Title: Mobius Syndrome: Catalyst
Author: Amanda Quintenz-Fielder
Genre: Science fiction / Clean romance / Mystery
Mobius Syndrome: Catalyst by Amanda Quintenz-Fielder is the first in a trilogy about Taylor, a 25-year-old woman who relives her past in frequent violent episodes called lapses. Taylor is confined to a mental hospital, where Dr. Riaz tries to understand what is happening to her and why her memories in these lapses are triggering her body to shut down. Her life, and seemingly her sanity, hang by a thread, yet Taylor is determined that only while in one of her lapses can she save herself.
From the first page, Mobius Syndrome: Catalyst grips the reader. The first chapter shows the protagonist, Taylor, reliving her sister’s wedding. Although a wedding is a joyous occasion, the author does a superb job of relaying that not only is this a memory, but something isn’t right. Taylor’s fear for her sister’s fate is troubling, settling just beneath the surface of the excitement.
Told from a first-person point of view, Quintenz-Fielder’s story draws the reader in close with Taylor as she navigates the murky waters of her mind, both during her episodes and her time in the hospital. We are as concerned for her welfare, and as frustrated as she is, because nothing makes sense. Taylor’s only companion is an older patient, Carrie, who she plays cards with, and her doctor, Riaz, who she is attracted to both physically and emotionally. The author uses the first-person viewpoint well to invest the reader in Taylor’s wellbeing.
In addition to a viewpoint that lends well to a solid story, the author also writes in a compelling present tense. Telling a story in present tense takes the risk of the tale being stagnant, in that the reader may feel limited in movement through time. However, Quintenz-Fielder’s choice to employ present tense in the narrative lends well to drawing the reader right in the current moment with Taylor on her journey between her lapses into memories and her real life in the hospital. This is a challenging feat to pull off, but the author succeeds. Time is not restricted by the tense. In fact, the element of time is crucial to Mobius Syndrome: Catalyst.
This novel is unique in that it introduces a concept about time travel that isn’t well known, or at least, used often in books. The title itself refers to what precisely is going on with the protagonist as she shifts between the past and the present. What if we had the ability to not only remember our past but could use our mind to change it? Taylor’s life is a feedback loop that, every time it cycles through, her body breaks down more. Such a concept brushes with why a constant motion machine cannot exist and why the natural order of things is entropy: to break down into free energy that cannot be reused. It’s a scary and thrilling topic and makes this science fiction story well worth a read.
There are a few minor grammatical and punctuation errors throughout, but the overall edit is solid.
Mobius Syndrome: Catalyst explores a unique concept of time travel not often seen in science fiction. Amanda Quintenz-Fielder’s story creates a complex and sympathetic protagonist who must overcome the seemingly impossible, gripping the reader right from the first page. The first-person point of view and present-tense narrative lend strongly for drawing the reader close to Taylor’s story and being invested in her fate.
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