I am always looking for a good novel.  Truth is, my nose likes fiction best of all (though I read plenty of nonfiction).

So when Rachelle Gardner posted about a giveaway of Athol Dickson‘s novel Lost Mission, I was game.  (I was also, it should be noted, rather too optimistic about how quickly I’d get it read.  She posted in October.  Ah, well.)

I wasn’t sure what to expect, but when I read Dickson’s bio, which is a delightful story in and of itself, I suspected I had a winner.  (A sample: “In the same year Albert Einstein died, Rosa Parks made history and Disneyland was founded, Athol Dickson was born in Oklahoma to a traveling salesman and his wife.”  What’s not to love?)

By the end of the first chapter, I knew I had a winner.

Despite having four other books to read as I started Lost Mission, despite putting it down for at least a week here and a week there, despite travel and weird schedules, Lost Mission was a gripping, compelling, and AWESOME read.

Dickson takes a complicated tale, told from two different time periods and a myriad of points of view, and weaves them together in a way that’s nothing less than expert.  This book is a JOY to read.  (Maybe it helps I’ve read enough self published books with bad editing in the last year to really appreciate those components.)

These characters ring true, and though it took me a longer-than-normal time to read because of life circumstances, I had no problem jumping right back into the action and drama.  Though I’ll be lending my copy out to a friend, I’ll also be asking for it back.  This is the kind of novel that ages well and reads even better the second time.

Lost Mission read like a classic-in-the-making, and I’m looking forward to checking out Dickson’s other work.