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Double Vision, by Randall Ingermanson
Genre: Science Fiction
Publisher: Bethany House Publishers
Published: 2004
Review Posted: 9/21/2006
Reviewer Rating:
Reader Rating: Not Rated

Double Vision, by Randall Ingermanson

Book Review by Heather Hunt

Have you read this book?

Any book whose jacket copy touts it as "humorous romantic suspense" must be a must read, right? Randall Ingermanson's "Double Vision" succeeds in touching all three bases - though it doesn't hit a home run.

As with Ingermanson's other titles, alone and with John B. Olson, "Double Vision" is well-plotted and suspenseful. The science is top-notch, dealing this time around with Shor's Algorithm, quantum bits, factoring large numbers, cracking encryption codes, and the consequences that holds for secure banking, privacy, and other network concerns. The scientific plotting is right up there with Michael Crichton's best work.

The characters, however, are much better drawn than Crichton's though still not quite as memorable as Dickens'. The three main protagonists: Keryn Wills, CFO for CypherQuanta and mystery novelist, Rachel Meyers, brilliant young scientist, and Dillon Richard, genius programmer with Asperger's Syndrome are developed enough for the reader to care about. However, three main protagonists may be two too many.

This reader found the constant shifting between the viewpoints of three characters to be empathetic overload, a distilling of the drama, and too much of a distraction for the plot. While it's great to have well-rounded characters, too many with a leading role makes it hard for readers to find one to focus on who will carry them through the story.

Do I identify with Keryn's frustrations as the fiasco deepens and takes her away from her novel deadline? Do I feel for Dillon, who can't cope with all the unpredictability that the pending disaster inflicts on his ordered life? Do I sympathize with Rachel for her unpleasant childhood and current driftlessness? Perhaps the novel should have been called "Triple Vision?"

Switching viewpoints also distills the overall developing drama of what happens next? Let's not slow the momentum down by backtracking to see how events affect Keryn, Rachel, and Dillon over and over again. This constant coverage feels like a 24-hour news channel that needs to fill airtime and approaches a story from all angles. If you're an all-news, all-the-time junkie then you may luxuriate in this approach. This reader found it distracting to the point of irritation at times.

Still, if you're an avid "Wired" magazine reader, who enjoys learning about exciting new technologies woven into a thrilling narrative, you'll experience "Double Vision" with no ill side effects. It is by turns humorous, romantic, and suspenseful - and occasionally, all three at once!

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