Monday, May 20, 2013
Take the Star Road - a Book Review
I made the mistake of opening Take the Star Road up around 6 a.m. this morning, while coffee brewed and didn't put it down (but for coffee refills) until I was done with it. Good thing it was my day off.
Reading a first fiction novel can be like watching the beginning of a world. When the world is one of deep space, in which life can be as valueless as spent cargo and as complex as the cosmos itself, it takes the mind of someone who has lived such adventure, discovering the secrets of worlds that are as beautiful as they are dangerous, to make it work. Peter Grant, to the blog world known as Bayou Renaissance man, chose well, in picking this genre for his first book.
This is sci fi of the classic genre. No space vampires, zombies or sparkly spaceships to be found. Such things can be fun, but it was not missed as the story launches itself, over time, setting up the details that will fuel not just this novel, but the next, into the cold, bright loneliness of the heavens.
Had the bad guys just said "kill em" in a text message - how interesting would THAT have been? Instead, Peter gives us a complete dictionary of rogues, and in understanding their words, and especially their history, their capabilities are that much more frightening, building tension in the story, that even late in appearing, is no less effective, as you turn page after page.
If you've not read sci-fi (you know, there are people that haven't eaten bacon either) perhaps because you were worried as to an understanding of the science of the future, not to fear. Peter describes in clear detail the structure, order and inner disciplines of not just a ship, but the crew aboard her. Some might say this distracts from the story, but rather, it lays the foundation for it, nanotool by nanotool, so when one of two equally entertaining subplots (one involving a rare antiquity as hot as a neutron star, and the other, a band of cutthroat space pirates) merge, there are no questions, only thrills.
It is very much a worthy summer read for anyone with a taste for adventure in the classic style. Click on the name of the book above for ordering info, only $2.99 in electronic format.
Posted by Brigid at 3:15 PM