THE CROSSOVER WARS AND STILL MORE YET
Reviewed by Helen Muriithi
When I began reading The Crossover Wars by S. Warren Winslow, I thought it would be another Sci-Fi novel whose characters had supernatural abilities. However, as I delved into the storyline, I could not help but marvel at Warren’s excellent ability to not only write a fictional text while educating his readers on insights regarding metaphysics. The novel begins with Roan Caldwell’s (The Doctor’s) interview with Nigel Boyd Renoir, otherwise known as The Patient. Roan was investigating the disappearance of Dana Emily Lacy, who had been the Patient’s estranged lover.
Roan was convinced that Nigel was pretending to be a psycho so as to avoid being put on death row. He likened Nigel’s behavior to the Tenement Slasher’s, who had gotten away with his crimes and eventually murdered Laura and Roan’s two daughters. He did not understand how Nigel seemed to beat the judicial system, but he suspected powerful muscles were behind Nigel’s seeming easy way through America’s judicial system. His interview did not yield much, much to his disappointment. However, when Nigel escaped from the prison hospital, Roan was unprepared for the sudden shift his detective work would take.
The book is organized into six interludes and fifty-one chapters. Each chapter is titled to foreground the subsequent storyline, thus building readers’ anticipation. Although Warren primarily narrates this book from the third-person point of view, he includes dialogues and soliloquies in the storyline. This not only provides background for scenes but also helps the reader understand what each character is thinking and feeling. Warren does not use the same narrative style for each character. While some characters are well-developed with distinct personalities, others reveal the protagonists’ motivations. For instance, Roan’s pursuit of Dana only seemed to be able to succeed through The Patient’s parallel pursuit of Angeline.
The storyline is developed gradually and steadily, and the reader is never left wondering why things are happening. The characters are believable and interesting, which helps to keep the reader engaged in their story. I especially loved how doppelgangers were introduced at the most opportune time. It helped build up a bit of suspense and made their role fulfillment later in the story more compelling. The ending was satisfying but still left room for a sequel if the author chose to write one. Intertextual elements like poems and stories within the stories enriched the book, adding layers of meaning and depth to the overall narrative. The characters also drew from a wide range of cultural references, including references to other texts.
The book delves deep into the subjects of metaphysics and multiverses. It also explores the concepts of time, space, reality, and consciousness. The novel is written in an easy-to-understand language and does not require any prior knowledge of the subjects. Warren also explains how these concepts are related to each other in order to give readers a better understanding of their place in this world. It is suitable for readers interested in exploring the possibilities of their “otherness” and understanding their place in this world. The book is also a great tool for readers who are interested in exploring the concepts of time and space, as well as multiverses.