E is for Erratum

Friday, April 5, 2013

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Erratum by Walter Sorrells

Erratum. n. a writer's or publisher's error in a publication; pl. such errors or a list of them with corrections.

Jessica Sternhagen is not like other kids. She's taller, faster, and...well, weirder. Turns out, Jessica has a destiny, with a capital D. When she walks into an antiquarian bookstore and finds a strange book entitled Her Lif waiting for her, she thinks it's some kind of joke. Who left the book for her? And shouldn't the title be Her Life? What seems like a small printer's error, or erratum, turns out to be the first in a series of bizarre happenings. Her Lif tells the story of Jessica's life, ending with her murder only seconds after she finishes reading the book. Jessica narrowly escapes the predicted murder only to find that the book itself has now changed. The new ending? Jessica has to save the universe. What she discovers is that Her Lif is a word machine, a powerful device which can be used to change reality--only this book happens to have some minor printer's errors in it. And if the book falls into the wrong hands, it could be used to destroy the universe.

This book stuck with me for a couple days after I finished it. The story itself is well written and involves parallel time streams, though only one is supposedly the true and correct universe. In all the twists and turns of the story, people telling her she has to save the world or to leave it be. In the end, it will come down to a single choice she makes. And it's just as they told her, too, though neither she nor I paid those hints much attention.

Jessica is a fun girl. I would've loved to have had her as a friend when I was 11. She loves books, possibly even more than me. And she doesn't like bullies. Her friendship with Dale started when he was being tormented because his dad had lost a hand during an accident at the nearby sausage factory. Even though his home life is rough and Jessica has such loving (if boring) parents, they stick together.

If you enjoy parallel time stream stories, bizarre happenings, and/or stories revolving around books that can change the world, this might be right for you. And I'll have to track down his other books. Sorrells is far cleverer than I thought in the beginning with the parallel between what I was reading with what Jessica read when she first opened Her Lif. Well done.


Anonymous said...

Sounds like a great read...I am not too versed on the genre, but it sounds well-written. And hey, Jessica sounds like a girl I can relate to! :)
Happy A to Z-ing!
Jess Topper / Blogging on the Brink

Joe Richardson said...

I have a devil of a time with multi-verse and time travel stories. I usually go back to see how they were structured. I've always wanted to write one, but I've not thought of a clever device to make the story stand out.

So. Thus far, it's a no-go.

I remember reading Imzadi, a Star Trek novel by Peter David, seeing how he tinkered with time, and thinking how clever it was...

Heidi Mannan said...

Oh my gosh! This really does sound like a book for me. I've been looking for a few new good reads, too. This is going on my list right now.:)

Jaleh D said...

Sorry, I didn't get a chance to respond yesterday. Nice to see some new faces.

I don't expect everyone to connect with all of these, so I won't hold it against you, Joe. ;) Erratum is certainly weird, though it only has multi-verse, no time travel. That would have made it too confusing, even for me. But it was all forward moving. The only time references were all towards the future, not about changing the past. Imzadi was good, but I liked Q-Squared better for time/multi-verse juggling better. Same author though. I don't think I'd know how to write that sort of story. At least not yet.

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