Pilot X

Pilot X - Tom Merritt If you liked Dr. Who, then you’ll like Pilot X. X is a time traveler with a fairly unique ship. He just wants to fly his ship and explore things. Suddenly, in a sort of ‘thrust to greatness’ move, he finds himself in a time war. X is an affable fellow with great empathy who really only wants to do the right thing. He adores his ship, likes helping fix people’s problems, and is very intelligent with a bit of a mouth on him. As I said, if you like Dr. Who, you’ll like X too.

An engaging read, Pilot X pulls you easily into the story. Though it couldn’t be called a thriller by any stretch of the imagination, the plot keeps you on the edge of your seat. Wibbly-wobbly timey-wimey and all that. X is a fellow that you root for almost instinctively, and his ship, Verity, is an almost perfect illustration of believable AI. There are hints of personality here and there as the story goes on, but you never think of her as an individual character. She’s an awesome ship, but just a ship nonetheless.

This is mystery and drama in a science fiction setting. X pops in and out of timelines often, but it’s not a problem to keep track of what’s going on. This is because we only ever know what X knows. With Pilot X, Tom Merritt examines the perception of reality as filtered through the lens of controlled information.

My favorite line from the book was:

“It didn’t make him good or evil. It just made him responsible.”

I think that sometimes we get too fixated on assigning labels to people and forget that it doesn’t really matter. This one line in Pilot X cuts right to the heart of the matter. If what this person did is good or evil is in the eyes of the beholder. For example: Some people think a homophobic racist bigot will make a great president. It’s all in the lens you view things through.

Pilot X has great pacing, solid dialogue, and an interesting plot. It’s an easy read from a talented author, and well worth checking out.

Disclaimer: I received a copy of this book free from Netgalley for review consideration.