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Review copy provided by the author in exchange for an honest review
Lydia and Jericho, an unlikely pairing meet and fast become a couple. Jericho and Reuben, friends of sorts but more as a convenience to Jericho as a source for his drug habit. Jericho run’s a local hotel, the Blue Coral Inn, Reuben his ex-bartender. Reuben and Lydia, co-workers in her family’s wine shop the Eden’s Vineyard. This is only the beginning of the multiple connections here in Caligatha. Eric, Crane and Mae are working to uncover the mystery of a high-tech project to eliminate all disease and also make the human body a machine without physical flaws. A mysterious project Realm was a project created by Jericho in a different time, maybe a parallel time. Caligatha tells two stories simultaneously with flashes from one time to the other, the stories blur and melt back and forth. The story has an eerie feel that I can only compare to Blade Runner, there is the feeling of a story being told and formed just below the surface. Our characters all seem to feel real enough but there is something just off about them. Matt Spire has a great way of creating characters and interactions that gives your skin a tingling sensation, the dialog between Lydia and Jericho is short and says so much at the same time. Their internal dialogues are where we learn the deep dark angst they feel as we really get to know them. Jericho struggles to deal with his pill addiction and Lydia struggles to deal with her fathers increasing need for the same drugs.
The world has moved on in Eric, Crane and Mae’s timeline. They are only left to wonder where, how and why it all went wrong and to understand what Realm really was and what Jericho was really trying to do. The only part of the book I found difficult was the first few chapters, it felt like an abrupt start and quickly flipped to the parallel story. I would have loved to see more of one story line before the jump to the other but I quickly got my footing and caught up with Matt as he sets the story in motion. The complexity of the story is quite impressive, it’s multi layered and even hard to wrap your mind around. There’s more going on in the pages of Caligatha than first meets your eye, the twists and turns come unannounced and I was taken by surprise to learn what Realm really is and the connection it has to Jericho. Caligatha is like a trip through Inception but more complex and with some excellent twists. Every time I thought I had the direction of the story figured out it takes a new turn, with more of the complexity of Matt Spire’s mind. As the story reaches its conclusion I was again shocked with the final turn of events, Realm was more than I expected and Lydia’s fate was not what I thought it would be. Caligatha is a very well written book and very thought-provoking, with stories within stories, well done Matt, well done.
Length: 212 Pages
Release date: August 11, 2015
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Matt Spire, biography
Matt Spire is a fiction, scifi, and horror writer living in Frederick, Maryland with his wife Amanda and a ferret named Sylvia Plath (they have an electric oven). Matt Spire first became interested in the ways technology influences human culture after reading Ray Kurzweil’s technological singularity masterwork Spiritual Machines. Spire’s writing is influenced by science fiction writers such as William Gibson and literary fiction authors as diverse as Margaret Atwood, Bret Easton Ellis, Kurt Vonnegut, and others.