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First Impressions: Regression by Kathy Bell

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Teresa's Reading Corner: First Impressions: Regression by Kathy Bell

Wednesday, November 3, 2010

First Impressions: Regression by Kathy Bell

Synopsis from Goodreads:  Fourteen-year-old Adya Jordan is too good to be true. Her skills with people, information, and technology make her the perfect new intern at megacorp Three Eleven, the company which covertly controls the world in an alternate 1985. Could this be because this is not her first lifetime? Or even her second? Or does it have more to do with the strange sequence of DNA in her cells? 

Find out what makes Adya tick as she and a group of elite scientists strive to prevent a global disaster. 


Why I want to read it: It's a departure from my usual reads and sounds like it could be interesting.


First Impressions:  This is Book One in the Infinion Series, Book Two entitled Evolussion was just released according to Amazon.  I'm not sure what to think of the cover.  Hopefully I'll understand it once I get a little further into the book.  The time period of this novel is what struck me.  I haven't read any time travel books that are more current.  She travels back to 1985 (oh sounds a bit like Back to the Future).  Regression seems to be getting good reviews on both Amazon and Goodreads.  I'm looking forward to seeing for myself.


Check out an Excerpt:

PROLOGUE
Journal of Doctor Nicholas Weaver
July 27, 98 Post Impact

To perform the regression requires almost 70 exajoules. The amount of power consumed by humans during one year when we were at the peak of our civilization. Such incredible discharges of energy are virtually impossible to achieve. Meteor impacts, megathrust earthquakes, or a blast of 17 gigatons of TNT might approximate the power. Not simple to orchestrate. It is both to my horror and to my advantage such an instance occurs November 11, 2011, providing thirty times the force required. The phenomenon precipitates the need for the regression while also providing the means to complete it. What tragic irony.
CHAPTER ONE
“No, Daddy. Want Mommy.”
Daniel Davies shook his head, grimacing at his wife as she reached for the struggling toddler.
Adya smiled. “Poor Daddy.” She winked over top of the little blonde girl. “You just don’t measure up.”
“Ouch.” He buckled the last of their children into the van before rounding to the driver’s side window. “I’ll see you in a bit; Jim wants me to help him put the equipment away.” Leaning in, he kissed her, and then strode toward the ivy-covered stone building still surrounded by people in uniforms.
“Bye, honey.” Adya turned and smiled over the seatback at the young ones. “You were all very well behaved for the memorial service, thank you.” Singing in chorus to “One Tin Soldier” on the radio with a clear, sweet voice, she drove toward her mother’s house. Twelve year old Serina leaned forward from the middle passenger seat.
“Why do we have to sit through that each year?”
“Your great-grandfathers fought in both wars, we owe it to their memories, and to−”
“Blah, blah, blah, you’ve said it all before.”
“Serina, don’t interrupt me. It’s a sign of respect to attend the Remembrance Day activities at the cenotaph. People sacrificed their lives to allow us to be there today.”
Suitably chastised, the child changed the subject. “So if grandma’s turning sixty today how old was she when she had you?”
“I’m forty, you do the math.”
Will, fifteen, spoke up, “She was nineteen, then. That’s really young, isn’t it?”
“Not back then. People used to have kids a lot younger than they do now. I had your brother when I was twenty-four.”
“Is that when you decided to stay home with us?”
“Sort of. I did research part time on my Master’s Degree, so I was still in school.” Adya glanced at her oldest daughter and smiled. “You guys were too cute to leave.”
“Do you miss it, working?”
“I didn’t give up working, just chose a different way of doing it. I think I would have stayed in school anyway and the experience of having you kids actually inspired quite a bit of my research. My thesis about older siblings setting the precedent for younger ones−”
Luke rolled his eyes as only a seven-year-old could, “Mom, you’re doing it again.”
She pulled the minivan into a gas station flying flags at half mast. “What?”
“Talking big…use language we understand, not your shrink words.”
With an exasperated sigh she replied “Sorry, Luke. Anyway, you were my lab rats.” Serina snorted in laughter and Luke began to squeak like a rat. Two year old Jessica squealed in feigned terror. The gas attendant approached the vehicle as Adya lowered the window.
“How’s the family today, Doctor Davies?”
“They’re just wonderful, John. How are your little granddaughters?”
“Couldn’t be better, and they’d love to come visit again any time you want to study them. They thought it was a real hoot.” He peeked into the van. “Sounds like you have a zoo in there. What’s with all the animals?” The children laughed even harder while making new, louder animal sounds.
“I told the kids they were my lab rats, just like your girls were. Could you fill it up, please?”
“Yes, ma’am.” John quickly topped up the tank.
