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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Beware, also published as "Infinity Beach"
Reasonable thriller, just take care not to buy if if you have already read infinity beach as it is the same novel with a different title for the uk
Published on 14 Mar 2009 by Ken Fowler

versus
3.0 out of 5 stars Unsatisfying but disturbing
I found this the most approachable McDevitt book although certainly not the most complex or thought provoking. The idea of humanity isolated in the universe was certainly at odds with established science fiction thinking.
The book is a mixed bag, its first half a decent mystery that makes you want to read on. Later a more disturbing element enters into it, bordering...
Published on 28 Jun 2001


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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Beware, also published as "Infinity Beach", 14 Mar 2009
By 
Ken Fowler (Leeds uk) - See all my reviews
(REAL NAME)   
This review is from: Slow Lightning (Paperback)
Reasonable thriller, just take care not to buy if if you have already read infinity beach as it is the same novel with a different title for the uk
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5.0 out of 5 stars Turn off the TV, you'll get a better picture here, 28 April 2000
By A Customer
This review is from: Slow Lightning (Paperback)
SLOW LIGHTNING is just about the complete novel. Great writing style, tantalising story and fabulous ideas that give currency to the future for this reader anyway. I thought ENGINES OF GOD was great, a page turning, thought provoking rush towards an almost impossible scenario, but one that I bought with ease. This novel however, has absolute confidence in itself, but not in an arrogant way, and not with any grand and perhaps outlandish idea at the end of it. This book made contact with aliens seem as real and as problematic as anything we deal with in contemporary life. It's about man simply not being ready for something that is in truth way beyond us. Our basic humanity will always be a stumbling block and I find that thought totally refreshing. Because this book is about humans, and not aliens, it's about us and how we don't really evolve. Intelligence-wise and health-wise McDevitt's world is superior, but there has been no great evolutionary step forward with regard to human emotion and instinct. Aliens are met in this novel with an almost primitively desperate ignorance. Which is what makes this book so good. The characters remain real at all times. There is a heroine of sorts, a vague conspiracy story, an urgent need to get to the resolution. But for me, the real treat of this book is in the subtleties. The way the future world is so inviting and aspirational, but scratch the surface and you come up with an incomplete existence. The aliens are a joy because they're not the aliens we're thinking of and yet they work better than any other alien life form, which you don't realise till you've read the book and then GOT IT. This novel hangs around for quite a time afterwards because it all seems entirely plausible. Frighteningly so, And it's an easy plausability, at no time did I back off and say no way. Read this book because it might just be a blueprint.
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5 of 6 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Slow moving but enjoyable "first encounter" adventure, 25 Oct 2000
By A Customer
This review is from: Slow Lightning (Paperback)
There is a certain flavour to McDevitt's books that I find attractive. There is little that is new in Slow Lightning and it is sometimes a little laboured, but it constantly kept me wanting to know what lay just around the corner. I think he scratches where most (moderately) hard sf fans itch.
This *is* an adventure - almost a who-dun-it - with a few surprises along the way. However, it is not generally the fast-action type and does a fair amount of exploring human motives along the way. Like his earlier books, there are a few rather large jumps of coincidence to swallow along the way. Still highly enjoyable though.
You will not be raving about this but, if you like e.g. Niven, Bear, Brin, then I think you will enjoy this too. However, I didn't think it was as good as the Engines of God.
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4.0 out of 5 stars Slow but sure, 16 Jun 2004
This review is from: Slow Lightning (Paperback)
.
It is the 31st Century and Dr Kim Brandywine works as a fund-raiser for a scientific institute that, among other things, explodes stars in a desperate attempt to attract the attention of extra-terrestrials across vast interstellar distances. Man has already gone far and settled new worlds, but has found no sign of any life anywhere and is beginning to believe the universe is quite sterile.
Dr. Brandywine wants to know what happened to her clone sister, 27 years ago, after returning from an interstellar trip in search of aliens and promptly disappearing for good. The rest of the crew either die or vanish, also.
