The Punch Escrow by Tal M. Klein

Posted On 24 August 2017

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the punchPeople, it’s a woohoo moment.  This book was amazing.  I loved it.  Simply loved it.  I’m not entirely sure how to review it because it’s a tricky little sucker but I’ll give it a shot, in fact I’ll stick to the principles of KISS as established in the book – ‘keep it simple, stupid’ (shouldn’t be too difficult for me).  That being said I hope that you forgive me if this review is a jumbled mess and believe me when I say that’s not a reflection on the book itself.

As the book starts we make the acquaintance of Joel Byram.  Joel is a bit of a smooth operator who basically helps AIs to become a bit more ‘human’ by talking to them, telling them jokes, teaching them innuendo, etc.  Joel’s wife was recruited into a high powered job about 12 months prior and since then their relationship has taken a bit of a backseat, which is why its really important that Joel isn’t late for his anniversary drinks with his wife.  Of course Joel loses track of time and so to salvage the situation decides to blow a days pay and use teleportation in order to save a little time and a fight with his missus.  This is when we the readers take our first glimpse of teleportation which is now widely used as a time saving device.  There may not be poverty or global warming in the year 2147 but money still talks and people still have a crazy desire to rush around like headless chickens.  Think of the teleportation devices created by Seth Brundle in the film The Fly – then take these teleportal devices and place them all over the world and in doing so create the fastest form of travel available.  People can zoom around from A to B without sight or sound (or fear) of a Brundlefly!   Of course, you can never please all the people all the time and so there is a constant running battle between a religious sect out to save peoples’ souls and the large corporation (known as International Transportation or IT) that run the transportation devices.  Joel, is of course, blissfully unaware of any such rancour until the day that he tries to transport to a second honeymoon in Costa Rice and instead finds himself with his own double and a missing wife.

That is it.  I can’t say anything more about the plot because you have to discover things as the good author intended and I sure as hell am not going to be the one to spoil the surprise because it’s so bloody good!  Literally, I love this book – in case you missed that bit earlier.

So, the world building is excellent, there are all sorts of innovative ideas that fill the pages, some of them that flow naturally during the course of the story and others relegated to footnotes.  Yes, I realise that footnotes can be a bit tedious, particularly when you’re reading on electronic devices, but to be honest these are really well done and frankly I think essential to the story.  I’m sure you could skip them although I didn’t personally do so and I thought they brought a lot to the table not to mention were witty and interesting – plus, if I can understand all the jargon (aka sci fi mumbo jumbo) then I’m sure anyone can.

On top of this Joel is a very engaging character.  He narrates the story well and suffers from the gamut of emotions that we, the readers, also experience along with him.   He’s an absolute massive 1980’s geek enjoying the music, films and all sorts of other bits and pieces from the era and, whilst this might go over the heads of some readers it really hit the spot for me – I just loved it – right down to the chapter headings.  And, to be honest, even if you miss some (or all for that matter) of the references I can’t imagine that it would have any impact on the story whatsoever – it’s just like an added bonus if you pick some of them up.

What I really loved about this though is it just brought to mind some of the 80s and 90s  sci fi movies – if you think about Terminator, The Fly, Total Recall, Blade Runner – okay, this isn’t the same as any of those but for some reason it brings them all to mind in this mashed up sense of nostalgia inside my brain and creates a riot of fun and an amazing wow factor.  In fact, who am I kidding, the wow factor is the real hook here – a unique tale that twists and turns and writhes and wriggles amongst the secrets and lies.  It’s brilliant.

What more do you want – get out of here and go read it.  I know I’ve not given much away here, I don’t want to give away spoilers but what I can do is gush and I hope I’ve done enough of that to encourage you to make this your next read.

I received a copy courtesy of the publisher for which my thanks.  The above is my own opinion.

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21 Responses to “The Punch Escrow by Tal M. Klein”

  1. alwaystrustinbooks

    I already wanted to read this, but reading your review makes me really want to read this as soon as possible!

    • @lynnsbooks

      I hope you love it – I would be interested to see what you think.
      Lynn 😀

  2. Carmen

    You did a great job describing the 80s nostalgia and why you loved this book. For some reason, it also made me think of Guardians of the Galaxy, perhaps for the 80s nostalgia aspect. I’m glad this one was a winner. 🙂

    • @lynnsbooks

      It was a winner. I loved Guardians of the Galaxy – I also liked the second film although it doesn’t seems to have been quite as big a hit as the first.
      Lynn 😀

  3. Tammy

    I’m reading this next and I couldn’t be more excited! All I want to do is play hooky from work the rest of the week, finish my current read and get started:-) Awesome review, Lynn:-)

    • @lynnsbooks

      I hope you love it – it was just so unexpectedly excellent – it made me smile.
      Lynn 😀

  4. maddalena@spaceandsorcery

    WOW indeed…. The first time I heard about this novel I was interested and made myself a mental note to keep an eye on it, but now that I’ve read your review I’m certain I NEED to read it! Your review is anything but a “jumbled mess”, and instead it serves as a very magnetic “trailer” for the book 🙂
    Thank you so much for sharing!

    • @lynnsbooks

      Cool – I hope you love it, I just thought it was excellent.
      Lynn 😀

  5. Tal Klein

    You know Lynn, we authors live on these kinds of reviews. Having spent so much time and effort making this book, seeing someone appreciate it is akin to putting gasoline in a near-empty tank. I’m so glad you enjoyed it. And I’m ever so grateful for you taking the time to share your joy with others. You’re awesome.

    • @lynnsbooks

      Aww. That’s such a nice thing to say. I really love it when I get a book like this. It’s such a gift and I’ll be telling everyone I meet to read it.
      Lynn 😄

  6. sjhigbee

    This one sounds a fascinating read, Lynn. There are so many really good books around at the moment…:)

    • @lynnsbooks

      Honestly, I loved this and can’t recommend it enough. It was so, so good.
      Lynn 😀

      • sjhigbee

        I’ll definitely make a note of this one – your recommendations are worth listening to:))

      • @lynnsbooks

        This one was so good! I loved it. And such a surprise. I would love you to pick it up and see what you make of it.
        Lynn 😀

      • sjhigbee

        Bah! I’ve just looked it up on Amazon and it’s only available in paperback. Hopefully it will be soon be available on Kindle…

      • @lynnsbooks

        Ooh, I hope so. I buy mainly kindle these days too.
        Lynn 😀

  7. Mogsy @ BiblioSanctum

    I am having a woohoo moment myself just reading your review 🙂 I LOOOOVED this book and you managed to capture everything that was so good about it! One of my favorite reads of the year for sure.

    • @lynnsbooks

      Mine too. And I owe you for writing such a great review in the first place which sent me hurtling to pick up a copy. Ta
      Lynn 😄

  8. Jennifer | Book Den

    Woohoo! Another really great review. You have made it clear to me that I need to read this one.

    • @lynnsbooks

      It was so good. I loved it. Hope you get a chance to pick it up.
      Lynn 😀

  9. August : My Month in Review | Books and travelling with Lynn

    […] The Punch Escrow by Tal M. Klein […]

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