Review: Regeneration X by Ellison Blackburn
ABOUT THE BOOK: If Charlotte Rhys Fenn could do it all over, knowing what she knows now, she would be different. Charley leads a comfortable life with her best friend and perfect match, Michael, a man with whom she shares two lovely pet children (canine and feline), and a home in the beautiful Pacific Northwest. She’s fortunate to have a caring and supportive family, and two amazing friends, Inez and Becks. Professionally, she holds a secure position as editor of a respected healthcare magazine. Her life is settled, as is her future. Acquiring this existence of hers hadn’t been easy. For at least twenty years she felt like a wind-up toy, methodically following preprogrammed rules—step one … step two. She even imagined herself as a minuscule, but essential, cog inside a big machine with the mechanical brain. No matter what she tells herself, it hasn’t helped since another thought flutters through her mind as frequently: Going through the motions is the same as coasting toward nothingness. It is 2025, the time is right. Technology, in a rapidly advancing world, makes it possible to reimagine the future by recreating the past or, more aptly, by creating another past. Charley must either embrace her well-earned, sedate lifestyle, or invite a change that could alter her future irreversibly. It’s a difficult decision, one that could destroy all she has endeavored for, turning their life not only upside down, but backwards, forwards, and inside out.
SNIPPET: “Outside of work I spend a good deal more time ruminating about one thing or another. Thinking, thinking and doing nothing. If I am being completely honest, I admit I create projects for distraction, which seems to give me a mental break for a short time, until I come up with something else to do. It’s a little obvious—even my husband jokes about it. And I have problems falling asleep. My dreams are strange and I wake up unware of my surroundings.” “I see. Your mind is very active, but you are not. “We’ll get to the details later. For now, tell me of a time when you felt in control of your life and your ability to make life-altering choices. You can start anywhere—a memory of a particular moment you revisit frequently.”
REVIEW: This story is so unlike the novels that I usually read. I automatically signed up to review this before even reading the synopsis because the cover is so interesting and attractive. Sometimes, you just can’t help but prejudge a book by it’s cover! Regeneration X begins with Charlotte Rhys, Charley for short. She is in her fifties and a little regretful of the life that she has led thus far. She is in a marriage which is no longer romantic and fulfilling. With the technology as advanced as it currently is in 2024, Charley feels like this is her opportunity to begin again. She researched the new process of Cell Regeneration which will rearrange her current cell pattern, allowing her to regress back to an earlier age. With her doctor’s assistance, she takes the leap. The consequences of her actions seemed to minimal until after the process has been completed. When she regresses to a 17-year-old version of herself, she realizes that this procedure will change the way the world sees her…including her husband. Since this is a once in a lifetime procedure, will Charley regret her decisions later?
My favorite character in this story is Charley. Her personality is a little ill-perceived at first due to the way she feels. When she starts visiting a psychologist, thinking that depression may have bottomed her out, she finds out that she still has the opportunity to make her own decisions. A light sparks and Charley is no longer the same as before she stepped into Dr. Baum’s office. I really enjoy reading about her self-doubts and the plans that she makes for herself, all for happiness. These situations and issues the Charley must face are real and I am able to relate to some of them.
In my opinion, this book really opens up possibilities of a futurist world, where technological advances make things unimaginable…very possible. While some of the information scares me, I really enjoyed the general concept of this book. I recommend this story to an adult audience; those who enjoy science and women’s fiction primarily since this story is about Charley’s life. I enjoy the pace of the story and the author was able to hold my attention throughout it’s entirety. I found that some of the issues saddened me, but others were enlightening and very much hopeful. I rated this with five stars because it is well-written, creative and interesting.
ABOUT THE AUTHOR: Ellison Blackburn is a full-time designer/web developer of fifteen years. Ironically, she often waxes nostalgic over simpler days. Her passions include writing fiction and poetry, painting, and collecting vintage thingamabobs.
Raised in Chicago, she relocated to the Pacific Northwest where she currently lives with her husband and three beastly, furry children.
She is a writer of fiction and poetry and the internationally published author of Regeneration X.