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Amber Gifts - ebook View larger

Amber Gifts - ebook

A scavenger hunt through time turns into a deadly game of cat and mouse.








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    After a decades long downward spiral, Mitchell is at the bottom of life’s rungs. A stranger hands him a simple, amber vial and tells him to drink it. With that one act, he is now a time traveler and when asked to help some new acquaintances, he gladly agrees. A simple request to find some items left scattered throughout time. How hard could it be?

     

    But someone wants to stop Mitchell’s efforts and it will take more than luck for Mitchell to find all the items and survive long enough to complete his mission.

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  • Grade 
    10/1/2017

    A Must-Read for Sci-Fi Fans


    After a series of bad decisions leads to desperate times, what difference can one more make? The answer is plenty.

    Hope for a currently homeless Mitchell meant taking a chance on the past, not his past, but the past before he was even born. Drinking the liquid that was gifted to him by a complete stranger could lead to an exciting life traveling through time, or it could turn out to be suicide. What more could he really lose after losing his wife, his career, and his home? He had tried scrambling out of this pit for long enough to know that continuing the struggle wasn’t any guarantee of achieving even a poor man’s view of success. The only future Mitchell could foresee was survival for one more day, if he didn’t get beaten to death, for any number of stupid reasons people pick on a homeless guy, in the meantime.

    We wouldn’t have a story, at least not this story, if Mitchell didn’t accept the amber vial of liquid. The only instructions he had been given were to take a sip and speak a year, any year before he was born. He awoke in another time, which answered the questions of would the liquid kill him and did it work. Now, he has to wonder who the stranger was that gave him the vial and why was he—Mitchell, a homeless man, a basic nobody anymore—chosen. In his search for these answers, he discovers that the vial is reusable, that other time-travelers, called Amser, can easily be spotted because they sparkle, and that, even in his new frame of existence, living until the next day is still not guaranteed.

    I was primed from the beginning to enjoy this book because Henry opens with a quote from The Doctor. Though, I have not kept up with the low-budget television series since childhood, any references to Doctor Who stirs fond memories and an instant liking for the mentioner that is hard to shake. Leaving that bias aside, I would still highly recommend this book, that was 30 years in the making, with only a single caveat. Time-traveling is disorientating at first. Pay attention to the time and place as each new chapter begins and definitely read the quotes. I have been the type of reader who skips over these things in the past thinking of them as mere frills and decoration. In this book, that is not the case. Kevin B. Henry has taken ultimate care in presenting the characters, this story, and his amazing talent as writer in the best possible light and it shows. If you’re a Sci-Fi fan, this is not just highly recommended, this is a must-read.

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    Amber Gifts - ebook

    Amber Gifts - ebook

    A scavenger hunt through time turns into a deadly game of cat and mouse.








    EXCERPT

     

    I spun in the chair. My flight instincts kicked in and I dove for the floor behind the desk. My hand grasped the vial before I escaped the target that was once a comfortable chair. I felt the second shot miss my head by inches. I gathered the package to me on my way to the floor.

    “Wait. Stop!” I stammered on the way to the floor. I didn’t believe for a second that he would.

    I uncapped the vial with a flip of my thumb while securing the package in my inner coat pocket. I recovered the rubber stopper in midair. My dexterity surprised me. What circus had I escaped from where I learned these tricks? I raised the vial to my waiting mouth. As I sipped, I took a quick look at my assailant. I wanted to be able to describe him to the Wilsons when next I saw them. He had bon vivant written all over him. He sparkled for the entire world like a fourth of July firework. I needed to ask about the meaning of that if I lived long enough. He dressed in a burgundy velvet smoking jacket, white tombstone shirt with a brown medallion ascot.

    His face appeared cold and insensitive, if that’s possible. His blond, short-trimmed hair seemed not to move, despite his trying violently to get through the door and in a better location for the kill shot. When his mouth opened I would have sworn I saw his teeth gleam like one of those Crest toothpaste commercials. A scowl of bewilderment appeared on his face as he rushed through the threshold. Perhaps he felt as amazed at my continued existence as I. He must have taken his first shot from across the hall and through the office entryway. I didn’t understand how he managed to miss the second shot.

    “Sorry, mate,” he said with an Australian accent.

    He had a gun in his hand, aimed straight at my head. It appeared to be a Remington Model 95Derringer. I tend to notice deadly items pointed at me with such professional accuracy. I wasn’t going to trust my life that it was only an authentic double shot model. He had the look of someone intent on firing again very soon. How fast could he pull the trigger? How fast could I dissolve? I hate life or death experiments.

    “1643,” I spoke softly. Instantly, I lay on an empty, white, sand beach.

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