Mars Quake or Earth Quake ~ Which Came First?
When I was asked to read Jon Batson’s Mars Quake, I was inclined to decline, however, my inner voice (see my blog article about my imaginary friends) told me to first check out his Amazon profile. What I found was not only the driving force behind Midnight Whistler Publishers, an independent press located in Raleigh, NC, but also a surprisingly talented entertainer. He has won the Lower Cape Fear Short Story Contest four times and has twice been picked for Honorable Mention in the Writers of the Future Contest. In addition to six novels and three short story collections, he owns bragging rights to five Hollywood produced musicals as well several CD’s and a collectible vinyl record. Jon Batson sounded so blasted interesting that I couldn’t help but say yes. Am I glad I did.
When I received this book I was 25% into another. I don’t generally read more than one at a time, but out of curiosity, I took a peek at the first chapter. Before I knew it I was five chapters into it and didn’t want to put it down. I loved this book so much that I ended up putting the first book aside. It could wait.
Here is my take on Mars Quake by Jon Batson.
Every time Tom Matthews touches people he has memories of past lives–death, marriage, families, battles, what have you, over the centuries and beyond–until, that is, he touches Dr. Dana Wright. The very fact that there is no memory of this strange woman with a PhD in Physics and numerous awards in astronomy, is more appealing to Tom, more exciting than just about anything he’s ever experienced, at least in this lifetime. The question of what Tom’s memories, or lack of memories in the case of Dana, have to do with simultaneous quakes on Earth and Mars grabs my attention and holds onto it because, well, Jon Batson is just that kind of writer. I was confident that these two highly unrelated events would be brought together in some unusual and surprising manner that wouldn’t disappoint, just as I was sure that Tom and Dana were meant for each other from the moment they touched hands. But why quakes in the Bermuda Triangle off the coast of Florida, and the Dragon’s Triangle off the coast of China, exact polar opposites to each other on the earth, and simultaneous quakes at corresponding global coordinates on Mars? These questions couldn’t help but draw me into this fascinating tale.
One of my favorite quotes in the novel was “This space for rent,” referring to the lines that suddenly appeared on Mars following the earthquake that shook everyone from Miami to Hong Kong. It was at first thought to be some kind of writing or hieroglyphics and people were coming up with all kinds of tongue-in-cheek, as well as serious, ideas as to what the message was that the Martians were trying to communicate, even being pitched on the David Letterman Show as one of his top ten lists, number 10 being a Burma Shave sign.
The big question was, who was going to ride on Mars Explorer IX on the one-year trip to Mars and back to discover what these strange lines were all about and if they really pointed to life on Mars? Also, what did Tom mean when he said he’d already been there? I couldn’t wait to find out.
Mars Quake will be available to load into your reading device September 2, 2013. If you happen to be in the Raleigh, North Carolina area on September 8, drop in on Jon at the Raleigh Book Launch, between 3:00 and 5:00 pm. I hear there are snacks and wine involved. Load the following address into your GPS:
1201 West Lenoir St
Raleigh, NC 27603
Jon Batson is a member of the American Society of Composers, Authors and Publishers (ASCAP), and lives with his wife, Eileen, in Raleigh, North Carolina. Find out more about Jon at www.MidnightWhistler.com and/or www.TheRealJonBatson.com.