Title: Machines of the Little People
Author: Tegon Maus
Publication Date: April 20th 2014
Genre: Science Fiction / Technothriller
Amazon Link: Link
Ben Harris’s sister died of cervical cancer more than three years ago… his best friend and her husband, Roger Keswick, disappeared the day before the funeral. For the next six months everyone from the local police to the Department of Defense searched for him but to no avail… it was as if he had simply fallen off the face of the planet only to reappear at work as if nothing were out of the ordinary.
Then by the purest of coincidences Ben finds himself pulled back into Roger’s life only to discover he has remarried… to Jessica… a woman the looks, sounds and acts just like his dead sister. To complicate things Roger is insistent his home, his car, his life is infested with tiny elf like creatures he calls the Katoy. He claims they run massive machines under his house and watch his every move… every move that is until Jessica is found bludgeoned to death in his living room and Roger is nowhere to found … again.
First of all, let me tell you this: Bad grammar and writing style drive me up the wall. Often, I end up not finishing the story. I love nothing more than I do a well-polished story, and this ain’t it. And yet, I finished the book, partially because I promised too, but also because the plot is actually quite good.
The story follows 57-year-old Ben, which is already an age we’re unused to in most genres, as he tries to reconcile with the death of his sister by visiting his eccentric brother-in-law, who has since started seeing another woman. As it becomes clearer that either Roger, the brother-in-law, is insane or something seriously weird is going on, we begin to hear more about Ben: his disorder, which makes him interrupt electronics and his love for Roger’s younger sister. Although these are the two main points of his personality, he isn’t irritating or superfluous, but actually a realistic human being, whose priorities aren’t always solving the word from evil.
The romance is well-integrated (and has underlying creepy tones as the story progresses and we find out more about Jessica, Roger’s girlfriend) and not excessive, which was a nice surprise. No moments were wasted staring into each other’s eyes and wondering whether or not they’re doing the right thing. It was all very down-to-Earth, and I loved every moment of it.
I must say, there are some loose threads at the end, mostly because the plot is sometimes progressed through strangely accurate, out-of-the-blue assumptions rather than discoveries (although this is not always the case), and the ending feels a bit rushed, but in this book, I fell in love with the characters rather than the admittedly poor story. Beside Audry and Ben, there’s the annoying Agent Williams (who’s involved in a bit of a conundrum involving ages and continuity, but Maus very nicely replied to my query, admitted his mistake and resolved it, so I will not go into details), the Katoys, Roger, Jessica, Esther and Max, the ladies at the restaurant and various other little bits that were amazing, which is why this book desesrves three stars, at least.
I received a free copy of this book from the author in exchange for an honest review, as part of the Wishing Stone Web Tour.