Double Vision Paperback – Oct 15 2004
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*Starred Review* For the inventive Ingermanson, whose previous novels have dealt with time travel (Transgression, 2000) and spaceflight (Oxygen, 2001), Double Vision is rather short on plot. A start-up software company is teetering on the edge of bankruptcy, and treachery is afoot from a rival firm. In a last-minute maneuver, the CEO hires researcher Rachel Meyers to employ a Manhattan Project approach to the development of a radical new encryption system using nanotechnology. Naturally, physicist Ingermanson is superb at describing Rachel's research, not to mention making her a believable young woman. But her coworker, Dillon Richard, runs off with the novel. Dillon is a high-functioning autistic who can write code with such speed that Rachel's research actually becomes practicable. More than that (or less), he is completely literal-minded, so that he doesn't understand metaphors or how two women, Rachel and the company's bean counter, Keryn Wills, can vie for him. His unintentional humor adds just the ingredient to make Double Vision irresistible. John Mort
Copyright © American Library Association. All rights reserved
About the Author
Randall Ingermanson has a Ph.D. in theoretical physics from the University of California and has written both fiction and nonfiction books. He lives with his family in San Diego, California
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Keryn Wills, part-time mystery author and financial accountant for CyberQuanta is just the type of woman Dillon finds interesting and fascinating. A committed Christian who loves books, talking about alternate universes and Shakespeare, Keryn seems to be the right fit for the order-conscious Dillon - until the vivacious, risky, and outlandish Rachel Meyers storms onto the scene. Not only is Rachel bold and beautiful, she's dreadfully smart, almost as skilled as Dillon himself, and not afraid to flaunt "what God gave her".
Suddenly, Keryn is faced with daunting competition for Dillon's affections...but is there really any competition? Despite her infectious zest for life, Rachael is horribly conflicted about God, and it's very possible that in his strictly ordered, nonsensical and logical world, Dillon finds the idea of relationships and love beneath him in the first place. What's a romantic mystery novelist to do?
Of course, throw in a revolutionary quantum computer that will change the way the world thinks about encryption, personal security and privacy; federal conspiracies and a flight from powers wanting the quantum computer for their own nefarious reasons, and these three individuals are thrown into a pressure cooker that will not only test their limits and entangle them in a web of deception, misdirection, and lies, but also force them to consider their relationship with each other and their relationship with the divine power behind all design and purpose - God himself.
Double Vision is a quirky tale full of suspense, humor, and intrigue that brings a fresh flavor to Christian fiction. Randall Ingermanson writes about romance with as much authority as he does about all things scientific, and a carefully structured narrative results in a solid story leaving no stone unturned, no loose ends, and a painstakingly concealed plot twist at the tale's conclusion. His depiction of Dillon as an adult afflicted with Asperger's Syndrome is authentic, and his character development - juggling three main characters - is rich and full of depth.
Though Double Vision is billed as "A Novel of Intrigue and Suspense", the real focus is the developing relationship between Dillon, Rachel, and Keryn. Most of the suspense serves to put all three characters into situations in which stress brings them closer together and challenges their preconceptions of each other and the world around them, but this doesn't detract from the novel in any way, just makes it much more of a character-driven story, rather than a plot-driven one. The suspense and action builds slowly, much like the movie The Pelican Brief (Denzel Washington; Julia Roberts), and we don't really go "on the run" until a little over half-way through the novel.
Though more of a romance novel than pulse-pounding action/suspense, Double Vision is sure to entertain and engage readers, and the conclusion does come out of "left field", surprising the reader with its revelations. For some quantum computing, romance, and intrigue, pick up Double Vision today.
1 Star = I've been robbed!
2 Stars = Why'd I finish it?
3 Stars = Good
4 Stars = Excellent
5 Stars = Life changing
There is a small bit of geek speak to explain the quantum computer the bad guys are after. However, if the average reader doesn't quite understand the underlying scientific principles, it doesn't detract from enjoyment in this story.
Along with the aura of danger, Ingermanson's quirky signature humor is woven into the pages without dissipating the tension. He gives accurate portrayals of the dot-com companies, the high-tech atmosphere, and the culture of southern California.
The characters are larger-than-life, with abilities to awe the reader and personalities to make you root for them. A romance thread keeps you guessing until the last page, literally.
The spiritual thread is both subtle and not. Nothing "in your face" or overtly evangelical, but this clean fiction will both entertain and provide insight into how true Christians think and live.
I have no qualms about lending this book to teenaged boys in my church youth group--it has the action to keep them riveted but also the clear message of Christian living, right decisions, standing up for truth.
From the opening page I was disappointed. Randy follows Swain's model faithfully, giving the character an immediate goal, and then setting up the obstacles (conflict) to keep the character from achieving the goal. Bingo, this is what I wanted to see, but unfortunately, the whole scene came across incredibly forced. Girl wants to finish something in her novel (goal), nosey mom she doesn't get along with calls to ask her about the big date she doesn't want to talk about (conflict), then boss calls to tell her to come in on Saturday because there is a problem at work (disaster). I left this first scene saying aloud, "Hmm, if the girl is really focused on her goal, and really, really, really doesn't feel like talking to her mom about the date, why does she answer the damned phone, instead of letting it go to voicemail like the rest of us do?" It was this simple, unbelievable exchange, which was followed by some of the most hackneyed, lifeless dialogue I've read, that left me doubting that this author could carry the rest of the novel. But I kept reading for the technical aspect, and I was treated to a second, terrible scene featuring characters who speak and think stupidly. In the case of the character Dillon, I won't profess to being an expert on how people with Asperger's Syndrome think, but dear lord, it can't be like that.
Technical limitations aside, I didn't like it simply for the fact that the book is dripping with sexism. It is very clearly a book written by a man approximating how women think. Even the premise is sexist in nature: two girls fight over a guy. And the author seems to get a kick out of objectifying women in his descriptions. Keryn fills out her clothes nicely from going to the gym, Rachel wears tie-dyed shirts that stretch across her chest and don't go down to the navel. Our opening scene starts off with Keryn getting out of the shower, for crying out loud.
but the characters come off as cliches. They didn't feel believable, and I can only assume the author didn't get to know them before letting them loose on the page.
It is a book written by a man approximating how women think. The story starts off with an
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