Consider Man

Change the World

Fiction - Science Fiction
434 Pages
Reviewed on 02/25/2023
Buy on Amazon

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    Book Review

Reviewed by Asher Syed for Readers' Favorite

A.J. Merino crafts a scenario where we see just how small humans might be in context to the entire universe in this science fiction genre Consider Man: Change the World. Grant Fredericks senses that he has been singled out for saving from an early age. Near-death experiences that were too near for his survival to be a coincidence and some more profound subconscious thoughts and dreams test his comprehension of the legitimacy of humanity. He forms a relationship with an alien that he names ET after the character in the famous movie. The conversations between ET and Grant have unpeeled the layers of human history and Grant specifically. The outcome seems too radical to believe but that does not make it untrue. The reality is that Grant's premonitions were not crazy, they were right.

Consider Man: Change the World returns to the philosophical roots of classic science fiction that have been set aside over time. A.J. Merino approaches storytelling methodically and with passive pacing so that a reader can learn so much about Grant that his singling out makes sense. Grant being looked up to by his younger brother Steve has bonded the brothers and got them through difficult childhoods, and in its way, gives Grant the strength to push aside losses that come later. He is an emotionally battered war veteran and the book addresses death from two unique perspectives. The first is in the discovery that time is not linear, and the second is that death itself is transitory, meaning that it has the potential to be changed. The scientific and philosophical explanations are complex and thoughtfully written so this book is not a fast read but it is a worthy one. Recommended.

Pikasho Deka

Inspired by life-altering events from his own life, A J Merino takes you on a wild ride with Consider Man: Change the World. Grant and Steve Fredericks are brothers who grew up in Chula Vista, California. Since they were young, Grant has had several close brushes with death, with some not-too-ideal friends getting him into trouble. After a stint in the US Air Force and Army, respectively, Grant and Steve struggle to come to terms with civilian life for various reasons. While on a hiking trail, a chance encounter with an alien, which they name ET, changes their lives forever. With resources from ET, Grant and Steve set out to correct mistakes of the past through the Pushback application. But can they prevent the course of humanity while extinction looms on the horizon?

Consider Man is a sci-fi odyssey the likes of which you've never read before. A J Merino's experimentation with the organization of the narrative can take a while to get used to. Once it settles on the main characters and the primary plotline, it becomes easier to immerse yourself in the story. Narrating in an unconventional style, Merino uses a lot of expository scenes to describe the concepts and theories alluded to in the plot, with an underlying theme of how progress for progress' sake is not always the correct option for humanity. Recommended to readers who enjoy uniquely-told sci-fi stories.

Jamie Michele

Consider Man: Change the World by A J Merino is a science fiction novel that revolves around brothers Grant and Steven Fredericks, in a contemporary setting that harkens back to their pasts to deliver backstory. Their parents were deeply unhappy in their marriage and this, along with the rebellious actions of troubled youth, shaped who they become. For most of his life Grant “believed that a force beyond him controlled and directed his life journey.” His suspicions are confirmed while out on a hike that Steve bails on when he comes across an injured stranger who is an extraterrestrial. Later, while out on a bike ride with Steve, the brothers are forced to flee and just as they are shot at by their pursuers, the manipulation of time sets off a catalyst that reveals Grant's true purpose, and who—or what—he really is.

What happens when you find out that your life has been fully orchestrated and manipulated, that you have been created as a human pawn, but what you are being used for is good? Such is the conundrum in Consider Man: Change the World by A J Merino. Divine intervention is technically alien intervention. The extraterrestrial, who Grant simply refers to as ET, is instrumental in Grant's understanding of what it means. The story is character-driven and the plot is really just Grant's exploration of why. This progression leads to more questions from Grant about ET, such as who created the alien mentor. From a literary standpoint, the book is heavy on information either handled through third-person narrative or dialogue, and there are a lot more conversations that tell rather than show. Still, the basis is interesting and it is clear that Merino is deeply understanding of the topic, which I have no doubt will tickle the fancy of extra hard-core lovers of scientific anthropology.

K.C. Finn

Consider Man: Change the World is a work of science fiction in the action and adventure subgenres. It is best suited to an adult audience owing to scenes of graphic violence and explicit language throughout. Penned by A J Merino, the work explores the future of humankind through the eyes of a pair of brothers who have had more than their fair share of hardship. Based upon the author’s own difficult life experiences, brothers Grant and Steven Fredericks each follow a path that leads them to alien discoveries and a dangerous final plan for humanity. Only by reuniting can these resilient men prevent their fellow humans from suffering total extinction.

A J Merino presents a novel that, on its surface, offers everything one could wish for in an action-packed sci-fi conspiracy thriller but then delves even deeper once you get to know the characters and their backstories. There’s a deeper sensitivity to the work that conveys a sense of frustration and a powerful need for justice in the world, and it’s this driving force that fuels our heroes forward despite the chaos, corruption, and sinister plots which they uncover. I thought the dialogue was used well to break up the narrative and deliver exposition in a pacy and engaging way so that the work stayed conceptually rich but never got slow or dull. Overall, I recommend Consider Man: Change the World to fans of poignant and exciting science fiction and I can’t wait to see what more comes from the vivid imagination and atmospheric pen of this talented writer.