3 out of 4 stars
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The Plan will keep you company for days. R. W. Frazier brings us to nineteenth-century America — years after the gold rush — with a touch of some sci-fi elements. It's a five-book novel with the thrills of danger, the birth of romance, and the repercussions of choices.
Set in the American Wild West, Forlis Granger, fresh out of college, decides to explore his knowledge of geology. Choosing Wyoming as his starting point, his career as a prospector is born. In his quest for liquid money, he will experience true friendship and romance and taste the dark side of the human psyche. Meanwhile, his adventures are seen as a threat by an otherworldly existence. What other treasures will he discover? Will he have the courage to make the necessary sacrifice?
The first thing to talk about would be the sci-fi elements of the book. When I got to the end of the novel, I felt it was unnecessary. Although it helped move some of the story's subplots along, the main plot could be written without it, which would still make a good story. I appreciated the Star Wars and Star Trek references. However, the whole multiple worlds of different species just brought up a lot of unanswered questions in the end. Perhaps, the author wanted to develop on that in another set of books. I'd keep tabs on him.
The attention to detail in writing was exquisite; R. W. Frazier ensured I was drawn into the wild-western world by his masterful descriptions. From the daily realistic experiences of such a time to the situational decisions, I felt like I lived in an era long before I was born. It delivered the whole experience. I found the sci-fi names confusing and complex to keep track of, but it didn't detract from my overall enjoyment.
The author's sense of humor could be seen, and it came in different variations. The weird naming tradition adopted by different families and the puns that followed made me laugh. Lyrica, a significant source of humor with her "sting" from a place of love, would go to any length to engineer a prank.
For a voluminous novel, you tend to get attached to specific characters. Zach was my favorite because his Texan accent and personality grew on me. His adaptability was worthy of emulation, and he was a significant linchpin of the story.
The villains came with their spice, from the dumb to the smart to the downright evil. They helped enhance the scenario and kept me on the edge of my seat with the correct dose of suspense. Hair-trigger situations were prevalent with the gunslingers common in the Wild West.
The editing was good, considering that this was a set of five books. Holistically, there were up to ten errors, which would force my hand to take away a star. However, on a book-by-book basis, it might not be the case. The wording was kept simple with no fillers. This book was worth the number of days I spent reading it. I'd give The Plan 3 out of 4 stars. I would recommend it to lovers of wild-western books. The sci-fi element was like an invisible backdrop; sci-fi readers would find a thing or two that would be of interest to them.
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