Perimeter by M.A. Rothman

‘Mr Yoder, I’m sorry to have to tell you this.’

Meet Levi Yoder.  He’s told that he has stage 4 pancreatic cancer and needs to start treatment right away: without treatment he will only live for four to six months.  Levi, a ‘fixer’ for the mob, is stunned.  Levi prepares himself for death, but then finds himself in complete remission.  How is a man supposed to live a life he thought was ending?

And from this beginning, the novel takes off on a frenetic journey through many different countries, a number of different cultures and some quite improbable experiences.  I kept turning the pages, muttering to myself ‘Surely not’ and ‘Unbelievable’.  I kept reading, both amused and entertained by Levi’s journey.  It was all too unreal… but about half way through some of the science hooked me and held my attention for the balance of the novel.

So what did I like about this novel?  After my initial misgivings about probability, I enjoyed the fast pace of the story.  Levi remained largely unbelievable, but his adventures were interesting.  And the science and technology held my attention.

What didn’t I like?  I thought that the frenetic pace undermined any credibility that Levi Yoder could have as a character.  There was not sufficient information to enable me to accept that he had this complicated past with so many different connections.  A slower pace might have given the character more credibility, a little more background might have improved my acceptance.  Levi seemed to exist as a vehicle for wondrous science, superhuman powers and to demonstrate technology.  All of that might be fine, but I need my characters to have a little more credibility.

If you enjoy fast-paced stories, are more interested in the ‘how’ than the ‘why’, this may well be a novel you will enjoy.

‘It suddenly all made sense.’  Not really, but sometimes fiction is like that.

Note: My thanks to NetGalley and Independent Book Publishers Association for providing me with a free electronic copy of this book for review purposes.

Jennifer Cameron-Smith