Official Review: The Unfortunate Expiration of Mr. David ...

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kandscreeley
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Official Review: The Unfortunate Expiration of Mr. David ...

Post by kandscreeley » 09 Mar 2018, 11:44

[Following is an official OnlineBookClub.org review of "The Unfortunate Expiration of Mr. David S. Sparks" by William F. Aicher.]
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3 out of 4 stars
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Mr. Aicher describes himself as writing "philosophical fiction." In the case of The Unfortunate Expiration of Mr. David S. Sparks, I would have to agree. It is classified as dystopian on Amazon, and I would definitely call this post-apocalyptic.

Mr. David S. Sparks wakes up in the middle of a field with no memory of how he got there or who he is. He knows his name, but not much more. Luckily, he finds someone nearby known as either the Preservationist or Calvin. Calvin proceeds to tell him about the world as it is, as well as something called "The Cause."

Scientists started developing ways for people to live longer and longer. While this was great, it created a bit of a problem: there were more people than food. Farmers then came out with new pesticides that helped the crops grow more successfully to be able to feed all the extra mouths. There were, however, unfortunate side effects; people started dying. Even after the pesticides were discontinued, the crops had adjusted, and people continued to die. The land was poisoned. The remnants were forced to move to the sea while the land healed.

Now the world has fractured into two factions. There are those who think that the population can be saved through genetic modification and science. Then, there are others who believe that the best thing to happen is to stop using all technology and go back to the "old ways." So, which side is Calvin on? And who is David Sparks and why can't he remember?

I have to admit, I started off a bit confused in this story. The author doesn't allow us to know any more than Mr. Sparks knows, which is not much. I believe that the author does this on purpose which I found both good and bad. On the good side, it allowed me to really become part of the story as you really feel like you are living the protagonist's life. It also added an element of mystery which pushed me to keep reading so as to figure it out. Furthermore, once I got into the story, I really enjoyed being made to think about the book and figure out for myself how the pieces fit together. Negatively, it was complicated to keep track of the story as the author jumps around in the timeline some.

I also found this post-apocalyptic world that Mr. Aicher created to be unique and intriguing. It felt very realistic as if what the author describes could actually occur sometime in the near future. This is where the philosophical nature of the fiction comes in; you find yourself thinking about your choices in life and the way the world is headed. Is there something that we should be doing differently to stop this from happening? What's more, this world was unique from many I have read in the post-apocalyptic genre (which is increasingly hard to find any more.) I have to give kudos to the author for coming up with something fresh.

The book seemed to be edited well, as I only caught a few grammatical errors. Unfortunately, the formatting left something to be desired. None of the paragraphs were indented nor was there any kind of space between them. While it wasn't horrible, I did find it somewhat distracting to the story.

I rate The Unfortunate Expiration of Mr. David S. Sparks 3 out of 4 stars. I found the story very enjoyable and would recommend it to dystopian lovers who enjoy having to think while reading their fiction. However, the formatting issue and confusing nature of the beginning did lead me to not give this a full rating. Additionally, I felt the ending was left open for a future sequel. If there is another book pending, I for one would love to read it as I really enjoyed the world that Mr. Aicher created.

******
The Unfortunate Expiration of Mr. David S. Sparks
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Post by Miriam Molina » 10 Mar 2018, 03:27

Is technology good or evil? I think there will be strong opinions on both sides.

More and more authors are speculating on what lies beyond for Mother Earth, given what is happening in the here and now.

Both these topics seem to have inspired this book. I am curious about what Mr. Aicher has to say.

(P.S. My present review book has the same formatting style. It also deals with the future. It seems this is the dystopian style, LOL!)

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Post by kandscreeley » 10 Mar 2018, 08:35

Miriam Molina wrote:
10 Mar 2018, 03:27
Is technology good or evil? I think there will be strong opinions on both sides.

More and more authors are speculating on what lies beyond for Mother Earth, given what is happening in the here and now.

Both these topics seem to have inspired this book. I am curious about what Mr. Aicher has to say.

(P.S. My present review book has the same formatting style. It also deals with the future. It seems this is the dystopian style, LOL!)
Interesting. So I wonder if it was done on purpose for some reason. I'll check out your review. Thanks!
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Post by Kat Berg » 10 Mar 2018, 09:18

The thing about dystopian and sci-fi books is that they tend to have a philosophical bent. They help us to ask questions that would be preachy in other contexts. And I love that about them. I do tend to prefer sci-fi over apocalyptic, but every once in a while I enjoy a well-done end of the world book. However, the formatting as described would give me a headache. I hope they edit that! Thanks for the review.

