(view spoiler)[ factions (hide spoiler)] , even at that level you can’t really classify it thus, as it is talking about future concepts and the worlds’ governments themselves still believe themselves to be in control and peacefully, mostly. Post-apocalyptic doesn’t apply, either. It comes close to being classified as having dystopian themes, but I guess it depends on whether you consider the outside force to be classifiable, a force that can time travel and delve its hands into any government at any period of time, more or less. Anyway, it’ll definitely be interesting to see where the author is planning to go for the next adventure. I’m assuming/hoping he is going to make the link full circle, so we will get a link to some of the events explained here(view spoiler)[ like with the future Decenius (hide spoiler)] . With this in mind, I will be looking out for the next book! ========== ========== ========== ========== ========== My balanced rating system: ★★★★★ - Loved/couldn't put it down ★★★★☆ - Really liked ★★★☆☆ - Sort of liked/OK ★★☆☆☆ - Disliked ★☆☆☆☆ - Really disliked/hated/DNF

  13. 4 out of 5

    Kayne Milhomme

    IO Deceneus is a complex, sophisticated tale laced with intellect, intrigue, imagination, and spacetime physics. As a reader/reviewer, I would classify my experience with IO Deceneus as ‘original’—almost completely unique to experiences I have had with other novels—based primarily on the nature of the mental acuity infused in the story. Categorically, the novel is deep science fiction, but with a far-reaching, visionary scope and a mix of concrete plot points peppered with abstract experiences a IO Deceneus is a complex, sophisticated tale laced with intellect, intrigue, imagination, and spacetime physics. As a reader/reviewer, I would classify my experience with IO Deceneus as ‘original’—almost completely unique to experiences I have had with other novels—based primarily on the nature of the mental acuity infused in the story. Categorically, the novel is deep science fiction, but with a far-reaching, visionary scope and a mix of concrete plot points peppered with abstract experiences and thoughts, the latter usually philosophical in nature. For the most part, I liked the challenge that the novel presented to me as a reader; over the initial few chapters I learned to approach the book not in a leisurely manner, but with concentration so as to try to keep pace. In truth, I was not always successful and there were times when I had to backtrack to make sure I had an accurate understanding of a certain event or series of events; regardless, I enjoyed the read as such. The story itself consists of a universe of living entities—a universe where sentience is a layered, hierarchal attribute. This is displayed by the myriad of intelligent forms presented throughout the novel, most of whom (or of which) appear to possess superior intellect to humans, and therefore use humans as tools—or more appropriately, pieces in the grand game of the universe. One way this ‘game’ plays itself out is in the form of attempting to control fate itself, or in a more technical fashion, the events that occur in timelines (both a current timeline and seemingly alternate timelines), and thus shape not only those events, but the events to come. The motive for these adjustments (the adjustments are crafted by the beings of superior intelligence) are sometimes altruistic, and other times simply for amusement (or so it seems). But the end result of tampering with spacetime, regardless of the motive, is one that typically and critically impacts the wellbeing of other races in the universe, even to the point of eliminating their existence altogether. The protagonist of IO Deceneus is in effect a time traveler who is first identified as a likely candidate, and then sent on various assignments of increasing difficulty. Certain physical and mental challenges prepare him for the worlds/timelines that he will be introduced to, and he learns skills and attributes specifically relevant to his task. The protagonist’s conflict stems from his own limitations initially, and then transfers to outward conflict. The outward conflict includes his role as a member of a ‘Faction’ (term for one of these conglomerates working to fashion space-time), in which he has a goal to shape events in a certain manner which is at odds with a rival Faction’s mission to also shape events for a different, conflicting outcome. As these events unfold, the reader’s knowledge is not holistic, but restricted to the protagonist’s point of view; thus, the revelation of the mechanisms, purpose, and impact of time travel on both the protagonist and his surroundings are introduced in a step-wise fashion. Sometimes the reader experiences these events with him; other times, it is through his memory or events. All in all, this was a challenging yet rewarding read and provided me as the reader some interesting insights into an imaginative and complex universe.

