Crossline - Russ Colchamiro
When I first picked up Crossline, I was expecting a fun, fast-paced lark of a time-travel adventure story. What I was not expecting was an unbelievably rich cacophony of characters, a deeply intricate plot, and some of the wittiest, realistic dialogue I’ve read in a long while. The sheer magnitude of crafting this story must have taken just blows me away––and that doesn’t happen often.

CrosslineThe story starts quite simply: enter Marcus Powell, pilot of the new and highly anticipated Crossline spaceship, which is capable of warp speed. He has a wife, a daughter, and a bright future ahead of him as the world’s newest Neil Armstrong, paving a new path for mankind and space exploration. But he gets giddy and reckless, and does one space jump too many. Falls into a wormhole, into a mirror dimension of our own universe. And then, he has to find a way to get back. This is the story at its simplest.

However, it is the how and the why that really brings the story to life. Colchamiro’s cast of over twenty characters fill the pages with humanity, in its ugliest and most beautiful forms. The author’s use of the past, present and future is seamless (except for a minor thing that bugged me throughout the whole book in terms of formatting– the first page says “Present Day” and at no point, later in the book, is time denoted in a heading again… small point, I know. But I kept expecting it.) Almost everything in the book had purpose––meaning to the whole. I found I really liked most of the characters, even when I knew I shouldn’t. One of the most powerful moments in the book (which I won’t spoil) is so heart-rendering that I knew then I wanted to give this book five stars. I’m very happy I can finish the book, giving it what I wanted to.

The story has high re-readability, which is really important to me, and the ending is in keeping with the rest of the book. Some of it was a little overplayed (too neat), some of the characters seemed like they could have been cut, but overall, this was a stellar read and is definitely worth a look. Hardcore science fiction fans should be aware that Crossline straddles the line between science and spirituality sometimes, and both of the spiritual characters, at times, are pretty stereotypical, but these things can all be forgiven, I think, because of the overall quality of the book.

Perhaps, if I had to sum it up — Crossline lingers once finished. The characters, and all that they’ve gone through, stick with you, and that, if nothing else, is the mark of a story well-written. Excellent read.