4 out of 4 stars
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It is difficult to believe that Miguel Traveler #1: The Man from Texas is Daniel McFatter’s first novel. The story follows Miguel, a simple oilfield worker, after he is rudely awaken and taken from his second mother. The land may be the same, but the times have definitely changed, and Miguel is doing his best to understand the new world around him and find his place within it. Throughout the book, we learn about who this mysterious stranger is, who he was, and where he is going.
This book is filled with complex characters and emotions. One might expect an ex-oilfield worker from Texas to be hard, stoic, and cold, but that is far from the truth. Miguel is tough, but he is also sensitive, caring. He sees the best in everyone, giving even the people who hurt him the most second chances, opportunities to turn things around for the better. We could all learn a little something from him.
From the first chapter, Miguel Traveler #1 had me hooked with its vivid descriptions and mysterious science fiction/dystopian vibe. McFatter uses a Southern accent throughout the novel, giving it a conversational feel. Multiple references to the Good Reader pulls the reader into the story as an active participant, rather than watching the story through an open window, and the twists and turns of the plot and the jumps through the timeline will keep your eyes glued to the page, as your ride the emotional roller coaster alongside Miguel.
I rate Miguel Traveler #1: The Man from Texas 4 out of 4 stars. The novel is clean and well written, with a professional layout. The plot moves briskly along and the details have been clearly researched, which pushes this sci-fi novel nearly into the realm of possibility. Along with a main male character who breaks the stereotypical molds, Miguel Traveler #1 is filled with a diverse cast of men and women of different backgrounds in different walks of life. McFatter’s female characters show just how strong women can be, and the Simulants walking among the humans provide a progressive glimpse at the importance of compassion. Aside from a handful of typos and a few too many pop culture references for my taste, I have very little negative feedback on this debut novel.
I recommend Miguel Traveler #1 to anyone looking to get lost in a new world in a new time. I recommend it to those looking for a more progressive style of writing, to those who enjoy action-packed plots full of unexpected twists and turns, and to anyone who questions the way things are, the way people are, and wonders if it will ever truly change.
Miguel Traveler #1
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