  14. 5 out of 5

    Sonal Panse

    I liked this book a lot more than I initially expected to. The writing is very good and the concept about a man time traveling and trying to prevent a war on an alien planet that hasn't had warfare for one thousand years is both intriguing and imaginatively rendered. I found myself agreeing with many of the ideas presented here, and I quite liked Deceneus, the first person narrator; he manages to show a certain nobility, without being smug. That said, I did not feel as much emotional resonance w I liked this book a lot more than I initially expected to. The writing is very good and the concept about a man time traveling and trying to prevent a war on an alien planet that hasn't had warfare for one thousand years is both intriguing and imaginatively rendered. I found myself agreeing with many of the ideas presented here, and I quite liked Deceneus, the first person narrator; he manages to show a certain nobility, without being smug. That said, I did not feel as much emotional resonance with any of the other characters, and, in the first half of the book, I had trouble figuring out what was going on with the plot and why; I had to reread to get on track. The story structure here is too incoherent and disorienting, and does not really help in drawing you in. It was like being in a surrealist dream where you are peering inside someone's mind and one inexplicable thing happens and then you go back to the point of its origin and experience it all over again, but with, maybe, a different outcome, and then the perspective swings entirely around for the next inexplicable thing, and you just go along without managing to make head or tail of the events, but wishing very much to step off this frenetic merry-go-round before your mind starts fragmenting like the protagonist's. While I can appreciate the author's skill in creating this kind of an effect, it does make for difficult reading. Things improve in the second half, so it was worth persevering. Five stars, because the author is undoubtedly talented - pulling all the threads of this complicated story is no mean feat - and there is an inherent honesty in the writing.

  15. 5 out of 5

    Grimread

    my first First read giweaway win. It's an odd book. Although the writing style makes it very confusing at some points, it managed to press all the right buttons for me and thus becomes very compelling read. I personally hate the first person narrative in books but with this one you are spared with all the whiny emotions and descriptions of everything those stories usually consist off. Here you might not be able to correlate with the main character as you never truly find out what his real name is my first First read giweaway win. It's an odd book. Although the writing style makes it very confusing at some points, it managed to press all the right buttons for me and thus becomes very compelling read. I personally hate the first person narrative in books but with this one you are spared with all the whiny emotions and descriptions of everything those stories usually consist off. Here you might not be able to correlate with the main character as you never truly find out what his real name is. I mean the guy says it himself that everybody just ignored his name as soon as he had introduced himself. It's a breath of fresh air in my bookshelf. I think this is one of those books you either love it or hate it despite all spelling mistakes, especially in the last two chapters, there is no middle ground, yet I shall say I liked it. Liked it enough to recommend it.

  16. 5 out of 5

    Linda Todd

    A bit confusing at the start but when I got in to the story it was fabulous. The energetic story was a wild roller coaster ride that I truly enjoyed and will be looking to read more of this wonderful authors books in the future. The well thought out characters and story line fit well together my very well desevred thanks go to the author Florian Armas also my thanks for the privilege of reading this wonderful book and it will be a pleasure to recommend this beautiful story to my friends with tha A bit confusing at the start but when I got in to the story it was fabulous. The energetic story was a wild roller coaster ride that I truly enjoyed and will be looking to read more of this wonderful authors books in the future. The well thought out characters and story line fit well together my very well desevred thanks go to the author Florian Armas also my thanks for the privilege of reading this wonderful book and it will be a pleasure to recommend this beautiful story to my friends with that said happy reading to all from wee me. xxxxx

