Happy Labor Day! Hope you enjoyed your weekend as much as I did. Hubs and I stayed at the Inn on Fifth in Naples while my mom watched the kids (Thanks, Mom!) . . . we walked the fancy Fifth Avenue while sipping on the Starbucks early released Pumpkin Spice Frappucciono’s Saturday afternoon, took a swim in the rooftop pool, then rode on The Naples Princess Dinner cruise Saturday night while salivating over the multi-million dollar homes along the way (of which only 25% are full-time residences). Then Sunday we enjoyed beautiful Naples beach (lots of pelicans, flying fish, and dolphins to watch at the pier), then ate lunch at Tommy Bahama (our first time doing so and all I can is Fish Tacos=YUMM-O!), walked up and down the historic Third Street district while sampling bad a** coffee (not my words–it’s the title of their shop, lol), then did dinner at Agave Mexican restaurant before enjoying some drinks at the closing of McCabe’s Irish Pub and Grill. This morning we slept in before traveling to Tin City for some delicious breakfast at the Mon”Key” Bread Factory (if you’re ever travelling this way, you seriously need to stop here for some treats!).
While all of this was fantastic, I would’ve been perfectly content just relaxing in the hotel room, where the mattress wasn’t as old as our 15 year marriage, where there were nine different HBO channels to choose from (hey, we don’t even have basic cable!), and where I could finish reading an excellent book. It seemed fitting I was reading Pop Travel by Tara Tyler, since I was traveling! Anyone who has ever wished they could escape airports and the endless delays of flying (and who hasn’t?!), will love this novel. In Tyler’s novel, teleportation was the answer, but every new technology has glitches. Tyler says she was Inspired by Michael Crichton’s incredible style to take on the challenge of writing a fast-paced techno-thriller. I think she succeeded and that you’ll enjoy the ride . . . . the book also reminded me of the highly acclaimed novel Atlas Shrugged by Ayn Rand. Before I delve into my review, here’s the scoop on Pop Travel:
In 2080, technology has gone too far for J. L. Cooper. He is happily hidden in his simple, secluded life as a private detective in a small town, far from any pop travel laser teleportation stations. Until he takes on a client who insists pop travel made his fiancé disappear.
When Cooper investigates, he finds evidence of pop travel’s deadly flaw, sparking a series of murders, attempts on his life, and threats to his brother. He’d like to pass off the evidence but knows he’s being watched and can’t trust anyone. And who would believe him?
The only way he can save his brother is to fool his observers while looking for a way to expose the problem. He decides to go to the source and confront the Creator of pop travel. On his way, Cooper meets Southern siren, Geri Harper (an undercover FBI agent) who tags along despite his protests. When they reach the Creator, he has plans of his own and leads them on a wild detour.
I had the pleasure of meeting Tara Tyler, my fellow Curiosity Quills sister, in July, and let me say, her novel is every bit as lovely as she is!
Tyler didn’t waste any time jumping right into the action–I was hooked from page one! There was just enough back-story presented for clarification without the annoying info dumps. I commend Tyler’s ability to write strong characters . . . specifically, the mixture of external and internal conflict with Cooper was very well done. And the setting was so cool and the plot that rotated around it very believable! I could easily imagine the United States heading down this scary road. Coincidentally, I’ve become increasingly wary of that white panel van surveillancing my neighborhood on a weekly basis. Yeah, it has ice cream stickers on the sides and blares the “Do Your Ears Hang Low” jingle, but my guess after reading Pop Travel is it’s all a cover-up for Big Brother to keep their ears low . . . to the ground . . . listening in carefully to all of us.
Hey, some of you may laugh, but after the Edward Snowden scandal, the Intelligence community have been up to their ears in hot water (hey, my middle school students are reading my blogs now–I have to use as many idioms as I can to educate them!) . . . Spying on regular citizens through their compucenters (computers)? Reading our vid messages (e-mails)? Monitoring our Qnet (web) searches? With the direction the NSA is heading, I can totally picture Tyler’s storyline happening in real life. Okay, I am a writer myself and frequently hear voices in my head, so my paranoia may just be my muse whispering to me in the dark corners of my mind again (or am I just saying all of this as a coverup so the NSA won’t send the ice cream man to kidnap me?)
You decide. In the meantime, what are your thoughts? Want to read Pop Travel? Do you think it could be a case of fiction imitating life? I’m really hoping Pop Travel will be made into a movie one day because it’s the type of plot that would be PERFECT for the big screen . . . if the FBI and NSA will allow it 😉