Ana wakes up in a dark room, strapped to a padded chair.
She doesn't who she is—she only knows her name because it's pinned to her jumpsuit—she doesn't know where she is, she doesn't know how she got there.
According to the information that's been left for her, she's on an alien world, and has a mere 28 hours to make her way across it. She's tasked with paying attention to everything she sees, with learning everything she can, and while she doesn't know the whys or hows or whos of her situation, she's got a feeling that it's seriously important.
The terrain is unfamiliar and dangerous, and she's got a long way to travel in a short amount of time... but, as you might have guessed from the cover art, it's the giant, man-eating worm creature that's got her the most concerned.
A lot of people dislike stories told in the present tense. I've never been one of them. It's just not something that I find irritating.
Until now. In Paradox, the premise and various action sequences and the use of the present tense all combine to ultimately read like a Choose Your Own Adventure novel... but without the reader participation. Which, as you can probably imagine, isn't particularly engaging.
The romance storyline—don't worry, it's not with the worm—feels flat and unnecessary, and the other emotional components are similarly unsatisfying. When the Big Reveal was, you know, revealed, my response wasn't, "Oooooooo" or "Coooooool" or "Oh, so that's why...". Because I just didn't care. I didn't care about the characters, about their situation, about the mystery, about anything.
I went into this one without any sort of prior knowledge or high hopes or anything, but it was STILL a disappointment. Blerg.
Book source: Finished copy from the publisher.