  17. 4 out of 5

    Hock Tjoa

    This is a most intriguing novel. The imagination is so rich and prolific, the voice of the main character (it is a first person narrative) is mysterious and beguiling. I wanted to keep reading and reading. It is a long book and it seems as if there is no end to the author's inventiveness. There are baragans and muntis, erins and nogis, anti-nogis and factions, etc. Much of the story involves mind games. The first-person narrative includes dialogue and internal dialogue. It appears the MC is often This is a most intriguing novel. The imagination is so rich and prolific, the voice of the main character (it is a first person narrative) is mysterious and beguiling. I wanted to keep reading and reading. It is a long book and it seems as if there is no end to the author's inventiveness. There are baragans and muntis, erins and nogis, anti-nogis and factions, etc. Much of the story involves mind games. The first-person narrative includes dialogue and internal dialogue. It appears the MC is often as much in the dark as the reader; he makes no bones about his evaluations of the various other characters. I found myself overwhelmed, as if in a labyrinth without a thread or a trail of bread-crumbs. "The Erins' magic ... mystery, their quantum field interfered with the SAT-mines temporal waves. The web lost its power ... called for heavy cavalry ... Time intercepted them." The mysterious entity, Houston, who has implanted knowledge and training[?] into the MC, insists it is a "competent Gate." I fear that I am no wiser. Eventually, it is revealed that the MC is from earth, from a different time than current on Dava. What do we make of the Field Crawlers or of the "black fog with human minds" or the references to the Romans and the Dacians, to chrono-particles and curare and nuclear bombs? This would have been more enjoyable for me had there been a clearer sense of a story, an inkling that the space-time chaos depicted so well would lead to some resolution.

  18. 4 out of 5

    Emma Jaye

    This is one of those books where I heartily recommend a ‘look inside’ read before purchase. Judging from the other reviews a significant number of people thoroughly enjoyed this book, but I must admit I had a hard time making head or tail of it. The prose consisted largely of rather flowery, disjointed dialogue and due to the lack of speech tags I had difficultly working who was speaking, let alone the meaning of their words. I hoped things would solidify a little after I understood that the ini This is one of those books where I heartily recommend a ‘look inside’ read before purchase. Judging from the other reviews a significant number of people thoroughly enjoyed this book, but I must admit I had a hard time making head or tail of it. The prose consisted largely of rather flowery, disjointed dialogue and due to the lack of speech tags I had difficultly working who was speaking, let alone the meaning of their words. I hoped things would solidify a little after I understood that the initial pages involved quite a few ‘dream’ sequences, but it didn’t. The main character bounces about from one situation to another, in different time periods and planets, in reality and in dreams. Few were described in any detail, making it difficult to imagine. When I read sci fi, and I’ve done so all my life, I enjoy sinking into another life, another situation. But this was a little like being in a kaleidoscope, lots of shifting, sparkling patterns but nothing concrete to hang onto. Not a winner for me I’m afraid.

  19. 5 out of 5

    Adrienne

    A brilliant novel, filled with twists and turns that will keep one constantly guessing. Io Deceneus is a surreal mind trip, reminiscent of classical science fiction yet merged also with fantasy and even commentary on the nature of humanity, spirituality, and self. By the third chapter, I was hooked - line and sinker. Armas has managed to put a new twist on many old concepts - genetic manipulation, influence of other beings in the universe on immature peoples, time travel, and more (I don't want A brilliant novel, filled with twists and turns that will keep one constantly guessing. Io Deceneus is a surreal mind trip, reminiscent of classical science fiction yet merged also with fantasy and even commentary on the nature of humanity, spirituality, and self. By the third chapter, I was hooked - line and sinker. Armas has managed to put a new twist on many old concepts - genetic manipulation, influence of other beings in the universe on immature peoples, time travel, and more (I don't want to give it all away!). I highly recommend this novel to anyone ready for a plot that leaves them wondering, at every page, just what is going to happen next.

  20. 4 out of 5

    Sean Campbell

    The author weaves a compelling tale. I found myself reading long into the night to find out what would happen and where the story would lead me. The story leaves you with the feeling you are seeing the world through the eyes of the main character, while seeing into his inner thoughts and feelings. This is a good book for those that like to take a trip through the mind of the hero. A quiet night by the fire, with a cup of coffee and this book, will leave you pleasantly surprised.

