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Crossline
by Russ Colchamiro
Crazy 8 Press, $14.99, 315pp
Published: March 2013

Oh wow!  From now on, Russ Colchamiro is on my must-read list!  This is a totally fun and trippy adventure with a cast of personable and likable characters:  a hot-dog rocket pilot and his family, a dysfunctional mission control team, a pot-smoking shaman, the mysterious CEO, a magical baker, a potty-mouthed teenager, and a tough and beautiful woman with a missing husband.  With epic battles, civil war, a wormhole in space, and an amazing connection between two mirror planets – Earth and Aretha – this novel promised (and delivered!) an amazingly complex, but thoroughly engrossing tale with twists and turns that kept me guessing the whole way. 

The story begins with Marcus Powell in the cockpit, awaiting the maiden launch of the most advanced, sophisticated spacecraft known to man.  The flight is to test the first prototype warp engine, able to travel at seven times the speed of light.  Marcus gets such a rush from the ride, that rather than turn around after the test, he decides to “go again.” (I love this about him!)

Buddy Rheams, a bachelor at least in his 80s, is the man behind the warp drive design.  In fact, he has an amazing rags-to-riches story: starting out with a small oil-drilling company to become the man behind Taurus Enterprises, the world’s most influential corporation. 

Marcus’ decision to warp again changes his life forever.  Dale Aranuke, the negative and nasty corporate chief (described as “a snaky little turd”) is prepared to press the Red Button to blow up the ship.  After six warp jumps, Marcus is staring at Saturn and sees another ship similar to his.  He decides to pursue and suddenly finds himself flying through a ripple in space.  The Red Button is pushed and the next thing Marcus sees is the Grand Canyon and a landing strip in Sedona, Arizona...  Which isn’t possible.  What happens next is a fast-paced, absolutely wonderful tale!

The plot is certain action-packed!  The dialogue between characters is wonderfully real and I personally connected with them.  This is an excellent read!  ~~ Marie Davis

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