“You know, I hope you don’t close up this station, there aren’t many full serve places left.” She grinned as she passed him the payment.
“I don’t know…my son doesn’t really want to take over the place. But, folks like you keep coming, I’ll keep pumping.” The old man limped back to his little booth. She drove on through a residential neighbourhood, to pull into the driveway of her mother’s house. The children piled out the sliding doors while their mother unbuckled the infant. Grandmother Samantha approached from the front porch where she had been waiting, grey hair in a long braid down her back. She stopped to toss a fallen branch from the driveway before reaching the van.
“Happy birthday, Mom.”
“Thanks, honey. I saw you at the service, but didn’t see Daniel. Is he joining us?”
“Yes, he got caught up with something at the university so won’t be here till later. Where’s Dad?”
“Out back in his shop, putting the finishing touches on Hope’s chest.” She peered into the van. “You don’t have room to take it with you today.”
Adya shuffled bags inside the vehicle before looking helplessly at her mother. “Shoot. I forgot the diaper bag and your gifts. Do you mind if I drive back to pick them up? I’ll take Hope, is it okay if I leave the others here?”
“These monkeys? I don’t know… but, I do have a new game for them to play inside. C’mon guys, come see grandma’s new video game.” The children rushed into the house as their mother slipped back into the driver’s seat. Adya reversed out of the laneway and turned the corner. The ring-shaped birthmark on her right hand began to throb, distracting her as she rubbed at it.
Her head snapped up as tires screeched on her left. A large sport utility vehicle seemed to approach her minivan in slow motion – she watched in mute horror as the side panel folded beneath the onslaught of the larger vehicle. A rainbow glitter accompanied the groan of bending metal as the windows fractured and refracted the headlights of an oncoming car. The world spun to the right, her stomach lurched, and a piercing pain lanced through her hand as she screamed before all went black.
* * *
“Hope!” Adya struggled to rise in the hospital bed while fighting the restraints of the entangling linens. Tears rushed to her eyes as she again cried her daughter’s name. Frantically she pressed the call button. The cord pulled from the wall as she tumbled to the floor, sheets wrapped around her legs. Nurses rushed through the door. From her knees, she wailed, “My baby… how is my baby? Please God; let my baby be okay…please let me know where she is.”
The nurses attempted to restrain and reassure, murmuring platitudes she did not quite hear. “You need to return to your bed. You should sit down. We’ll get things straightened out for you.”
Her heart pounded and her breath came in short pants as she escaped the confining sheets, stumbling into the hall. An older nurse firmly held her arm to guide her back to her room. No patience for anything but answers, she screeched, “I need to see my baby, where is she?” She struck out, flailing with all her might until a needle in her arm finally subdued her with darkness.
* * *
Beeping roused her. A regular, low tone sounded every second, punctuated occasionally by a higher pitched double tone. The whirring of a ventilation system and the drone of fluorescent lights nagged at her, bringing her to the edge of consciousness. Muted voices were drowned by the wail of a very young child, the sound of which finally brought recognition. She was in a hospital room. Three people were conversing at the bedside as she cracked open her eyes.
“She was hysterical, insisting she needed to see her child. We had to sedate her to get her back into the room. I don’t think she has a child, her mother never mentioned one.” The nurse’s voice sounded familiar, an echo in her head predating the panic.
“She’s likely delusional from the head injury. We need to work through the delusion without allowing her to become too agitated.” This voice familiar too.
She opened her eyes. “I’m not delusional; I just need to see my daughter.” One of the speakers approached the bed as she propped herself up on her elbows. Closing her eyes again against the dizziness, she regained equilibrium and reopened them. The man standing in front of her towered over the bed, she had to crane her neck to see him. He spoke softly, with gentle concern.
“Hello there, I’m Doctor Redborne. Nurse Skinner tells me you gave them a bit of a scare. I need to ask you some questions, alright?” At her nod he continued. “What’s your name?”
“Adya Davies. Where’s my daughter?”
The doctor frowned. “When were you born?”
“April 28, 1971. Why won’t anyone tell me if Hope’s okay?”
“What’s the last date you remember?”
“November 11, 2011…”
His frown deepened and he wrote a quick note on the chart in his hand. “How old are you?”
“Forty. I want to see my husband and children. Can you at least let me see them?”
The physician rested his hand on her shoulder, his face still clouded. “I need to check your vitals, make sure you can tolerate visitors. Can you remain calm while I do that?” She inclined her head, closing her eyes against another wave of pain. The doctor raised the head of the bed and flashed a light directly into her pupils. As she began to get restless, he addressed her. “Adya, you were involved in a serious car accident and suffered a head injury. You’ve been in a coma for seven days. This is the first time you’ve been conscious during that time.”
