Today’s team review is from Sean, he blogs here http://ebookwormssite.wordpress.com
Sean has been reading X0 by Sherrie Cronin
X0 – Sherrie Cronin
X, to the power of zero, means to the power of One.
This is the first is a series of tales about the Zeitman family, each of whom has special powers, and about their coming to terms with them However, the only one of the series I’ve actually read is this one.
The story is essentially about two powerful telepathic women, living on either side of the planet and who have never met in person. They mentally combine in order to help a younger sister.
American Lola Zeitman is a 40-something married woman, returning to work as a geophysicist, now that her children are practically grown. She is slowly made aware of her power throughout the book.
Nigerian Somadina is early 20’s, also a married woman, but who is more aware of her gift, has always known and been known for her mind-reading abilities (but this is not considered a big thing in her Igbo culture).
Lola has always been good at finding oil, and winning the bids to get her company to get drilling rights. So far, so normal. She occasionally, however, has niggles about her sister’s marriage, and uneasy feelings about certain people & situations, but nothing concrete she can pinpoint.
Somadina’s younger sister Nwanyi has been given in marriage to a complete stranger, from outside their tribe and village. Her father is delighted with the unexpectedly high bride price, and he had never really acknowledged Nwanyi’s existence until then. Somadina becomes extremely uneasy when Nwanyi’s telephone calls stop coming, and realises her sister is in deep trouble, if not mortal danger.
Somadina’s power is such that it connects with Lola, and through time and the intervention of the X0 “organisation”, Lola becomes convinced she is not going crazy, the two mentally link and begin forming bonds.
Minor characters include that of Nwanyi’s husband Djimon, who is a vile animal, degrading and debasing Nwanyi in order to break her spirit, and make her amenable to what his ultimate intention is for her. Lola’s husband is a quiet, self-effacing guy, as is Somadina’s, but there was no real development of them, or their children (subject of future books!).
Finally meeting, and working together, the two embark on a series of journeys and meetings that get really exciting, especially as it peaks near the end.
What I Liked:
Aspects of Nigerian culture also gets well explained, along with interesting information around the socio-political history of this young nation. The author has clearly put a lot of effort into her research.
The concept of and moral questions around telepathy was interesting, and how it is described as a power than can only suggest rather than influence.
What I didn’t like:
Very slow build-up, with one of the characters being undecided for longer than was necessary, I thought.
The FAQ’s around telepathy and the science etc. didn’t really interest me, as much as the discussions about it between the characters.
There would absolutely have to be mind-reading, in order for some of the plot twists and character-assists to happen, and some of it was a little too James Bond-ish.
I liked this book. It was an entertaining read, and I would recommend it as a good holiday read. It is definitely not for kids (anyone under 16, in my opinion) due to the graphic nature and implications of some of the scenes. I think the scenes had to be there, to get a sense of the trouble Nwanyi was in, however.
Thanks to the author from whom I received a free copy of this book, in return for an objective review.
The ancient group x0 hides in the shadows until a young Nigerian beauty forces them to emerge. Thinking that her telepathic abilities are perfectly normal, this Igbo woman draws upon her powers to seek an ally to rescue her captive sister. Unfortunately, the telepath she finds is cranky Texan lady who doesn’t believe in nonsense and who insists that the disturbing phenomenon in her own mind isn’t there.
Realizing that her sister has become a strategic pawn in a dangerous game of international politics, she vows to do anything to get the attention of this uncooperative fellow psychic. As the women struggle with each other, common links begin to forge these two radically different women together in ways that even x0 does not understand. They could intervene, but should they?
Sherrie Roth grew up in Western Kansas thinking that there was no place in the universe more fascinating than outer space. After her mother vetoed astronaut as a career ambition, she went on to study journalism and physics in hopes of becoming a science writer.
She published her first science fiction short story in 1979 and then waited a lot of tables while she looked for inspiration for the next story. When it finally came, it declared to her that it had to be a whole book, nothing less. One night, while digesting this disturbing piece of news, she drank way too many shots of ouzo with her boyfriend. She woke up thirty-one years later demanding to know what was going on.
The boyfriend, who she had apparently long since married, asked her to calm down and explained that in a fit of practicality she had gone back to school and gotten a degree in geophysics and had spent the last 28 years interpreting seismic data in the oil industry. The good news, according to Mr. Cronin, was that she had found it at least mildly entertaining and ridiculously well-paying The bad news was that the two of them had still managed to spend almost all of the money.
Apparently she was now Mrs. Cronin, and the further good news was that they had produced three wonderful children whom they loved dearly, even though to be honest that is where a lot of the money had gone. Even better news was that Mr. Cronin turned out to be a warm-hearted, encouraging sort who was happy to see her awake and ready to write. “It’s about time,” were his exact words.
Sherrie Cronin discovered that over the ensuing decades Sally Ride had already managed to become the first woman in space and apparently had done a fine job of it. No one, however, had written the book that had been in Sherrie’s head for decades. The only problem was, the book informed her sternly that it had now grown into a six book series. Sherrie decided that she better start writing it before it got any longer. She’s been wide awake ever since, and writing away.
Good review, Sean. Made me interested in reading it, and I like how you didn’t pull any punches about the parts you weren’t so sure about.