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Post by kandscreeley » 10 Mar 2018, 10:19

Kat Berg wrote:
10 Mar 2018, 09:18
The thing about dystopian and sci-fi books is that they tend to have a philosophical bent. They help us to ask questions that would be preachy in other contexts. And I love that about them. I do tend to prefer sci-fi over apocalyptic, but every once in a while I enjoy a well-done end of the world book. However, the formatting as described would give me a headache. I hope they edit that! Thanks for the review.
It would defintely be easy to take care of. Thanks!
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Post by NL Hartje » 11 Mar 2018, 10:33

I'm sure the lack of formatting was equally distracting considering your mention of the jump-around timeline. I enjoyed your review though, I think I might put this on my someday backburner.
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Post by kandscreeley » 11 Mar 2018, 16:33

NL Hartje wrote:
11 Mar 2018, 10:33
I'm sure the lack of formatting was equally distracting considering your mention of the jump-around timeline. I enjoyed your review though, I think I might put this on my someday backburner.
It was a bit distracting because it was so unique. But it was enjoyable for the same reason. A conundrum. Thanks for commenting!
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Post by Sahani Nimandra » 11 Mar 2018, 22:11

"There are those who think that the population can be saved through genetic modification and science. Then, there are others who believe that the best thing to happen is to stop using all technology and go back to the "old ways." I think this reflects the current reality even among people, there were times when I though the old age makes life less complicated or the new age makes life easier. Very thought-provoking! But I hate the idea when the author has only given out little and ate the rest. It is like only letting the reader know what they are suppose to know, so unfortunate! I like your review though, thank you for sharing!
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Post by kandscreeley » 12 Mar 2018, 08:40

Sahani Nimandra wrote:
11 Mar 2018, 22:11
"There are those who think that the population can be saved through genetic modification and science. Then, there are others who believe that the best thing to happen is to stop using all technology and go back to the "old ways." I think this reflects the current reality even among people, there were times when I though the old age makes life less complicated or the new age makes life easier. Very thought-provoking! But I hate the idea when the author has only given out little and ate the rest. It is like only letting the reader know what they are suppose to know, so unfortunate! I like your review though, thank you for sharing!
Thanks for commenting!
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Post by Jkhorner » 12 Mar 2018, 12:18

I like the realistic premise of this book, and I think it was a great idea to only give the reader as much information as the main character. However I agree, the author should not have jumped around in the timeline. Rather he should have let you discover the world organically, just like David S. Sparks surely had to. Thanks for the thorough review!

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Post by VictoriaMcMillen » 12 Mar 2018, 20:56

What a very interesting and intriguing review you have written. I was amazed at how closely it resembles the last book I read, but an entirely different focus. Our society is facing some very serious issues. I am glad the author brought such grave issues like GMOs and poisoning to light in this novel. Thanks for the review I will have to add this book to my 'Want to Read' category!
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Post by Sarah Tariq » 13 Mar 2018, 01:19

This posts apocalyptic story is very intriguing and interesting. The plot is strong and unique. Thanks for your insightful review.
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Post by Miriam Molina » 13 Mar 2018, 18:26

kandscreeley wrote:
10 Mar 2018, 08:35
Miriam Molina wrote:
10 Mar 2018, 03:27
(P.S. My present review book has the same formatting style. It also deals with the future. It seems this is the dystopian style, LOL!)
Interesting. So I wonder if it was done on purpose for some reason. I'll check out your review. Thanks!
Based on the current sample on Amazon, my review book's format has been revised to the normal. It seems the author realized the folly of his experiment.

Alas, my review is only meant for the author's eyes!

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Post by bookowlie » 13 Mar 2018, 18:35

Very interesting review. The plot seems busy, but I am intrigued enough to want to read the sample. I don't read a lot of dystopian fiction. However, I liked your comment that the book makes you think about your own choices and where the world is heading; it made me want to know about the story.
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Post by kandscreeley » 13 Mar 2018, 18:52

Miriam Molina wrote:
13 Mar 2018, 18:26
kandscreeley wrote:
10 Mar 2018, 08:35
Miriam Molina wrote:
10 Mar 2018, 03:27
(P.S. My present review book has the same formatting style. It also deals with the future. It seems this is the dystopian style, LOL!)
Interesting. So I wonder if it was done on purpose for some reason. I'll check out your review. Thanks!
Based on the current sample on Amazon, my review book's format has been revised to the normal. It seems the author realized the folly of his experiment.

Alas, my review is only meant for the author's eyes!
That's too bad. I would have liked to read your review. Thanks!
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