She looked toward the nurse for confirmation. The nurse nodded encouragement and agreement. Her gaze returned to the doctor, still confused. “What about Hope? Is she okay? Where’s my husband?”
“The brain is a mysterious organ. We’re never quite sure how it will respond to trauma. During your coma you may have experienced a dream which seems like reality to you. The current year is 1985 and you are a single young lady of fourteen−”
She interrupted him. “That doesn’t make any sense. You’re telling me I’m only fourteen?” Seeing stars with a vigorous head shake, she persisted, “What is this, some kind of joke?”
“I realize this might be very difficult for you, you need to−”
“I can see it all so clearly, though, all the little details, everything about them. I have children, a husband, a home…and you say this was all my imagination? There’s just no way.” Standing up, she was ready to run from the room to find the truth. A flash of movement caught her eye, the mirror where her reflection moved in the glass. The familiar laugh lines around her eyes were missing although the clear blue colour was unchanged. No parenthesis lines at the corners of her mouth echoed decades of smiles. Not the face of a forty year old. She slumped down on the bed while the doctor continued.
“Today is Saturday, July 27, 1985. You’re in Stamford General Hospital. Your mother’s in the cafeteria on the bottom floor having lunch and should return shortly.” The doctor gently laid a hand on her shoulder as he spoke. “You are indeed only fourteen and have your whole life ahead of you to have those children, the husband, the house, and everything else you could ever imagine.”
Adya looked solemnly into his eyes. “I’m fourteen.” He nodded. “It’s 1985.” The doctor agreed again. “I guess I get to relive the eighties again. Perhaps this time the music will be better.” He laughed with her, his relief evident, and then jotted more notes on her chart. “Will I have to stay here much longer?”
“We need to run some tests and keep you under observation for a little bit. You had a serious concussion. But, if things look normal you’ll be out within the week. I’ll look in on you again later in the evening. You should try to rest.” With a reassuring smile on his angular face, he left the room.
The nurse added her own notes after lowering the bed, and departed as well. Adya closed her eyes and visualized the life she had been living. The faces of her husband and children were clear in her mind, especially the children. The slightly chubby cheeks of her eldest daughter. The wiry hair of Tyler as a toddler when he snuggled beside her in the morning. Hope’s blue, blue eyes.
Stomach churning, she sat up again. Swinging her legs over the side of the bed, dizziness returned, prevented her from standing. Panic slid up her spine and her panting breaths ruffled the front of the hospital gown as she tucked her chin to her knees to fight the rising vertigo. Bare feet stuck out from under the edge of her gown and she focused her concentration on her toes to fight down the queasiness. Looking more closely at her feet, her eyes widened.
“The scar’s gone.” At seventeen a bicycle accident had left a large scar across the top of her foot. Riding on the handlebars of her boyfriend’s bike when he lost control speeding down the hill toward his house, she had spilled onto the pavement and abraded the top layer of skin off her left foot and forearm. Slowly elevating the arm, she inspected the intact skin. Twisting and turning foot and arm, she gazed at the smooth flesh, running her fingers where the scars should be. She shook her head again, “No. No…they can’t just make twenty-six years disappear.” Her feet were steady as she slid to the floor.
Cautiously, she checked the hallway from the door. No nurses within view. The elevators were across the way and the nurses’ station out of sight around the corner. She slipped over to the elevator, pressing the down button before hurrying back to her room. At the ping of the indicator, she rushed through the open doors, holding the ‘close door’ button down with a white-knuckled finger. The portal whooshed shut, and Adya paced the confines of the car while it glided downward.
With a quick glance through the doors, she darted toward the front entrance.
“Hey.” An older lady yelled as she pushed past her. The front desk attendant rose, concern written across her face.
“Wait, young lady. Hold on.” The authoritative voice did little to slow her flight. She made it through the entrance and stopped short, her gaze locked on the hospital sign. A rushing sound built in her ears and the corners of her vision blackened.

My copy of Regression was provided by the Author for participation in her Pump Up Your Book Tour. All opinions expressed are my own.

1 Comments:

At November 3, 2010 at 12:00 PM , Blogger Carolyn said...

Hi there, I just wanted to say that I read the excerpt and it made me want to read the whole book right away! I love the mystery of it and the
story makes it all very believable. I am looking forward to reading this book.

 

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