Sunday, July 2, 2017


CONDITION - Book One by Alec Birri
Matador Press: 1/28/17
eBook review copy; 290 pages
ISBN13: 9781785899683

CONDITION - Book One by Alec Birri is a recommended medical thriller the starts a new three part series set in a dystopian future.

"It's 1966 and RAF pilot Dan Stewart awakes from a coma following an aircraft accident into a world where nothing seems to make sense any more." He remembers the plane going down and the flames slowly spreading. He knows his hand has been severely injured and perhaps his whole body has suffered burns. When he wakes up he hears he has been in a coma for 6 months and he can't seem to remember much else. His doctor always seems to ask him the same questions and then doesn't appear to be satisfied with Dan's answers.

Soon it becomes clear that there is much more going on than Dan knows and that his thoughts might be an unreliable source. Dan can't figure out what kind of hospital he is in and why it appears that everyone has suffered burns. Dan is having hallucinations, experiencing paranoia, and apparently memory loss. Then there is the question of the red pill that his doctor is trying to get him to take again. The question is why did he choose to stop taking it before and what does the pill do?

CONDITION is well written. Admittedly the first part of this novel can be confusing until you figure out that Dan may not be the most reliable narrator and that there is more to his story than what we are learning. I figured this out rather quickly but acknowledge that all the reviewers who felt manipulated by the first part of the book are spot-on; it is written to manipulate your feelings. This same technique has been done, perhaps more successfully, in other books, but it still is used effectively here assuming the reader will keep reading. There are several twists and the reason behind Dan's confusion is cleared up later. At the end everything clicks into place for this first book in the series. 

By the end of the book you will have a better idea of what is going on and what the next two books in the series will likely be tackling.  This is definitely a set-up for the future books. Although it is called a dystopian novel, this first book is much more a medical thriller and hints at the dystopian direction the series will likely take.

The one glaring drawback is that the three short books must be read for the complete story to be revealed. Personally, it would be preferable to get the whole story is one large book versus three small volumes.

Disclosure: My review copy was courtesy of Matador Press.

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