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Friday, November 10, 2017

#allthebookreviews: Valley of Time by Jeremy D. Holden @smithpublicity @jeremydholden

Valley of Time
by Jeremy D. Holden
Smith Publicity


Thank you to Smith Publicity for these copies in return for our honest reviews! 

Fast-paced, full of wit and humor, and sure to delight fans of authors like Carl Hiassen and Nick Hornby, "Valley of Time: The Greatest Journey Ever Taken" is a truly original novel from one of contemporary fiction’s most thrilling new voices.

Mal Thomas only escaped with his life through a mixture of good fortune and divine intervention, after he and his eclectic team of cynical mad men and women were charged with promoting the alleged second coming of the Messiah, by Alfredo Baptiste, the world’s most powerful industrialist.

Having subsequently become famous as a best-selling author—as well as an unlikely spiritual leader—after having written and promoted a book about those experiences, Mal is now approached by another enigmatic billionaire with an equally incredible proposition.

Huw Hudson, the man often described as a modern-day Howard Hughes, wants to position his company, Space Rider, as the leader in commercial space tourism. He tries to enlist Mal and his team to help promote it, with one extraordinary twist: Hudson has evidence of an alleged UFO encounter, which he thinks could damage his business plans, and he asks Mal to investigate and manage the breaking news story.

Mal discovers a deeper purpose at work, as he crisscrosses Brazil, Miami, London, and Dubai in furtherance of Hudson’s audacious ambition, while being forced to keep an unbelievable secret from the FBI and even his closest friends. In confronting his deepest fears, Mal takes us on a journey that challenges the very core of our beliefs about space and time. 

In a fast-moving and often sardonic narrative, author Jeremy Holden will have you fascinated by the extraordinary nature of the challenges that Mal and his team find themselves confronted with, as they launch a massive global campaign to promote one of the most seismic events in human history.

My Thoughts:

Mal is back and this time he's being asked to promote space travel with the possibility of meeting life elsewhere.  We are basically taken in the same direction as Mal was taken in the first book, Sea of Doubt.  The first part of the book is basically the same.  We meet the main characters again, he's approached the same way again and we live in a sense of deja vu if you've read the first in this series.  I do much prefer this premise of space travel and extraterrestrials much better than the premise of the first book with the second coming of the Messiah.  

Once again, we get to see how Mal uses his expert advertising skills to convince people to want to come on this exploration.  As we near closer and closer every day to the possibility of living on another planet, those in the elite money bracket will be afforded the opportunity to potentially do so!  If you believe that there is life outside of Earth, then why wouldn't you want to be the FIRST to meet and/or observe them?  Quite interesting and definitely had my interest.  

What I love the most about these characters is Mal's relationship with his wife.  The author expresses beautifully how much in love they are after decades of marriage and how much Mal admires and listens to his wife's opinion and how she supports him, even when she doesn't agree with him.  Love!  And based on the author's notes at the end of the book, you can see that he feel the same about his wife.  So adorable!

It's hard not to compare this book to the first one - especially with reading them back to back.  Also since the beginnings of both books are extremely similar.  This time we don't have the huge, out of left field twist and instead get a more interesting and easier read.  I think you could also read this as a stand alone though there are some references to book one that might not be crystal clear if you haven't read the first.  Overall still the very intriguing concept of using social media to sell something outrageous to the world.

3 Stars!

Jessica's Thoughts:

Mal Thomas is back in a new advertising challenge. Unlike SEA OF DOUBT, Mal must promote space travel and the great possibility of encountering life outside of Earth. VALLEY OF TIME is another book that will make you question your beliefs and truly wonder, what would happen if we made our first contact?

Mal is contacted by Huw Hudson, who is said to be the modern-day Howard Hughes, about advertising for his company, Space Rider, and wants to be known as the top company in space tourism. Interesting concept. Huw has one twist for Mal and his team - he has alleged evidence of extraterrestrial life but he thinks it could hurt his business. So he wants Mal to investigate and keep the news story under wraps. His researching takes him across the globe and must keep this extraordinary secret to himself and away from the FBI and his close friends. What he finds out will have him questioning all that he believes when it comes to space and time.

It's rare that I read books in a series back to back. Usually I have a book or two in between (or I'm anxiously waiting for the next one to release), so it was very different reading SEA OF DOUBT and VALLEY OF TIME so close together. The openings of both books are very similar to each other - which isn't necessarily a bad thing, but it definitely felt familiar as you begin the next journey. Once again, some great character development and focus - Holden captures the relationship between Mal and his wife perfectly. The support between the two and their dynamic felt very genuine (I recommend reading the author's notes at the end!). 

What I enjoyed better about this book was the subject. Aliens and space travel keep my interest better than the potential of the second coming of the Messiah - but that's just me! This did have a good pace to it and kept my interest. I'd say this could be read as standalone, but it does have a couple references to book one. Like I mentioned about book one, it will always amaze me how authors can intertwine the use of social media in their stories - it's so prevalent in today's society. 

Overall, I liked this concept better than SEA OF DOUBT, but I would highly recommend both books in the series if you want a unique story. It keeps a steady pace and will have you thinking about it long after. 

I give this 3.5/5 stars!

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