Family, Science Fiction

Three Years With The Rat by Jay Hosking

One of the things that got me interested in this novel was that the author is a neuroscientist. Seeing as how I am currently doing research in neuroscience, I was interested to see how he would take his science background to create this science fiction novel. I also liked the fact that the novel was set in downtown Toronto, which has been my home for several years. Anyways, here is my review:

After several years of drifting about, a young man is drawn to Toronto, where his older sister Grace lives. She has always been someone he has admired and now, she is a promising graduate student in psychophysics. The young man becomes acquainted with her group of friends and soon finds camaraderie, romance, and a stable job. However, it soon becomes clear that there is something wrong with Grace. She goes into sudden rages directed at those she loves. When Grace disappears, followed by her boyfriend John, the narrator begins to question what is going on. He makes an astonishing discovery in his sister’s apartment: a box big enough to crawl into, a lab rat, and a note that simply says “This is the only way back for us”. In order to discover the truth, he must embark on a mission that will make him question his concept of time and space, while forcing him to stretch his imagination to its limits.

I really really really wanted to like this story. But I didn’t. I was able to follow along for the most part but there were times when I really felt like I missed the point. This book had an interesting idea but I think it failed when it came to execution. There was really nothing I loved about this novel – other than the reference to different places in Toronto, of course. I didn’t like any of the characters. They fell flat and had a one dimensional personality that was hard to love. I simply had no connection and that led me to not care about the story at all. There were times when the story was moving along but I had no clue what was going on; it made me wish the author would explain his thoughts a bit more so that I could follow along. It was slow-paced and not much really happened in the novel. Unfortunately, this story left me feeling quite disappointed. Unless you are really into space and time paradoxes, I wouldn’t recommend this novel.

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