  21. 5 out of 5

    Kerry

    4.5 rating Intense and this really gets you thinking. Many players in a game of war, extermination and the game of fear. Suspenseful, intriguing, adventurous with a wonderful story line. What do you do if you hae a chance to save lives? At what cost? and rules that keep changing?

  22. 5 out of 5

    Pauline Wharton

    This is a beautifully written book but it is by no means an easy read. I certainly wouldn't recommend it to anyone reading sci-fi for the first time, though gamers should feel at home with some of the ideas, such as the trials the protagonist has to undergo. It starts off in a very confusing way, which we are then told is a dream. This seemed a bit corny for a moment, but we then find the imaginings are occurring because the narrator is suffering from a tumour of the pineal gland. As he leaves t This is a beautifully written book but it is by no means an easy read. I certainly wouldn't recommend it to anyone reading sci-fi for the first time, though gamers should feel at home with some of the ideas, such as the trials the protagonist has to undergo. It starts off in a very confusing way, which we are then told is a dream. This seemed a bit corny for a moment, but we then find the imaginings are occurring because the narrator is suffering from a tumour of the pineal gland. As he leaves the doctor's, an old man suggests to him that the effects of the tumour may be a blessing after all. I rather liked this explanation. It continues to be very complicated - I found it difficult to get my head round the large cast - and the narration is not straightforward, but gradually we learn more.. In the end, it repays the effort. I think the author is very talented, but I do hope he makes the next in the series a bit more straightforward, because if we are introduced to more characters and a more convolutions I think I would be totally lost!

  23. 4 out of 5

    J.B. Markes

    I was gifted a copy of this book in return for my honest opinion. This is a very difficult book to review, and I feel more like I am working through my own thoughts than giving any real critique of the work. Moreover, there are a few scenes that break down to the author soap-boxing about our current Earth society/economy/political system, which I will leave unaddressed. (I’m onto you, Mr. Author!) But here we go! ​ I liked this book, or perhaps more accurately, I enjoyed the author’s writing style I was gifted a copy of this book in return for my honest opinion. This is a very difficult book to review, and I feel more like I am working through my own thoughts than giving any real critique of the work. Moreover, there are a few scenes that break down to the author soap-boxing about our current Earth society/economy/political system, which I will leave unaddressed. (I’m onto you, Mr. Author!) But here we go! ​ I liked this book, or perhaps more accurately, I enjoyed the author’s writing style. The author certainly doesn’t pamper his potential readers, and it’s a race to catch up from the very first page. I feel this was intentional, to put the reader into the same scattered, disoriented mindset as the protagonist. Unfortunately, by the end of the book, our hero Deceneus ends up with much more information than we do, despite us living within his head the entire story. This is a time travel story, but unlike most time travel stories, the protagonist is in absolutely no control of his travels. There are some real god-from-the-machine situations where the hero is backed into a corner and the timeline gets completely replaced by powers unknown rather than have him get killed, which becomes quite anti-climactic when overused. We get told the timeline has been replaced with little or no explanation, which I believe is supposed to add to the mystery of it all, but when the mystery never becomes clear it leaves the reader feeling a bit unsatisfied. There are a seemingly unlimited number of interested parties working behind the scenes on this tiny little planet—the reason for which becomes clear eventually—so there is a lot of intrigue. First and foremost, this is a story centered around politics. Everyone has an agenda and a back-up plan. To this end, the story really serves its purpose, as you never know where anyone stands until it is all said and done. To get a true sense of the author's strengths, we should focus on the superbly written characters and the page-to-page narrative. The main character develops quite clearly from an insecure know-nothing to a boastful, but insecure know-nothing with good sword skills. It’s a harsh description, perhaps, but we can’t blame him for knowing nothing when he always seems to know more than we do. He is likeable in all the ways he should be, and at no point does his character become inconsistent or otherwise unbelievable. There are quite a few other characters, making it a bit difficult to keep everyone straight, but it adds much depth to the world the author has created. ​ The writing itself is skillful. It flows one great description to the next, making it a breeze to just pick up and enjoy, without worrying too much about where the story is heading. I have leveled so much negative criticism, it might seem as if I hated this story, but it’s quite the opposite. Each mini-adventure is worth reading just for the artful prose and the overall life-or-death tension it provokes. It’s staggering just how much world(and universe)-building has been stuffed into one novel. This story is unique enough that it shouldn’t be overlooked by any fan of sci-fi, or fantasy for that matter.

