15 May, 2020

Review - Only Forward by Michael Marshall Smith

128645What an odd gem Only Forward is. It starts out as an entertaining thriller set in a unique near-future world. I was digging it immensely, especially because the main protagonist, Stark, is extremely engaging. He was a perfect mix of humor and can-do that makes for some great lines.

For instance:

"[T]he stations zipped by soundlessly, and I geared myself up for whatever it was I had to gear myself up for. I didn’t have much to go on, so I just geared up generally."

Talking about not wanting to remember a thing: "but I knew I was safe: I always lose my mental notes."

On the topic of a long wait at a restaurant: "Then finally, like some optical illusion, the art student reappeared. I found myself frankly incredulous that she didn’t now have grey hair and walk with a stoop, and decided it must be her great-granddaughter bringing my order, concluding an ancient and mystic hereditary task passed down the family line."


"Life is like a video game: when you get to a new screen, the thing to do is move as quickly as possible, before the situation gets any worse."

Then, about 50% of the way through (exactly 50% on my Kindle actually), this book gets weird. Your thriller is turned on its head and we go to dreamland...erm...Jeamland.

It almost lost me at that point if I'm being honest.

Luckily, I stuck with it, probably mostly because of the protagonist, because the weird doesn't let up, but the dreamland is really kind of a cool idea. I can see not everyone jiving with the ideas presented, but I finally grew to really like it.

Then, there are some well-done last-minute twists that sealed the deal on top of everything.

I don't want to give away too much. My recommendation, give it a go and push through the weird bit. It does put the whole story on its head, but I thought it worked.

4 out of 5 Stars (highly recommended)