Book Title: Desperate to Escape – The Complete Novel
Author: Thomas Robins
Publication Date: July 31, 2014
Available on: Amazon as an eBook and as a paperback
Indie Athenaeum Rating: 5 out of 5 Stars
All Ineeka ever wanted to do in her life was escape. Escape from her alcoholic mother, escape from authority and escape from her reality through books. But growing up in the projects, this young girl was never afforded that kind of opportunity. How this determined individual grew up to be the pilot of a NASA space shuttle is just one of the two stories told in this scintillating tale.
Each chapter runs along two parallel story tracks. The first story covers her childhood and how she tried to endure it, trying to live day to day, while skipping forward chronologically in time periodically to each formative moment in her life as she gets older. The second story takes place in the present, covering how her shuttle is getting ready to dock with the space station, bringing with her a civilian millionaire who paid a ton of cash to go to space. When all hell breaks loose and she is left to her own devices in order to survive that madness that ensues next, we learn that all is most definitely not what it appears to be and the story goes to places we would never even imagine.
Each chapter seamlessly moves between each story track, each one complementing and dovetailing between Ineeka’s past and her present. And each chapter ends in such a way that compels, even demands that you turn the page and read what happens next. It is the very definition of a page-turner, keeping me riveted with each cliffhanger in both parts of Ineeka’s life.
All of her character building and life development in the past comes to a head in the present, where she faces the trial of her life. After overcoming numerous obstacles placed in her way, will she try to escape or stand up for and believe in herself? As the tension mounts, the stakes become so high that it’s more than just her own life at risk, it’s the fate of many, many more. This defining moment is the culmination of who she is, everything she’s done and everything she will do. The finale was completely unexpected, astounding, unpredictable and amazing all at the same time.
I very much enjoyed the two-story track technique, with Ineeka’s past informing her present. We get a deep psychological portrait of a troubled young woman as she tries to overcome her past, aspiring to achieve a dream she doesn’t quite know how to articulate or find, but nevertheless sets out to try and figure out what it is. In the present, we get an unexplained mystery when the trip to outer space leads to so much more than she ever thought possible or would ever expect. The ramifications of her past decisions definitely impact the present in significant ways and deepen the empathy we have for her.
This story demonstrates excellent character-building for Ineeka, showing us her life built brick by brick and highlighting the many high (and many low) points in her life, taking great care in doing so while keeping me entranced with each curve ball thrown at the end of each chapter. We want her to triumph over her struggles and not sabotage herself. Like many great characters, I admired the fact that she has deep flaws, an immense likeability, and an indomitable spirit. You thrill when she succeeds and feel despondent when she fails.
This is a thrilling story both in outer space and in Ineeka’s inner journey, as I was elated watching her discover her true purpose and destiny during both storylines that not even she would ever see coming. With each self-realization, she slowly starts to realize she holds the keys to her own success if she can only grasp that she deserves to be happy.
Originally published in four installments over the past ten months, the complete novel is now available. It’s a fantastic read with a compelling protagonist and a grand adventure that propels you on an inventive journey!
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