Title: Thomas World
Author: Richard Cox
Publisher: Night Shade
Pub Date: 09/06/2011
Category: ADULT: Science Fiction & Fantasy (also suitable for older teens)
Thomas World is an intriguing mind twister and if you liked the way the movie, The Matrix made you question your reality, you’ll probably love this one book as much as I did. It explores what happens when the borders of reality start bleeding through the edges, challenging our perceptions of the universe.
Thomas Phillip’s world is becoming very strange and he’s wondering if he’s going crazy. We wonder too. Is this guy just seriously paranoid? Initially, it seems that way, but as the story progresses it becomes clear that the hallucinations, the strange feelings of being watched, of having done this or having been there before, the sound of violins playing and numbers being recited aren’t without basis. Just as Thomas wants to work out what’s going on, so do we and this is what keeps us reading as inexplicable coincidences pile up, seemingly innocent characters reveal that they know more about Thomas than they should and random strangers know his name. The parallels between how the characters in Thomas’s world feel about their relationship with him and how characters in a story revolve around the centre character also add another layer of depth to the mystery.
It’s a psychological mystery/thriller of unexplained occurrences that cleverly builds to the point where it’s obvious that things are very wrong. When we do eventually find out what’s going on, (via the nice touch of Thomas looking something up on wikapedia) the answer is something that was hinted at all the way through, but I never could have figured it out. The crux of the story is Thomas’s choice. Does he want reality, or a simulated version of reality? The last chapter leaves us to infer his answer for ourselves.
My favourite part is the chapter of numbers. It’s bold and brilliant and perfect for the story. I give it 4 stars.