Tuesday, June 10, 2014

The Pauper by May Nicole Abbey (Tour Stop)

Title: The Pauper (Book Three) (The Fall Series)
Author: May Nicole Abbey
This book can be found here: Amazon (Kindle Edition), Smashwords and Barnes & Noble.


A mysterious stranger
A desperate mission
A grueling journey through time and space

Life had always been an exciting adventure to Heather Higgins. Even after the death of her father, the loss of a fortune, and a disappointing proposal, she yet sees the future as bright and full of possibilities. At the miraculous appearance of a mysterious man with piercing green eyes and a powerful intellect, Heather knows she has met her destiny. Whether he likes it or not.

In pursuit of a dangerous mission, Ammon Maharahi doesn’t have time for spoiled, doe eyed beauties. But no matter how hard he tries, he cannot dismiss her. Amidst his frantic travels through time and space in the effort to fix a dark future, his illness wears him down. He must find and stop a fellow time traveler before it is too late and all is lost. Tired, ill and disheartened, he wonders if he is fighting a losing battle when Heather Higgins is thrust into his path, infusing energy and life into his weary heart.

But time is running out. The answer lies with a gifted university professor from the future, as bizarre as she is brilliant. As Ammon and Heather race through time to unlock the puzzle, they know Ammon’s life and the future of all humankind slip closer to catastrophe with every tick of the clock. 


Title & Genre
I have to admit that, at first, the title “The Pauper” did not tell me anything. It really does not let you into the content of the novel. But, as I kept reading, I realized the irony and the humor behind it, the same characteristics of style that define the writing throughout. This is a historical fiction/ adventure novel, with elements of clean romance.

The theme is an unusual one: time travel. It is not disclosed from the beginning, the author letting us guess and discover along with one of the main characters, Heather. I was surprised by the notion of travelling through time without a time machine of sorts. Besides the fact that I find it very original, it is presented and explained in a way that makes it sound logical and believable. But I would not advise you to try it.

The main plot is based on the second main character’s, Ammon, determination to change the future, to reestablish order and to save people’s lives. Though his motivation seems selfless, Heather helps us discover that it might not actually be so, that his actions might be related to his wanting to change the outcome of his illness. In order to help himself and others, Ammon is on a quest; he is in the search of a woman, Rachel Madera, which becomes a sort of a Holy Grail in the book. Even if the character appears episodically, she is always present in the other characters’ minds and runs the action from behind the curtains.
The sub-plots are numerous, they develop and resolve, leading to other sub-plots. These are mainly based on the undesired love that grows between the two main characters, while they both fight it, the adventures they take part in, during their travels through time and space, the characters’ inner struggle, and, most originally, exquisitely hidden in the side notes of the journal-like novel.

Point of view
The book is written from the point of view of one main character, Heather Higgins. She is forced – or so it seems – to write her memoirs. At the beginning of each chapter, of each page of her journal, she adds the comments of and on her jailer. These comments become a story on their own and transform the novel into a story within a story.

The author seems to love all her characters, creating a bond with all of them, making the reader fall in love with them too. All the characters, no matter how little space or attention get in the novel, are very well delineated, portrayed through their actions, words or direct characterization. The main characters are Heather and Ammon, a couple that fights not for, but against their love. They undertake the task of changing the future, and they end up changing themselves and each other. It is difficult to choose a favorite here. I loved them all, I grew attached to them. I could see the crazy Rachel Madera preach about nanotechnology in 18th century England before my eyes, I was taken care of and amused by the Vissers, I looked deep and analyzed myself together with Heather.

Because the theme is time travel, it makes sense that the action takes place in different moments in time and space – 18th century England and Africa, ancient Egypt and the nowadays – but also on different levels of existence, in parallel universes, if you will.

The setting is essential to the plot development and influences the course of events, making secondary characters, like nomad tribes in Africa, pirates and Egyptian kings, possible and plausible.

As I have said before, the book is written in a form of a journal or memoirs, with notes on the side, a story within a story.
The writing is full of humor, seldom the kind that makes you burst out laughing, but a more subtle form of it, which keeps you smiling for pages in a row. Irony and sarcasm also play a big role. Apart from the main characters incessantly teasing each other from beginning to end, irony is used as a characterization method or as a source of humor. The title is also ironic, but you will have to discover why by reading the book.
Dialogue is present throughout, as is inner thought, leading us directly to the characters’ core.
The language used is illustrative for each time period that takes its turn in the storyline. We read old English, modern US English and – what I guess are – Egyptian words.

These characteristics, together with the fast pacing, make the book an easy, fast, very interesting and, if I may say, delicious read. 

No criticism. At all. Nothing. I loved everything.
(Nothing to read here.)

I almost never say this, but you have to read this book! It is too good for you to miss out on. I recommend it to teenagers, young and not-so-young adults, readers of all genres, as the novel touches and quenches desire for adventure, romance, fantasy and history.


Favorite characters: the Vissers, the Dutch couple that took Heather and Ammon in. I share Ammon’s point of view on them, as I find them extremely entertaining, with their continuous fighting and endless sarcasm. Noticeable is the way the author uses vocabulary to emphasize their accent.
Favorite quotes: “She’s not trying to kill him. She’s just not a very good cook.” – I wonder if my husband says the same thing about me.
                          “Bugs. They were eating bugs. And still they smiled.” – Don’t get me wrong. I don’t like bugs. I hate bugs. I have an all-bug phobia. And I would certainly never eat them. The first two sentences of this quote give me the heebie-jeebies and make my skin crawl. But the third makes me burst out laughing. Each time I read it.
Favorite name: Rachel mad-as-a-hatter Madera – The humor that builds around the character, the exoticism of the name, or maybe just the fact that it reminds me of Madeira wines make this name a favorite.

Least favorite character:  Ammon – he is lovable and detestable in the same time. Sometimes I want to kiss him, sometimes I want to kill him. Or am I identifying myself too much with Heather here?
Least favorite quote: (Heather:) “Why did you kiss me?”(Ammon:) “Forgive me.” – men… they just don’t get it, do they?
Least favorite name: Cuddy – does this guy have cooties?


News headline: “Woman kills herself by jumping off 24-story building after breakup”
Severe depression, caused by breaking up with her boyfriend, led a young woman to suicide yesterday…

Wrooong! She had just read “The Pauper” and attempted to travel through time.

1 comment:

  1. The Pauper sounds exciting and intriguing.
    Hi Anca, thanks for connecting with me from #WLC. Please keep in touch.
    Best wishes,