So begins a strange plot that involves big company and governmental cover ups and interference, the discovery of a well concealed encounter with an alien vessel, ghostly happenings at a destroyed town and a blossoming love, deceit, bravado and quite a bit of theft.
This is a great sci-fi thriller with more emphasis on the detective plot than on hard sci-fi. It wasn't quite what I was expecting but is none-the-less a great read and difficult to put down.
There are no difficult concepts to tax your brain and ruin a good yarn. Buy it.
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3.0 out of 5 stars Unsatisfying but disturbing, 28 Jun 2001
By A Customer
This review is from: Slow Lightning (Paperback)
I found this the most approachable McDevitt book although certainly not the most complex or thought provoking. The idea of humanity isolated in the universe was certainly at odds with established science fiction thinking.
The book is a mixed bag, its first half a decent mystery that makes you want to read on. Later a more disturbing element enters into it, bordering on horror but the conclusion is to neat, to uplifting and simple. The previous reviews criticism of the space flight seeming to simple is accurate with characters launching themselves off without a care.
Still its a decent enough mystery, readable with likeable if slightly foolish characters. Now if only the ending didn't leave me wanting more.
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4.0 out of 5 stars Pretty Fast Lightning Actually, 14 April 2000
By A Customer
This review is from: Slow Lightning (Paperback)
This novel is set about 1000 years in the future, and mankind has still not made contact with alien life - a somewhat depressing thought. The plot focuses on attempts to make contact, and despite the 'Slow Lightning' of the title, events come together very quickly in this book, as is usually the case I suppose. Characters are nicely rounded out, and some nice ideas are used to predict our future society. McDevitt weaves in a conspiracy and many thriller staples to flesh out the story, all using his easy, entertaining writing style. A pleasant thriller-esque spin on the alien contact scenario - worth a read.
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3.0 out of 5 stars Slow Book, 9 April 2001
This review is from: Slow Lightning (Paperback)
Within this genre just about anything goes, so its hard to explain why I found this so unsatisfactory. As near as I can say, I reckon that there are too few characters and that the Author makes space travel too easy, too cartoony - the protagonists get into all manner of scrapes but its all a bit Nancy Drew and at the end of it all I thought 'well, that wouldn't happen would it'. Humanity is supposed to have reached a state of development so advanced that work is optional, prosperity universal - as you might expect, this utopia is just not very intereszzztin. . . . sorry, dropped off there....
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5.0 out of 5 stars Fantastic, 8 Mar 2000
By A Customer
This review is from: Slow Lightning (Paperback)
I got this book a few days ago and couldn't put it down. It's fantastic science fiction, the sort of thing I started reading science fiction for years ago and haven't read much of lately. What is even better is that Mr McDevitt has taken time to develop characters and situations that are typically science fiction but give them a new twist and a more believable viewpoint. This is up there with Hyperion and A Darkness in the Sky in my opinion, and the sort of book that I've felt Mr McDevitt was hinting at in The Engines of God and Ancient Shores but didn't quite get there. Brilliant - more!
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4.0 out of 5 stars Different, 26 Nov 2003
This review is from: Slow Lightning (Paperback)
I remember been drawn by the originatality of 'Slow Lightning', it didn't seem, and isn't a typical alien blasting story.
Instead, it's much deeper than that. Set in the far future, it is story of Dr.Kim Brandywine's attempt to find out what really happened to her sister, who was part of a crew looking for alien life, 27 years earlier.
The characters and technology are wll thought out, don't get me wrong, this is a good book, but I preferred 'Wheelers'.
This just seemed too far in the future for me to realistically form any links.
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5.0 out of 5 stars A fine piece of Science fiction, 1 Jun 2007
This review is from: Slow Lightning (Paperback)
After a long break this is the first book in this genre I have read in a while, and it reminded me of what I was missing. McDevitt has created a wholly credible world set a thousand years in the future. His heroine is well defined and believable. Best of all is the slow burning detective story about her attempt to uncover a decades old mystery. At turns, creepy, exciting and always engrossing this is a fine story. