Saturday, July 13, 2019

Book Review: 'Tells' by Scott Rhine

Tells by [Rhine, Scott]
‘Rumors will haunt you for the rest of your life’

Scott Rhine has an inquisitive, scientifically honed mind that he opens to the reading public with a series of fascinating science fiction/fantasy books. He calls himself a ‘techno-gypsy, (working on optimizing some of the fastest and largest supercomputers in the world) yet now after meeting his goals of degrees and a family he turns to writing full time – and we are the richer for it. One of the aspects of Scott’s work that makes it unique is his belief that ‘humor is a part of every story because people are funny, even when they don't think so. In the real world, something always goes wrong and people have flaws. If you can't laugh at yourself, someone is probably doing it for you.’

TELLS is a book Scott wrote for his gifted daughter’s fifteenth birthday, a book that celebrates a strong female character – Isa - for this fine YA fantasy. Scott’s ability to use his intensely scientific mind as a resource for facts while painting his fascinating novels populated with ultra-contemporary mannerisms and dialogue makes his books both unique and irresistible.

Those who have read and enjoyed Scott’s other fine novels will expect the unexpected – and that is most assuredly delivered in this taught story. The stance of the main character Isa is well created in the opening lines; ‘At the police safe house, a SWAT officer from the helicopter kept pressing me for details in front of the video camera. I had to ensure community safety, but I also needed to stall to give my brother and friends time to escape. Since lying was the only crime my father ever spanked us for, I always told the truth. I just wouldn’t be direct about it. “It all started that evening I asked for my first cell phone.” 

Scott’s well-developed plot is summarized for us – one that does not rob the reader of the pleasure of suspense: ‘Isa is on a quest to find her family Book and her path as a witch. During a blackout, she gets lost in the tunnels under MIT and has monsters stalking her. It isn’t enough for her to just survive. She can’t even leave evidence that magic exists, or she’ll doom every other witch descended from the women of Boston Colony. She soon finds out that the shadow wolves are nothing compared to the other secrets her family has been keeping from her.’

Gilbert and Sullivan describe Scott’s talent in The Mikado – ‘Art and nature, thus allied go to make a pretty bride’ (the ‘bride’ in this case being his exhilarating novels). All parts of his brain marry to make these delectable tales. A fine birthday present for his daughter and a new YA fantasy novel for his fans.






Editor's note: This review has been published with the permission of Grady Harp. Like what you read? Subscribe to the SFRB's free daily email notice so you can be up-to-date on our latest articles. Scroll up this page to the sign-up field on your right.






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Two kings. Two princes. One queen. The true story of five aristocrats separated by time, culture, and circumstance -- all of them bound to the United States by accidents of history and left to hope for a tomorrow better than today. Prepare for a vision of the American Dream as few others have ever seen it.