Somewhere Called Now by Daniel Cowan

four stars

somwhereSomewhere Called Now: To Arrive Before You Leave by Daniel Cowan offers a unique experience in that it is accompanied by a bespoke soundtrack that follows along with the flow of the narrative. It begins with a number called “In Time,” which sets the mood with a darker, melodic synth backing. Immediately, the reader finds themselves transported to Pyongyang, North Korea, where something has gone awry–and it’s not the usual oppressive military imposition. Before the end of the first chapter, an unthinkable beast enters the storyline: an allosaurus, a very much extinct predator from the Jurassic era. This moment foreshadows the later plot points, which also coincidentally involve dinosaurs and experiments gone horribly amiss. The meat of the narrative comes about when the four protagonists are introduced; four bumbling, brash college students from Savannah band together in the hopes of procuring funds for the veritable leader of the pack, Frank Brise, to continue school in the fall. Their misguided attempt at feigning their prowess when it comes to espionage might just be their undoing, though. In trying to raise money, they end up inadvertently wrapped up in North Korea’s scheme to ultimately rule the world through time travel. The question remains: will four precocious college kids be able to sway the history books in the right direction?

Written with a rich, vibrant tone that belies the intensity of the narrative, Somewhere Called Now totally enraptures the audience from the word “go.” And, in its multi-sensory approach to telling the story, it further captures the reader’s attention and fleshes out the mood for each important scene throughout the novel. Because each movement is unique and tailored to the moment, the songs bring the story to life in a way that most other media are incapable of reproducing. The author’s reasoning behind this stylistic, artistic choice is that many people enjoy listening to music while they’re reading, so he figured he would further enhance the story he was already trying to tell by adding another dimension to it through music. They’re meant to be paired, and each element really informs the other, leaving the reader with a more whole sense of both works. All in all, Somewhere Called Now serves as a brilliant, multifaceted insight into the repercussions of time travel and experimenting with dimensions of all different types. If you are at all interested in thoughtful science fiction or fresh takes on tried and true tropes, then Somewhere Called Now is here to bring you along on an unforgettable journey through time and space.

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