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July 05, 2014

Interview and Review: Doppelganger by Shawn Stern

Author: Shawn Stern
Published On: Jan 31st,2014
Page Count: 234

Synopsis (Found on GoodReads):
The day Shane Fisher is mistaken for one of the thieves of a bank robbery, his ordinary life is turned upside down. Propelled into a dark dangerous world, he must race to discover the truth about himself and a reality he never knew existed. With the help of a mysterious stranger, Shane discovers that he possesses powers and abilities far beyond his wildest imagination. 
DOPPELGĂ„NGER is an adventure of murder, betrayal and chaos; one man's loss - and discovery of personal identity. This novel blends scientific realism with technological fantasy, blurring the lines between fact & fiction. After the first few pages the reader will find themselves in a world at once both familiar yet bizarre and thrilling.

Cover: ^ Really enjoyed the jacket for the hardcover. 
Doppelganger  is well written for a debut novel and was fun to read. Its entertaining and keeps you flipping pages. Although this is a novel outside of my normal genre I was willing to review it because of the concept. It is a shorter read but I feel like everything is told and nothing more needs to be said. I am however looking forward to the second book. Shawn makes you question events going on around you and that was something that stood out to me. For a debut novel I think the book is great. The book is set current day but you can tell the differences quickly. I saw this more as a mystery type book instead of sci-fi but can see where those aspects came in. 

Overall Rating: 3/5
Overall I would suggest this to readers looking for a suspense type book that makes you think.

Thank you Shawn for taking the time to send me a review book as well as answer some questions.

Interview Questions

Q) How long did it take you to write your book?
A) It took me one month to write Doppelgänger and a year and a half of re-writes and edits. It was probably finished sooner, but because it was my first novel, I had a lot of insecurities about my writing. In the end, as an author, you have to accept that you'll always be able to work on something more and make it better. Every word you put down improves your writing craft, but sometimes it's more important to get the story out there and move forward. I am currently working on the sequel, entitled Cabal, and the whole process of writing this second time is different. Much less anxiety this time around. LOL

Q) Is there a message in your novel that you want readers to grasp? 
A) The message of this book is about how we define ourselves through our choices and actions. 
It is an action Sci-fi thriller but at it's heart it is a story and lesson of personal identity. There are entire generations out there from ages 25 to 40 that don't have the same kind of life that their parents had. These "Lost Generations" (in which I'm a part of) traded college educations (with their exorbitant expenses) for what our parents put down as down payments on their first houses. Many people regret some of the choices they might have made and as a result there is a global melancholy that has crippled many people. I wanted to write a story that would get the reader to start thinking about what if you could have taken that other path? Where would you be now? Would you be the same person?

Q) Growing up what were your favorite authors/books?
A) The first book I ever read was White Fang by Jack London. The second book I read was the Complete Sherlock Holmes Collection. After that it has pretty much become a blur of amazing stories. Adventures about people and places that have been my constant companions ever since. Some of my favorite authors include the following: John Gardener's Grendel, Neil Gaiman's Sandman, Robert A. Heinlen, Richard Matheson, Etgar Keret, Hunter S. Thompson, Philip K. Dick, Michael Crichton, Neal Stephenson, Brett Easton Ellis, Hope Mirrlees, F. Scott Fitzgerald, James Clavell, Carlos Ruiz Zafon, Ann Rice, Ernest Hemingway, Marcel Proust, Alfred Bester, H.G. Wells, Aldous Huxley, Larry McMurtry just to name a few...

Q) Which phrase in the book I’m most proud of?
A) My favorite phrase from the book would probably be, 
“When performed correctly, there is little difference between science and magic.”

Q) If you could be reborn in a different era when would you choose?
A) I think it would have been amazing to live at the turn of the 20th century. In 1905, Einstein published his first paper on relativity, and the entire scientific community was under an enormous paradigm shift.
But really, I think this era we are currently in is the most exciting time to be alive. We are on the threshold of humans merging with our own creations with technology. The Synchronicity is coming and this era will see technologies develop faster than they ever have before. We are living in the age of intelligent machines and only the future will reveal our final destination. :)

Also just wanted to share this quote that was on Goodreads by Shawn.

“Once upon a time there was a boy who met a girl, because the universe conspired to help him find her. Her smile was a question he wanted to spend the rest of his life answering.” 
― Shawn Stern



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