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Spirit of Icarus [Kindle Edition]

Nigel Farringdon
3.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (5 customer reviews)

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Book Description

Brad Quantum, the leading test pilot for Zoeing, is trying to repeat his feat of ten years ago and win the round-the-sun space race. However what he doesn't know is that his teenage son Steve - and Steve's girlfriend Sarah - have built a spaceship for their high school science project and entered it in the race.

Brad's spaceship is by far the faster, but Steve's has better heat-shields, enabling him to go close to the sun and thus shave much of the distance off the course. But the question is how close? And when Steve falls out with Sarah over his daredevil tactics, he has to make some choices... like how important is winning?

Product details

  • Format: Kindle Edition
  • File Size: 164 KB
  • Sold by: Amazon Media EU S.à r.l.
  • Language: English
  • Text-to-Speech: Enabled
  • X-Ray:
  • Word Wise: Enabled
  • Average Customer Review: 3.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (5 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: #1,079,267 Paid in Kindle Store (See Top 100 Paid in Kindle Store)
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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews
1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars A Good Early Effort 25 Sept. 2011
By SbrKaye
Format:Kindle Edition
Having read The Year of Compulsory Childbirth, I decided to try this, by the same author. It is one of his earlier works. In fact I suspect that he was a teenager when he wrote it. It is fun as a good, solid, piece of juvenilia. And one gets a sense of the author's adolescent idealism and desire to set the world to rights from the more satiric passages. It's a fun read in its own right and the short length (a tad over 15,000 words) ensures that it is not long enough for its flaws to become bothersome. It has a tendency to jump around from scene to scene, the scenes being very short. In fact, one gets the impression that the author was thinking in terms of the cinema - it's a bit like a screenplay. But what made it most interesting to me was the way in which it offered an insight into the developing mind of a writer who went on to better things. In this short work, one already gets a sense of the writer's interest in ancient Greece that was to manifest itself in his use of Aristotelian themes in his later book. So, all in all, a good early effort.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Over exciting, over amusing and over too soon! 24 Sept. 2011
By Aramat
Format:Kindle Edition
This science fiction story of a race round the sun by spaceships made by professionals and amateurs alike has a certain boys-own charm about it. Although not one of the boys, I was able to warm to this tale of a young man determined to win and prove himself in the face of obstacles.

The theme is coming of age, stepping out from the shadows and standing on ones own two feet. I suppose I could quibble about the gender stereotyping: male ask risk-taker; female as voice of moderation and common sense. But who cares. There's some truth in the stereotypes and anyway this book doesn't really dwell on them. It just tells an exciting story about a boy's healthy rivalry with his father, who was secretly and subconsciously on his son's side all along.

But the story is not one of plain-sailing. the road to maturity is far from smoothe. However, I felt nothing but joy reading this book, even in its more hair-raising moments.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars No Matter Your Age...if you're young at heart 23 Sept. 2011
By bekay
Format:Kindle Edition
Although I am old enough to have read widely and mature enough to enjoy good literature, I am not too old to appreciate that sense of youthful enthusiasm that is the SPIRIT OF ICARUS. As some of you may know, the ancient Greek legend of Icarus involves a young man (Icarus) and his father (Daedelus) trying to escape from exile on the island of Crete by means of wings made of feathers, attached to their arms by wax. In the legend, the young Icarus, intoxicated by the euphoria of flying, ignores his father's warnings and flies too close to the sun, thereby melting the wax that secures the feathers. He thus loses his wings and falls to the sea and drowns.

In this space-age updating of the legend, eighteen-year-old Steve Quantum builds a spaceship (called, appropriately enough, the SPIRIT OF ICARUS) and enters a space race round the sun that is apparently held every ten years. His father (an experienced test pilot) is also there, in the form of a rival flying for a large manufacturer of spaceships. As in the Icarus legend, the young hero of this story also flies close for the sun, although for a different reason. He is not intoxicated by euphoria, but he is trying to cut down on the distance. (It's a bit like being on the inside lane on a race track if you see what I mean.)

But does this latter-day Icarus encounter the same tragic end as his ancient Greek antecedent? Ah that would be telling.
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4.0 out of 5 stars Old wine in a futuristic bottle 1 Oct. 2011
Format:Kindle Edition
The premise is as old as the hills: a race involving one underdog, a couple of experienced veterans and the assorted collection of kooks, villains and commentators. It's been done a thousand times before in everything from the Gumball Rally to Chariots of Fire. The trick is finding a new bottle into which to pour the old wine. Nigel Farringdon's conceit is to set it in space - more specifically a solar system unlike anything we know today. In Farringdon's version, Earth is not the only inhabited planet in the solar system: there are others arranged in a "Dyson Sphere" - a concept that Farringdon doesn't bother to explain but that will be familiar to any hardened reader of science fiction or even speculative fact.

Farringdon is not aiming for high literature here, only high octane drama. The book is very much what it says on the tin: a ripping yarn that doesn't quite manage to rip the fabric of the space-time continuum, but does manage to alternately excite and amuse. It is written for entertainment only, or at least mainly. It seems to have a few in-jokes about big business. All part of the fun.
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0 of 1 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars Spirit of Icarus 17 Sept. 2012
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
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