  24. 4 out of 5

    Stina

    I received this book after winning it on Goodreads first read. First of all I want to thank the author for sending me this book and also gave me an e-books so I could start reading it till I got my copy in the mail. Writing : At first I struggle with the writing, first off there was a lot of now we are here and then we are there so it took me a little time to get used to that. And in periods It was a little too much focused on what the character thought so it threw me a little off sometimes and I I received this book after winning it on Goodreads first read. First of all I want to thank the author for sending me this book and also gave me an e-books so I could start reading it till I got my copy in the mail. Writing : At first I struggle with the writing, first off there was a lot of now we are here and then we are there so it took me a little time to get used to that. And in periods It was a little too much focused on what the character thought so it threw me a little off sometimes and I had to start over again to understand what was happening, it was also very long chapters but on the positive side there was stops within the chapters. Character : I like the character it was just to much focus on the thinking as I mentioned and that he seems to get used to the situation and excepted it very fast and that make the character less real. Story : The book started off very confusing you just get thrown into the story without explanation and that made it a little hard to understand in the beginning but by the end of the prologue I got hooked by the story. As i mention in the writing the story jumps from here to there (specially in the first part) which was a little difficult to follow so I recommend having an long period of time to read this book that way you understand faster than I did, I didn't have much time when I started reading so to me at first it seemed badly put together but then I got more time to read and understood more, the story got even better than it already was. there was always something going on and there was never a boring part just one good one after the other. Quotes : : 'Those who fear to suffer already suffer what they fear' : 'one dead men is death, one million is statistic' : 'there is a tree of good an evil deeply rooted within each of us, with branches fighting endlessly for the light of our soul, growing from our thoughts' Tips for reading : 1 : if English isn't your first language I recommend a dictionary or buying it as e-book with a dictionary. there are a few hard/unusual word here and there. 2: have time to read over long time so the story don't seem pieced together and you don't always have to reread the last page to remember where in the story you left off (specially part one) Conclusion : A great book, four stars almost five but because of the sudden start and the main character who wasn't that convincing when he came to excepting it so fast. So thanks again to the author for sending me this book I can't wait for the next one to come out next year PS: I hope it will be sold in the Norway Truly a great book

  25. 5 out of 5

    Warren Dean

    This is a highly imaginative novel in more ways than one. Not only is the story set in a universe which is radically different to the one we think we know, it is also presented in an outrageously quirky style which encourages the reader to experience the narrative rather than just read it. For example, the introduction to the main protagonist is through a rapid-fire kaleidoscope of chaotic dream sequences. This results in the reader being confused at first, unsure of what is real and what isn't. This is a highly imaginative novel in more ways than one. Not only is the story set in a universe which is radically different to the one we think we know, it is also presented in an outrageously quirky style which encourages the reader to experience the narrative rather than just read it. For example, the introduction to the main protagonist is through a rapid-fire kaleidoscope of chaotic dream sequences. This results in the reader being confused at first, unsure of what is real and what isn't. Eventually, however, the reader realises that the confusion he or she is experiencing is similar to that of the protagonist. Understandably concerned about his mental state, he (the protagonist, not the reader) seeks medical help, and is told that his condition is the result of an enlarged pineal gland. He is advised that it is necessary to have it removed by way of an operation. But then he discovers, through a series of dream-like encounters with strange characters and alien entities, that his pineal gland is not necessarily diseased. Instead, it is one that imbues him with the ability to become a Traveller; someone more than human who is able to traverse both time and space. The narrative style itself gradually becomes less frenzied, echoing the protagonist's growing understanding of his unusual situation. He faces a choice. He can accept that his pineal gland is abnormal and go for medical treatment, or he can take a leap of faith and undergo the training required to become a fully-fledged Traveller. Should he remain a normal human being mired in everyday concerns about losing his job and paying his mortgage, or should he become an interstellar time-traveller at the centre of a struggle which will have an impact on the sentient universe itself? A no-brainer if ever I've seen one. If I had to criticize, I would say that the unconventional narrative style is not easy to follow. The protagonist's point of view is largely presented in a stream of external dialogue alternating with internal monologue, which is a very realistic portrayal of the inner workings of the human mind, but the novel probably needs to be read more than once to fully appreciate all of its facets and nuances. Io Deceneus will appeal to experienced sci-fi readers who are looking for something beyond the ordinary. (I received a free copy of this story in exchange for a credible review.)

