Million Eyes III: Ouroboros by C.R. Berry #BookReview #BlogTour

On a cold morning in 2219, Cara Montgomery and her husband, Jackson, have a frightening encounter on the beach. An encounter that leads to a war with a depraved and relentless alien race, the Shapeless, changing their lives forever.
Three hundred years earlier, Harriet Turner travels to the future to learn the shocking secret behind Victorian London’s most notorious serial killer, Jack the Ripper. A mysterious barber, Fred, goes with her, but Fred has a shocking secret of his own.

Hunted by the ruthless Miss Morgan and plagued by visions of a snake eating its own tail, Harriet discovers that the all-powerful Million Eyes isn’t the only one with an agenda. Time itself has one too. 

I'm thrilled to be hosting the blog tour for Million Eyes III: Ouroboros today. Many thanks to C.R. Berry and Elsewhen Press for inviting me and for my advance digital copy of the novel.

I was eagerly anticipating another fabulously twisty caper through time with Million Eyes III: Ouroboros but this is the final part of what has been a hugely enjoyable trilogy and so I approached it with mixed emotions. Having reached the end, I am sad there's no more to come but what a ride it has been! This is time travel at its most ambitious; over the course of the three books, characters have gone back as far as the dinosaurs and far into the distant future and the world within its pages has quite literally been changed time and again. There are helpful reminders here as to what occurred in the previous novels but the trilogy really does need to be read in its entirety to be fully appreciated. Ouroboros is a fitting title for what has to be described as a serpentine plot; this may be an altered version of reality but while events are incredible, they make sense and the research C.R. Berry must have undertaken is evident throughout. One of the most interesting and bravest aspects of the trilogy is that each book has followed different protagonists. Million Eyes featured Gregory Ferro and Jennifer Larson, Dr Samantha Lester and Adam Bryant were the main characters in Million Eyes II: The Unraveller and now, in Ouroboros, it's the turn of Harriet Turner to take centre stage. Harriet was introduced in the first novel where she met the man who would become known as Jack the Ripper, and the second instalment concluded with a tantalising cliffhanger scene between the pair in 2027. Now we discover what brought them to that point – but obviously, this is anything but a linear adventure...
The book actually opens in 2219, a world where teleportation has become possible, where people have microcomputers known as orbs implanted in their heads and where Dr Cara Montgomery tells her husband, Jackson that against the odds, they are going to have a baby. Life seems, if not perfect, then certainly impressively advanced but everything changes after a truly horrific encounter on the beach. What takes place here is the stuff of nightmares and I really wouldn't recommend eating while reading at this point! Back in 1895, Harriet meets and befriends Fred, a barber just setting up shop in Whitechapel. Despite an inauspicious introduction when she berates him for the tasteless name of his establishment – Jack the Clipper – the pair end up travelling to the future together. Fred is quite the enigmatic character and Harriet realises he is hiding something from her but exactly who he is isn't revealed until later in the book. The characterisation throughout is laudable; even some of the most flawed, unlikeable characters are nuanced enough to ensure their actions are understandable, if not excusable. Meanwhile, the ruthless, omnisciently powerful Million Eyes is an unsettlingly believable organisation given our own increasingly connected, surveilled world.
The weaving together of the many various strands of the storyline has always been first-rate but it is even more commendable in Million Eyes III; I can only begin to guess at the extensive planning that must have gone into writing something so fiendishly complex and yet which flows effortlessly throughout. Not a word is wasted and no matter how labyrinthine the plot becomes in the desperate bid to prevent the mysterious and deadly Shapeless wiping out humanity, it always feels plausible. There are scores of jaw-dropping revelations and just as it seems obvious as to how the story may pan out, something else is disclosed which changes everything. 
The examination of changes to the space-time continuum, altered histories and the risk of paradoxes means Million Eyes III: Ouroboros is as delightfully reminiscent – without ever being derivative – of the best of Doctor Who as ever, and if Russell T. Davies is looking for more writers for the series in the future, he would be well advised to invite C.R. Berry to pen an episode or two, I have no doubt they would be superb. 
The reason behind the Ouroboros of the title makes perfect sense; there are scenes featuring a snake eating itself but as with everything in this brilliant trilogy, there's a deeper, far more disturbing explanation. Million Eyes III: Ouroboros is an exciting, blisteringly inventive  and emotional conclusion to this outstanding trilogy. I have loved every word and cannot recommend it highly enough. 

Million Eyes III: Ouroboros is published by Elsewhen Press, purchasing links can be found here.

Follow the blog tour, details are below.

About the Author

C.R. Berry is an ex-lawyer turned full-time writer, whose fiction spans the sci-fi, mystery, conspiracy, historical, fantasy and horror genres – because why have one genre when you can have them all? His favourite characters are usually villains, hence why he likes conspiracy stories, where there are baddies at every turn.

Berry was published in Best of British Science Fiction 2020 from Newcon Press with a short story set in the world of the Million Eyes trilogy. He’s also been published in magazines and anthologies such as Storgy and Dark Tales, and in 2018 was shortlisted in the Grindstone Literary International Novel Competition.

Having completed the Million Eyes trilogy, Berry is working on two further novels. One is a horror called The Puddle Bumps, about a lawyer who links a mysterious kids’ TV show to an old murder case. The other is a collaboration with his fiancĂ©e Katy called Breaching The Wall, a sci-fi adventure about a spaceship tasked with solving the Universe’s greatest mystery: why the wall that surrounds it is collapsing.

He lives with Katy in Clanfield, Hampshire, in a house called the Gathered Worlds, named after the intergalactic organisation in Breaching The Wall and, appropriately, because they’ve themed all the rooms. Their bedroom is a spaceship, their kitchen a 50s diner and their living room a forest. Their office is a nerd’s dream, wall to wall with TV and movie memorabilia to fuel the magic that happens there!