Book Review – Relativity by Carole Cummings & Andrew Q. Gordon

Lateral Parallax #1
Publisher: Gallorious Readers, LLC
Pages: 416
Characters: Nathan/Cam
POV: 3rd
Genre: Urban Fantasy, Fantasy, Series

We’re not alone. There are an infinite number of universes and no two are the same.

For Nathan Duffy, life involves several truths—he has an iron grip on his talent, he will never walk again, and he will never stop putting his best friend Camilo Almenara ahead of his own well-being. In a world where talent can kill or save, Nathan’s nearly did both at the same time. When a drunk driver T-boned Cam’s car, Nathan lost control of his talent. He saved his best friend and nearly killed himself.

Nathan thought the accident that left him with lifelong mobility issues was the worst pain he would ever experience. He was wrong. After years bottling up his talent, it finally breaks through. The hallucinations he experiences induce pain beyond anything he’s felt. It also means he is a danger to everyone he is close to.

For Cam, life has its own truths. Nathan only had the power to save one of them, and he chose his friend. Cam walked away without a scratch, but the guilt is never far. He’s spent the years since the accident taking care of Nathan—or at least trying to. Now something is happening to his best friend and Cam can’t help. So he goes to the one person who can–his father, Colonel Caesar Almenara, a walking legend whose talent has no equal. And who also refuses to help.

If Cam and Nathan don’t find a cure fast, Nathan will quickly find himself drugged, drafted, and shipped off to war. Desperate and angry with his father, Cam takes Nathan to the one person he thinks can help, a friend of his deceased mother who helped work on a top secret military project that could be behind Nathan’s condition. A project Cam’s father led.

When Cam’s father tracks them down, Nathan is out of time. He offers to go quietly, but the Colonel has other plans. One that includes the other personality that keeps taking over Nathan’s mind. If the Colonel succeeds, Nathan has a chance at a better life. If not….

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I loved this story, and the series is now on my paperback buy list. Psi, or arcane, powers as they’re called here have always been one of my favourite genres. I loved the different spin in this story, and the idea of parallel worlds where one decision can make a huge difference. The characters are interesting, complex, and flawed, and I’m invested in finding out what happens next. My only complaint is that I have to wait a year to find out!

Although Cam and Nathan’s not yet romance isn’t the plot that drives the story, their relationship and friendship very much motivates their actions. I enjoyed reading their different perspectives, and in particular how Cam’s relationship with his father changes as the story progresses and he realises they aren’t so different after all. I liked how Nathan is far more than he gives himself credit for, and how that plays out. I’m very interested to follow Cam’s progress too. Although Duffy isn’t a POV character in the story, he’s very much an MC, and I’d love to read more about him and his fiancé.

I loved the worldbuilding around arcane powers, how they were measured, and the impact that could have on someone’s life. There isn’t a lot in the story about the ongoing war, but as this is only book 1 in the series and setting up Cam and Nathan’s role and the concept of parallel worlds, I’m guessing that’s going to be more of a focus going forward.

This is very much a story about the loss of loved ones, opportunities, but also possible futures. I liked the Colonel. He’s a powerful man, yet compassionate and doing what he can for his family. I also liked the strong women in this story, in particular Andi and Bebe, and hope to see more of them.

The action scenes, especially with the showdown at the end were wonderfully tense, and full on. The interaction between all three of the characters fighting together was exciting and I loved the differences, yet not quite between two of them.

I loved the setup for the series, and the hints as to Nathan and Cam’s future. More please.

5 out of 5 stars.

About Anne Barwell

Anne Barwell lives in Wellington, New Zealand. She shares her home with a cat with “tortitude” who is convinced that the house is run to suit her; this is an ongoing “discussion,” and to date, it appears as though Kaylee may be winning. In 2008, Anne completed her conjoint BA in English Literature and Music/Bachelor of Teaching. She has worked as a music teacher, a primary school teacher, and now works in a library. She is a member of the Upper Hutt Science Fiction Club and plays violin for Hutt Valley Orchestra. She is an avid reader across a wide range of genres and a watcher of far too many TV series and movies, although it can be argued that there is no such thing as “too many.” These, of course, are best enjoyed with a decent cup of tea and further the continuing argument that the concept of “spare time” is really just a myth. She also hosts and reviews for other authors, and writes monthly blog posts for Love Bytes. She is the co-founder of the New Zealand Rainbow Romance writers, and a member of RWNZ. Anne’s books have received honorable mentions five times, reached the finals four times—one of which was for best gay book—and been a runner up in the Rainbow Awards. She has also been nominated twice in the Goodreads M/M Romance Reader’s Choice Awards—once for Best Fantasy and once for Best Historical. Anne can be found at
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