Hamartia is the debut novel of Raquel Rich. This sci-fi offering mixes science with the idea of reincarnation in an unimaginable way. Yet, Raquel does it with flair.
- Title: Hamartia
- Author: Raquel Rich
- Publisher: Words Matter Publishing on August 15, 2018
- Genre: Sci-Fi
- Pages: 340
- Format: e-ARC
- Rating: 5/5
If you would like to pick up a copy for yourself, you can purchase it on Amazon.com. If you use my special link here, I earn a small commission at no additional cost to you. As an Amazon Associate, I earn from qualifying purchases.
Grace’s nine-year-old son, Jordan, is dying. First, the Metagenesis disease will tear his soul from his body, and then it will kill him. Desperate for a cure, Grace agrees to take part in an illegal clinical trial cloning souls. Supported by her best friend Kay, the two embark on the ultimate “Vegas Vacation” to the past in search of the right soul to clone, racing against time to save Jordan’s life. But someone is trying to stop them and when they discover why Grace must make a choice: let her son die or kill her husband. If she kills her husband, she triggers widespread Metagenesis, sealing the fate of the human race with a new plague.
Humanity is counting on Grace choosing to let her son die.Goodreads
My Review of Hamartia:
Hamartia is one of those novels that takes readers to places where the impossible is possible. The main character, Grace, is faced with the potential death of her son. However, she is presented with an alternative method of treatment. This treatment requires her to go back in time to find a live donor soul to save her son, Jordan.
It doesn’t often happen where I hate the main character, but with Grace, I do. She makes selfish choices and doesn’t consider the well-being of anyone else. What will she do to get what she wants, and at whose expense? I promise you will be surprised to find out.
Rich’s idea of time travel is extraordinary. The imagination that went into this method is phenomenal. In all the time travel stories I have read, this one is wholly original. There is no time machine to speak of, yet the path backward in time is interesting and exciting at the same time.
I enjoyed this novel immensely, and it has been a great addition to my new love of science fiction. I am thrilled to award Hamartia a full 5 out of 5 stars. There is so much more I want to say, but I don’t want to give away any spoilers. Please take my word for it and know that this is a book to read!
I would like to thank Raquel Rich for gifting me a copy of Hamartia in exchange for an honest review.
Interview with Raquel Rich:
1. Raquel, your idea of time travel is like nothing I’ve ever read before. How did this method come to you?
By complete accident (and laziness). Hamartia didn’t start off as a story about time travel. It was always about a woman who wanted to save her dying son. The trouble was that I couldn’t think of an easy disease. I kept asking myself, “What’s wrong with her kid?” I considered the usual stuff; needing a kidney transplant, having a brain thing, blah blah. Ultimately I got lazy. Instead of researching a real disease, I invented one. The woman’s son needed a soul transplant. His soul had completed too many life cycles and was dying. To save him, she’d have to find him a replacement. “But how?” I asked myself. The woman, who would later be known as Grace, spoke to me for the first time, “In a past life, of course—duh!” And that’s how Hamartia became a time travel story.
2. Hamartia explains soul mates as truth. Do you believe in soul mates or was this a vehicle for a good story?
Yes and no. I believe in soul mates (plural), but not a “sole” mate (singular) which is how many interpret the idea. I don’t view it as a romantic thing. My hubby is my soul mate, but so are my best friend and my sister. They understand me in a way no one else does. I believe humans choose to connect at a deeper level with some and not with others but it isn’t fate or destiny: sometimes it’s blind luck but mostly I believe it’s a choice.
3. As a reader, I kept wanting to shout at everyone, but as an author, did this story come easy for you? Did the characters tell you what they wanted to do, or were you the woman in charge?
You’re not alone. I also wanted to shout at (and choke) a character or two, Grace especially. She frustrated me a lot and I didn’t like her. However, even though Grace never shut up in my head, I was definitely the one in charge of her story. Each time I’d put her in a sticky situation, she’d argue with me and say things like, “Seriously?? How am I supposed to get out of this jam, Raquel?” I’d let out a wicked laugh as if I were a scheming mad scientist instead of a science fiction writer. The story didn’t come easy, but the process was fun, in a psychopathic kind of way.
4. What was the inspiration for this story? Did it come from a dream? A lot of thought? How did you come up with the idea for Hamartia?
The idea of reincarnation came from a conversation with my son at the Science Museum in London, England. There was an exhibit on fears and phobias which explored some popular beliefs, one of which was reincarnation. I have a fear of balloons and I hate hate hate turtlenecks so very much. We concluded that in my last life, I had been strangled to death at a party. Anyhow, I kept turning the idea over in my head long after we came back home to Canada. On my commute to work, the idea blossomed into a scene, I wrote the scene down, and then another popped into my head. I repeated this process until the scenes turned into a manuscript.
5. Are any of your characters or settings based on real people or places? If so, who or where?
Of the locations, the only one that was made up was the hotel “Canadiana” in Las Vegas. As for the characters, Grace’s best friend, Kay, is loosely based on my own best friend. My bestie is people-loving and fun, quirky and smart, just like Kay. If I could share a bottle of wine with one of my characters, it would 100% be Kay.
Raquel has generously offered to give away 3 signed copies of Hamartia to lucky readers from North America (sorry to my overseas readers).
In order to enter the contest, leave a comment on this post and I will choose 3 names from a random number generator. Each comment gets assigned a number in the order in which the comment is received. On November 27, 2019, at 10:00 pm Eastern Time, I will close the contest and draw the numbers. Winners will be notified before midnight.