WMHB Chapter 1: AKA Incompetent Scientist is Incompetent

So, I’ve come back to continue this book.  Do I dare remind everyone the last time I tried to read this, I’d gotten a migraine?  This time I’m fighting with neck pain, but that’s not related to this book.  It may make me a little more snarky though.  Now I know I said “Tune in next week” or some cheesy line to that effect, but I don’t know if I can, in fact get through a whole chapter in one week.  Sure, I can read it like Speedy Gonzales on crack but when it comes to writing a commentary, there are going to be chapters where it will seem like every single sentence is something to scoff at.  Don’t believe me? Wait till chapter 2…trust me!  So if I don’t update this every week, you’ll know why.

I would like to point out that this is not, in fact the worst thing I’ve read.  It’s damn close though!  Anyway, I know what you really want is to find out how we go from modern day to Tombstone, Arizona.  Patience, we’ll get there sooner than you can say “drunk scientist”!

…I realize there are a few smart asses out there that just said “drunk scientist” to prove that statement wrong.  To you fine people, I have but one reply…

😛

ON TO CHAPTER ONE!!! MUAHAHAHAHAHA!!!

When we last left MC, we were introduced to MrPerfect, and she mentioned that BFF wanted to show her something.  We aren’t special enough to experience lunch with Mom and MrPerfect, though…I’m heartbroken.

So, first paragraph reads as follows: MC!” BFF ran forward to grab her friend in a fierce hug.  The hours had passed far too slowly for her taste.  The extraordinarily dry and arid day was moving over its peak as if evne the sun lacked the  will to move with haste. 

Now, as I explained before, I’m not naming MC and BFF because it really doesn’t matter.  That said, the wording of this paragraph is just too confusing.  Is BFF thinking the hours were too long or was the MC?  The action between the two, coupled with the dialogue has so much wrong with it, I don’t really know where to begin.  I’m sure, popping your fingers when you’re excited is an interesting way to give a character originality, but the image just comes off as awkward.  Props for trying though.

There’s a brief description of the house being contemporary but nothing outside of that really leads me to believe it.  The outside is a non-descript tan with large windows and decorated in such an eclectic way.  What gets me is the only real description of the inside is colorful paintings and a black kitchen.  That’s it.  Also, call that woman a decorator!  A black kitchen?  I guess if you like feeling like you’re cooking in a dungeon.  Not judging, but I kind of am…

So, there’s talk of BFF’s crazy uncle, with a couple anecdotes about how crazy he is.  Frankly I find it a waste of good paper that there’s no apparent point in this conversation.  MC knew BFF wanted to share her newest project with MC but now we have to wait for some reason.

There’s mention of the museum and now its an exhibit on Renoir and Monet.  Michelangelo, Jackson Polluk, Andy Wharhol!  See, I can name extremely well know artists too!  Unfortunately, the last two would be more likely to be showcased in an exhibit in an American Museum than either Renoir or Monet.  In fact, I’m surprised she didn’t just say the museum was getting the Mona Lisa.  It would be just as believable.

So, talking about MC’s mom and how she has to keep bailing her out of jail…I think I spaced a bit…

Now they start talking about MrPerfect.  Here’s where we learn that MC and MrPerfect have been together for a year and a half, with no sex.  They’re talking about moving in together.  We hear about how he is so in love with MC which knowing what’s about to happen, I have to wonder again why this is necessary?  But I digress.  BFF asks if they’ve had sex yet, and this is where MC goes on about how understanding he is that she’s a virgin and th-wait! What? VIRGIN??? Reasoning for this decision goes to all the teenage pregnancies they witnessed in high school.  It wasn’t that she was traumatized by her mother’s profession when her body was just budding into womanhood.  Nope, it was high school.  Ooookay! We’ll give this a pass and point out that she’s twenty-six, the daughter of a prostitute and in a relationship with a guy you wouldn’t think would stick around for a year without some action.  I’m not saying twenty-six year-olds can’t be virgins.  I’ve known a few people that lasted well into their twenties, but they didn’t dress like MC nor date guys like MrPerfect.  Also, the reasoning behind the choice to not have sex centered around religious reasons or because they were asexual.

So, MC expositions us into how her and BFF met.  Placement of the info could have, and probably should have gone towards the front of the chapter.  Met in grade school…and I spaced again because it was all generic, like you find in most unimaginative back-stories.  I really just don’t care.

So for the umpteenth time, we hear about how BFF has been so busy with work.  First time it was in relation to her redecorating.  Mind you, nothing specific about what she changed in the house, just that she did it.  Now it’s in relation to having the time to keep up with a modest garden in her small backyard.  Seems legit!

There’s some brief talk about BFF’s lack of a romantic life.  It is all boring details that does nothing in furthering the plot.  Finally MC asks if BFF is working on anything now.

Now, interestingly enough, she works in a lab outside of her home, as mentioned in the conversation about guys.  However, she also has a lab in her basement.  BFF leads MC down carpeted stairs. I feel the author may have wanted to research labs and how some try to avoid static. It’s a thing, especially if you’re the type of scientist that makes electronic gadgets, like BFF. Inside the lab there’s a lot of unidentifiable liquids in beakers, mechanical devices and stuff to prove this is in fact a generic description of a laboratory.  There’s dome exposition on the company BFF works for, including rumors that they had military connections.  Apparently taking work home is encouraged.  I’m going to let you think about that a second.  Big-time tech company, possible military connection, and they allow research & product to leave the premises? Not only that, but BFF says it’s ideal because she can get drunk.