  26. 5 out of 5

    Jo Sparkes

    We open with a dream, and a long dream at that. It’s full of imagery, confusing as dreams can be, and carries ominous hints of the future. It is told in the first person, by a human I think will ultimately turn out to be named ‘Deceneus’. And then we’re awake, talking with neighbors, sipping wine and eating steak. From there we meet Houston, the Gate, named possibly because she is the gateway to time travel. Our hero leaves earth to go on a mission he has already accomplished: to prevent Factions We open with a dream, and a long dream at that. It’s full of imagery, confusing as dreams can be, and carries ominous hints of the future. It is told in the first person, by a human I think will ultimately turn out to be named ‘Deceneus’. And then we’re awake, talking with neighbors, sipping wine and eating steak. From there we meet Houston, the Gate, named possibly because she is the gateway to time travel. Our hero leaves earth to go on a mission he has already accomplished: to prevent Factions from destroying a race, perhaps a world or even threads of time itself. He will travel with Batranu, who is an old hand at this, and his one steady companion. There is some beautiful prose here, and mind-bending concepts. There was also, for me, frequent disorientation. This is not the book to read as you fall asleep; you’ll want a good cup of coffee and a clear mind. There is very little ‘scene setting’. There is a lot occurring inside his mind. And story threads are left to dangle, such as when a young lady named Altamira, having climbed a rope up a cliff to escape lava, requests our hero to save her pony – still below. He tells her the pony is too heavy, but when she keeps looking at him, he caves in to her beauty and descends. I assumed he would not succeed – or if he did, it would be fascinating to watch how he did it. But the text that followed never alluded to the poor steed again. In fact the only clue was a comment of how he’d become ‘accustomed’ to seeing Altamira on his own horse, which might lead one to guess that he failed the poor pony. This book is a very different concept. And if that concept itself does not appeal to you, it’s possible the book will not do so either.

  27. 5 out of 5

    Anthony Stancomb

    It is a brilliant piece of writing. The words and concepts dance and sparkle off the surface. A truly innovative book. It is challenging to start with, but after a while you become absorbed in the twists and turns, and the overall complexity of the theme. The story revolves around the hero who has a gift of time travel. Gradually we realise that somehow the fate of whole civilizations depends on his success, and he constantly battles with this burden he is saddled with. But he struggles to reinve It is a brilliant piece of writing. The words and concepts dance and sparkle off the surface. A truly innovative book. It is challenging to start with, but after a while you become absorbed in the twists and turns, and the overall complexity of the theme. The story revolves around the hero who has a gift of time travel. Gradually we realise that somehow the fate of whole civilizations depends on his success, and he constantly battles with this burden he is saddled with. But he struggles to reinvent himself, as he deals with the ‘gates’ through which he has to pass, and like a hero of yore, he carries his responsibility on his shoulders like a banner. At times, as he battles with his thoughts and demons, it reads like a stream of consciousness, but the skill of writing is evident in every line, and you are swept along with the sheer force of the prose. I have to say that if you’re not into fantasy or time-travel, it’s a difficult book to get into. It’s particularly hard at the start, when it’s even difficult for a fantasy fan to understand what is going on. Sometimes it reads like a bad dream and on at times the hero seems as confused as the reader as to what is happening, but once immersed, you soon appreciate the overall scope and subtlety of the narrative, and the words that flow like a torrent throughout.

