A stand-alone science fiction book.

Publication year: 2006
Format: Audio
Running time: 10 hours and 52 minutes
Narrator: Ray Porter

I love Clines’ Ex-Heroes series but was reluctant to pick this one up because it was categorized as horror and I don’t like horror movies or books. But after I got a few recommendations, I ended up getting this one and listened it quickly. The first chapter is kind of horror but then it switches into science fiction. The real horror elements kick in again near the end. Oh, and there’s no bigger themes in the story. It’s just fun.

Leland “Mike” Erikson is a high school English literature teacher. However, he has a rare ability: eidetic memory. He refers to it as “his ants”. He can’t forget anything and he can recall anything he wants with perfect clarity and quickly. He also looks like a young Alan Rickman! He’s a sci-fi movie and TV-show nerd. We’re told that he’s a super genius. The problem is that he doesn’t act like one. His “ants” process information for him, yes, and do it very quickly but that’s it. Being socially awkward doesn’t mean that you’re a genius. (Sorry)

Summer break is just beginning and his old friend Reggie Magnus is trying to get Mike to work for him, for the US government. Reluctantly, Mike agrees to join a secret conference. But when he finds out just what his job would be, he really has no choice but to agree.

You see, humans have discovered Albuquerque Door. It’s essentially a way to teleport people and objects from one place to another by making a path through another dimension. However, the team who is working on it refuses to give anything away until they’re ready to make it public.

However, Magnus thinks that something is wrong. So, he asks Mike to go and look everything over. Mike agrees eagerly. The team isn’t happy about him being there, however, and soon strange things start to happen.

I thoroughly enjoyed the science fiction part of the book. The book is riddled with science fiction and pop culture references. One of the team members, Sasha Prestige, is a Star Trek fan and everything is named after something. Even Albuquerque Door is a Bugs Bunny reference.

The science team has six people, a couple of them women. Most of the team makes it clear that they don’t want Mike there but a few are more friendly.

We’re told that Mike is brilliant but I realized what was going on before he did. If you’ve seen a couple of sci-fi TV-shows, that wasn’t hard. From there it was easy to see how the book was going to end. Still, it’s very entertaining if you like that sort of thing.