I think I lost I.Q. points reading that.  I’m also going to point out that they have both brought down bottles of water to the lab, which causes my inner science geek to weep every time I read that! Seriously, the rule about no food or drink in the computer or chemistry lab wasn’t just because my professors were being dicks.  Liquids will destroy electronics, and should you ingest chemicals it will make you sick at the very least, if not kill you in several horrible ways.

As someone who has this as a career, BFF would know this. However, it would make the events to come not happen if she were actually competent. May I please express my utter relief that this is clearly fiction,  cause the thought of an inebriated scientist with a fully functional and stocked lab would leave me in hives!

So, onward to what she is working on!

“Still trying to perfect those sunglasses that pick up T.V. signals?  Or perhaps the automatic laser-guided toothbrush? Electric roller blades maybe? “

No, no, and no MC. Though I think in the years since she helped to make Google Glasses a thing.  BFF hands MC a wrist watch.  It is a bit bulkier than a normal digital display back-lit sports watch. It also has more options like destination, vital signs, etc. A heart rate monitor then? MC plays dumb, though it’s not really an act, I’m guessing. Finally BFF admits that it’s a time machine.

As MC is speechless for a little,  BFF is described as looking like a horse chomping at the bit.  Flattering visual.  I never thought I’d have anything in common with MC at this point, but apparently she gets headaches when her friends are being utterly ridiculous.  What a coinkidink!  I get them when the stupidity levels have reached terminal proportions. I can feel one already!  Unfortunately, I have five more pages to read through.

So here’s where a little math comes into play.  BFF & MC met in elementary school.  MC is twenty-six right now, but states that they’ve been friends for fifteen years, which would make her eleven when they met. Granted, she could have been that in fifth grade, but the implication that they had been in the single digits in years when they met makes me scratch my head. Did the author just pull the numbers out of their ass?

Okay, okay I’ll stop nitpicking…maybe.

So for several paragraphs BFF tries to convince MC she is serious and MC voices her skepticism. There’s some quasi-scientific talk about how the device works, how BFF would totally be able to find someone as long as they were wearing the device, and how there is no way any unauthorized jumps could happen.  None of this is convincing to me as a reader. The number of problems I can spot would fill a page, easily.  And again, knowing what is about to happen, I call bullshit!

Surprisingly enough, it’s not been tested yet.  Shocker!  MC of the unscientific background makes a comment about time being set, and I want to put my hand on her little petite know-it-all shoulder and inform her that not only is she trying to explain something she has no real knowledge of to someone who does, she’s also basing her “fact” on the observation of her own life, not on science-based conjecture.  Sadly she’s as oblivious to her own hypocrisy as the author is.

Well, on we go to dancing around everyone’s motives for making time-travel possible.   Obviously the company wants it for something, though BFF with an I.Q. that rivaled Einstein himself can’t figure it out.  She believes her bosses,  not the company itself,  wants it to experience history first-hand.  Okay, that’s believable.  BFF wants to see if she can do it.  Also a believable motive, but wait…an ulterior motive?  Something more noble?  What is it, pray tell?

A cure.  A cure for what you may ask? Anything, everything… oh, and cancer! The first time I read that I had to read it several more times. BFF wants to cure diseases, but instead of, perhaps going into medical research which would make sense, she decided time travel would do. How does she expect this to work? This is never explained nor the question even asked by the Mary-Sue MC who’s so smart. I imagine she may use time travel to go into the future and steal the secrets of a cure. Ethics aside it’s the first and most likely way of doing it without having a background in medical science, that I can think of. But back to the plot, such as it were.

MC does make a point though.  In the wrong hands it could be disastrous.  BFF says she knows there’s risks, but it doesn’t deter her from her goal.  Now for why she wanted MC to see, BFF wants her to assist in testing the device out.  Not by sending her, but sending something inanimate.  He has a list of items and eras to pair up, but first a broach to the old west.  The watch is already set.  Convenient.

MC is ultra-klutz and manages to activate the watch while at the same time spilling water on it.  So, a time vortex is made.  Then this gem can be read: The hole seemed to widen itself as if hungry and searching, reaching for something to fill itself with.  The air grew heavy with the scents of age, dust, decay and death, stifling the women to the point of asphyxiation.  the wind carried the blurred sounds of billions of voices screaming, crying, laughing, and singing, all the voices that had spoken aloud through the ages.

What the actual fuck?  The audio imagery is actually quite interesting, though clumsily executed.  But the smell?  I’d make a correlation with the book, but that’s too easy.  Also, though I wish they were literally choked to death, the need for ten-point words is unnecessary in this paragraph.

So MC is sucked in, there’s nothing BFF can do and the vortex closes.  Then BFF looks around: Scattered papers littered the floor.  As she slowly pulled herself up, she blinked in shock.  Her lab was a mess, but the room was inconsequential.

So much concern!  By the way it is the first time we’re actually in someone else’s head besides the MC.   I’m sorry but if this is how her mind is working this is how her mind works, MC almost seems like an after thought.  But my amusement at the odd way this author fails aside, BFF sees a beeping on her computer screen.  Graphs and numbers are displayed for a while, then the dot, which I assume is the watch and by extension MC, disappears.

“oh, shit.”

Ditto, BFF.  Ditto.

Thus ends chapter one.  Did MC die? Sadly, no This book wouldn’t be so long if she had.  What will happen next?  I’ll probably get a migraine and curse myself for committing to this as well.  Will it be worth it in the end?  Ask me again when I finish the book…

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About Cici Brown
I'm a happily married mother of two and a half. I'm usually pretty bubbly and in some cases, according to my husband, too open about everything. I am and always will be a gamer geek, though I haven't table-top roleplayed for many years. I still manage to hit an MMO or two. My interests include most things geek and Vampire fiction, though not the sparkly kind, that's not vampire fiction. I have goals towards publishing that have yet to be fulfilled but one day...

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