  28. 5 out of 5

    SuperHeroQwimm

    This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here. I had a rough start with this book. There is a lot going on and a lot of new terminology introduced fairly quickly. Once I got used to all the different factors and the terminology I thought it was a good book. The biggest problem I had is there wasn't always a good distinction between who was talking, and there wasn't a good distinction between "scenes." The main character could be on earth, on another planet, in a simulation of another planet or simply dreaming and it wasn't always clear which I had a rough start with this book. There is a lot going on and a lot of new terminology introduced fairly quickly. Once I got used to all the different factors and the terminology I thought it was a good book. The biggest problem I had is there wasn't always a good distinction between who was talking, and there wasn't a good distinction between "scenes." The main character could be on earth, on another planet, in a simulation of another planet or simply dreaming and it wasn't always clear which was happening. And as I said at the beginning, there is a lot going on. This is a book I will probably re-read because there are things I feel like I might have missed or don't quite understand. I also found the end a bit troubling. The book felt like a big build up to a major war on this other planet but at the end it was just glossed over and all of a sudden it was 40 years later and the main character was back on earth (I think). I'm not going to lie, this was really hard for me to get into at first, but I'm glad I stuck with it because it was different. All the elements that made it so difficult for me to read are also what made it so interesting.

  29. 5 out of 5

    J.C. Wing

    This story bounces between one of fantasy and one of reality. The main character, who has just been fired from his job of ten years, finds out from his doctor that he is suffering from a cancerous tumor on his brain. It is surmised that the vivid and imaginative dreams the man is experiencing are being caused by the tumor. The story itself; having largely to do with time travel and the attempt at trying to stop a war on an alien planet, is incredibly creative. It isn’t one you can sit back and r This story bounces between one of fantasy and one of reality. The main character, who has just been fired from his job of ten years, finds out from his doctor that he is suffering from a cancerous tumor on his brain. It is surmised that the vivid and imaginative dreams the man is experiencing are being caused by the tumor. The story itself; having largely to do with time travel and the attempt at trying to stop a war on an alien planet, is incredibly creative. It isn’t one you can sit back and relax with, however. There is so much going on in the narrative, and Io Deceneus requires the reader to be constantly on his toes. It is written in a stream of consciousness style, and it oftentimes left me unsteady. The writer is confident, and there is obviously so much talent here. Io Deceneus is an ambitious novel with true (and numerous) literary gems woven throughout, but as a whole, I found myself feeling almost uncharitable toward the somewhat unlikable main character, and confused by the overcomplicated plot.

  30. 4 out of 5

    Courtney Nicole

    •Gave up on this book about 50 pages in. •It just wasn't doing it for me. •The book was, for a crap description: "meh." •I wanted to give it until 100 pages at least but I honestly just didn't have the desire to read it. Which is a bummer (& a shock) because I'm definitely a lover of scifi & am always in the mood for some. •I could say it was bad timing but not really because I just read a different scifi book & loved it, so timing or mood don't work as excuses. •Guess I don't have a reason other •Gave up on this book about 50 pages in. •It just wasn't doing it for me. •The book was, for a crap description: "meh." •I wanted to give it until 100 pages at least but I honestly just didn't have the desire to read it. Which is a bummer (& a shock) because I'm definitely a lover of scifi & am always in the mood for some. •I could say it was bad timing but not really because I just read a different scifi book & loved it, so timing or mood don't work as excuses. •Guess I don't have a reason other than I wasn't into it & felt very disconnected from the book.

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