Wednesday, July 1, 2009

Shimmer by Eric Barnes

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Title: Shimmer
Eric Barnes
# pages: 281
Date published: June 30, 2009
Genre: thriller

First sentence:

“I’d started having dreams where I could fly.”

What is it all about? Robbie Case is the CEO of Core Communications, a computer company started by his father. In just three years, Robbie has built the business into a $20 billion company with 5,000 employees. There’s only one problem -- the company is built on a complete lie. Knowing that the hopes, dreams, and futures of his employees (who over the years have become his only friends) hinge on the success of the company, Robbie struggles to keep the business afloat.

Random thoughts:
  • Like other thrillers, Shimmer was tense, exciting, and sometimes had me on the edge-of-my-chair. It also had quite a few twists and turns that I didn’t see coming like a normal thriller. But it’s is not a typical thriller. I’m not sure I can explain this without giving too much away. I’ll just have to leave at the fact that Shimmer doesn’t have a clear-cut bad guy. In most thrillers, you know who to root against and you’re just waiting for the evil guy to get his (or, more rarely, hers). This doesn’t necessarily hold true in Shimmer and that effects the way the book ends. It took me a little while to decide whether or not I liked the book’s ending. But after thinking through the other possible endings, I’ve decided that Barnes ended it the only way he could and still make me happy ;o).
  • Because of the issues involved, I think Shimmer would be a great thriller for a book club discussion.
  • I’d like to thank Libby Jordan of Unbridled Books for sending me an ARC (advanced reading copy) of Shimmer and introducing me to a great new author. I’m looking forward to Mr. Barnes’ next novel.

Favorite quote:
This quote appears on page 106 of the ARC. It may be slightly different in the final version of the book, but this passage rang especially true for me and I wanted to share it with you:
“Core was a company of millionaires. All of the senior staff, teh best salespeople, the top vice presidents and programmers in every division of the company, all had stock, stock options and very high-paying bonus program that made some three hundred of them millionaires.

Millionaires on paper, that is. Or, more exactly, millionaires in waiting. Waiting for the chance to cash in their accumulating bonuses and stock options.”
Boy can I relate to that. Hubby and I spent a few years of our lives chasing those little pieces of paper. When companies merged, restructured, or were bought out, if you wanted to keep those stock options (and, of course, the potential wealth that went with them), you moved where they told you to move. We eventually gave up and moved where we wanted to instead. But, in the meantime, we watched more than a few people’s (paper) millions evaporate into thin air.

Fun tidbits:
  1. Eric Barnes' Website
  2. Shimmer was picked as an IndieNext selection for July
  3. Read an excerpt from Shimmer
Recommended for readers who: are interested in the recent tales of big-business greed and corruption and enjoy fast-paced thrillers with a twist.

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