DISCLAIMER: I received a free copy of this short story from the author in exchange for an honest review. This does not affect my review in any way.
In addition, I have requested, but not required, the author to subscribe and help publicize the book. I have also requested some authors for autographed bookplates and swag. These requests are outside of the trade agreement.
Rating: 8.5/10 stars
In J.L. Pattison’s debut short story The Visitor, a Georgia farmer in 1899 finds himself in front of an unlikely visitor, a time traveler, who came from the future to warn the nation about impending events. Years later, that same farmer gets interviewed by a young reporter, who is given the letter the time traveler wrote, and soon he finds himself and the country approaching the next prediction on that paper, the assassination of President John F. Kennedy. In this thriller, the reporter will soon find out whether the course of history can change or the course of history is already set.
I read this story after I read the author’s other story Alibi Interrupted, and I was pleased with the outcome. It kept on the edge of my seat! I was hooked. I thought the other story was better than this one, but nevertheless I still enjoyed it! I loved it! This author is really one to look out for.
The idea of changing the past is still a fascinating subject for me. Although this is not exactly a time travel book, it did regard changing history, which I do love. Alternative histories (like the Infinity Ring series) make me wonder what will happen, but in this case, it already told me what might happen if JFK was actually assassinated, which was cool! I did in fact feel as if these effects could happen in real life! As I was reading this, I was wondering whether history can change for the better or worse. The years tick down with each page, getting closer and closer to the final fate of America. It keeps you on the edge of your seat, making you interested and spooked at the same time.
This really did feel like a Twilight Zone episode, especially the ending. As the story progressed, it got creepier and creepier. It made me think about morality today and in the past. I really did feel that our country is going to devolve into the nation that the time traveler warned about. I pondered over the message of the story a lot, and my view on the government and society is a little changed thanks to this story. You can actually feel the air of suspense becoming thicker, and it may give you goosebumps. That ending was probably one of the best (and creepiest) I have ever read. I love shock and twist endings (and you may or may not expect it- I know I partially did), and it felt so eerie and Twilight Zone-ish that I imagined it in black and white!
Now, it was not as great as Pattison’s second story. It wasn’t as suspenseful and thrilling as I thought it would be, but it was still. Because I have to compare these two works, this one, although really good, deserves a 4-star just because Alibi Interrupted was so much better! This book really focused on dialogue about issues rather than action. If there was a little more action regarding the letter and Kennedy Assassination, I might have been even more interested. Sadly, since I can choose which story was better, the rating for this book had to be lowered a bit.
Nevertheless, I loved it! It was marvelous, and I could see that the author was inspired by The Twilight Zone! It was short and sweet, which is one thing I love about certain books! If it is an amazing book in a short number of pages (like Davenport House), then it’s a great book to me!
Recommendation: Yes. Go read it!
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