Review: DiSemblance by Shanae Branham (Revised Edition)

  • TitleDiSemblance (Revised Edition)
  • AuthorShanae Branham
  • SourceReview Copy
  • No. of Pages262
  • PublishedAugust 20, 2012 by CreateSpace
  • Rating3/5
  • Check it outGoodreads or Amazon
Jason Tanner’s life has always been different from the ordinary citizen’s. It started when he was an infant and his parents were only teenagers. A computer science prodigy, Lloyd attended MIT but left a pariah in the eyes of the school’s dean—but a computer physics genius in the eyes of his primary investor. Then his theories and ideas created a holographic machine and their world shrunk as contact with the outside world became less and less frequent. A computer prodigy now himself, Jason is about to learn that the world never waits for you if you have the ability to change it: it will come for you.
Detective Bruce Durante has been handed the case of the Comfort Killer, a serial killer so named because he appears to abduct terminally ill patients before returning their corpses to their families in refrigerated coffins. When he picks up the trail, it leads straight to the home of Lloyd Tanner.
Jason has been living life through the world of Lloyd’s invention and wishing he could carry on a relationship with Boston, the beautiful girl next door. When his father is murdered and framed as the Comfort Killer, he is brought back to reality in a hurry. He is forced to destroy all of the planted evidence—and finds he is being targeted as the killer’s new fall guy. But the secrets of his father’s invention run deep and Jason, his brother Isaac,Boston, the Comfort Killer, and Detective Durante hurtle towards one another on a deadly collision course that leaves everyone’s life hanging in the balance.

Let me start off by saying that the revised edition of DiSemblance had a big improvement compared to the original version. Not only the content, but also the formatting, writing, and editing. As a reader, you can really see the effort it took in writing this vastly technical novel, and sometimes, I couldn’t help but lay the two versions side by side and read them simultaneously while comparing and contrasting the similarities and differences.

However, a lot of the weak links in the earlier version of DiSemblance still appeared in the revised one. One of the things I didn’t particularly enjoy while reading was the fact that information dumps happened frequently. Since many of the terms that the author used were very scientific and sometimes confusing, it felt as if she was making the characters ‘tell’ the reader what every part of the machine was about instead of ‘showing’ in a much less subtler way. With the latter method, all the significant information would be revealed, but it would be much easier for the reader to digest.

The good news is, the insta-love I was irked about in DiSemblance #1 was fleshed out more in DiSemblance #2. I liked how Shanae Branham was able to insert a more emotional and long-term feeling to Boston and Jason’s relationship, instead of ‘love at first sight.’ However, I still believed Jason was too quick to admit his feelings and give his trust to her.

The plot, though, stays strong in both versions of DiSemblance. The suspense and thrilling aspects of the story will really make you think out of the box; the twists and turns will definitely take you on a roller coaster of action and suspense. This isn’t a plot that any author would be able to think of; it needs time, patience, and a creative mind. One thing’s for sure–Shanae writes to impress, and though some parts of the story can still be improved, she’s got what it takes to write a beautiful story for sci-fi aficionados.

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