I read a story and I went into its reality. I found myself surrounded by that reality. Then I met a scientist who made a machine which creates a new reality. Then I saw the people in that reality make a machine which makes another reality. So in which reality am I, the one where I make the machine or where the machine makes me? Where am I? A man made universe or a machine made universe??
Such is the brilliance of the story written by a debut author Chester Betty. What happens if a machine is invented which does all that and more and how would you know if you are in the real universe or a simulation created by the machine.
It is like a man being surrounded by mirrors, how will you know then which is real and which is the image…
Everytime I read it, I get something new, something different about this book. My mind then opens to infinity. I can then see the infinite simulations and the infinite worlds in my mind.
The book blurb does say Vicky Victoria (a.k.a Laney) knows her life will change when she meets Victoria Vicke, who looks just like her. Meanwhile in Strasbourg, France, Nils Winter is looking for answers to the workings of the universe. Nils’ curious research draws Vicky across the ocean, where she finds herself pulled between his mathematical interpretation of the world and a local man Nico guided by the ancient mysteries of Mithraism.
The author has done a fabulous job in showing us something which is so out of this world that it opens our mind to infinity and life as we know it, is changed. Every character, though described in brief, plays his or her role with conviction. I loved the way the author has etched the main characters of Nico and Laney, whose relationship appears so simple yet is so complex.
There are a few niggles…
There is nothing boring about this book, but this kind of book requires a lot of patience and open mindedness to the possibility of multitude of universes and reading about them.
There are a few parts which appear to be confusing but everything is put together and all the parts are explained well in the end but it is still a very different story.
The flow of the story may appear different to read initially but once the rhythm is attained, then it becomes easy.
There is something so poignantly artistic but also matter of factly, in the way Chester Betty writes the story with a bit of suspense and thrill thrown in. I especially liked the way the author has shown all religions including Hinduism, this shows intense research and respect for all cultures.
I have read the book twice now, and there is something new everytime I read it, a new connection, a new understanding. Every reading answered a lot of questions about the story but at the same time raised more. Possibilities… Possibilities…
The author in this debut makes us look outward and inward at the same time and leaves me with only one question when I finish the book… WHAT IF THIS IS TRUE??
My rating : 4 stars
About the Author
After reading about all the realities, I had to ask the author, Chester Betty, about where we are, so I connected from my reality to the other reality and asked a few questions…
1) Who is Chester Betty? Tell me something about yourself
I’m a person who is very curious, much like some of the characters in my book. I tend to view the human race as an entity and individual people as parts of the personality that make up that entity, so I guess I’m a cell in the body of something bigger.
2) how did you get your book published? Was it an uphill task??
Yes! I originally wrote Saint Vicky online and intended this to be the main version of the book. When I decided to do a print version, things got trickier to coordinate as the two versions seemed to diverge a bit and changes to one didn’t always make it to the other.
3) In the entire book, you have been so respectful to all religions, there is an Indian doctor too (ahem.. ahem..), did you have to do a lot of research for this book on religions and on the scientific concepts?
I’ve done some research on religions, but have mostly spoken with believers/members of the religions themselves and how they see the world through that lens. I also think that modern science, which often is critical of religious beliefs and experiences, is in itself a type of religion with believers who are perhaps even more committed than temple-goers.
4) What do you do other than writing?
I raise children, row boats and try to figure out the universe.
5) Have you ever had a writer’s block, if yes how did you tackle it
I’ve had writer’s block for most of my natural life! Joining a writers’ group was what made me finally put a pen to paper. This was a way to start small, with weekly writing tasks of 500 words and helpful feedback from peers.
6) What’s next for you? What genre will your next book be, have you thought about it, started writing already?
The next book will be more of a thriller, taking place over the space of one week, with a travel component. It will be include first-person narratives of a group and how they interpret a strange situation at sea.
7) Tell me something about yourself which hardly anybody knows
I’ve kissed Bob Dylan.
8) Any last words at the end of this interview.
I had to ask why the goat as the last word, apparently the author likes the word in lowercase only…
Publication date : 14th August 2017
Publisher : Quilla
Language : English
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For online reading :
A sci-fi metaphysical thriller