Saturday, December 4, 2010

Coffee and Fate - R.J. Erbacher

Summary:  Val is just a regular college student, with a unique ability to save people's lives, having a drink in a coffee shop.  Bud is an elderly gentleman who knows certain things that will happen to certain people and he knows something about Val's future.  When he sits down next to her and holds her hands it will start a friendship that both of them are desperate for.  It will also set off a chain of events that will dramatically change both their lives, from the gunshot that's just seconds away to a heroic battle with fate and death.  (Summary from book - Image from - Book given free for review)

My Review:  Coffee and Fate revolves around two extremely different people, Val and Bud, whose lives intersect at precisely the right moment.  I loved the idea of the two main characters, with unexplainable supernatural powers, working together and using their gifts to change the world.  What can I say?  I'm a Heroes fan.  Well, of the first season anyway.  The types of powers these characters have, however imaginary, and the use of them, brings up all sorts of interesting questions about the ethics of doing so. If you could change the course of someone’s life, and perhaps save them, would you? Should you? Would you choose not to save someone you love, if in doing so you served the greater good? Heavy stuff, and something that the characters wrestle with themselves.

Val and Bud have an unorthodox relationship to begin with – she is 18 years old and he is, well, a great grandpa. It’s not often you see a co-dependent relationship with such a gigantic age difference, and I was apprehensive that their friendship would become more intimate. Something does happen, albeit brief and ever so vague, and, although I understood the author’s rationale behind it, I wasn’t terribly comfortable with the turn of events.

If I could have my way, Coffee and Fate would have been longer, with more characters, more rescues, and possibly a different dynamic in the main characters’ relationship. Regardless of my discomfort at a certain stage, I did enjoy this book’s premise and I felt the ending was beautifully bittersweet.

My Rating: 3 Stars.   For the sensitive reader:  There was a little bit of the vaguish sex at one point, but I can't remember any profanity.

Sum it up: A (kind of) “Heroes” novella where two people change the fate of the world.

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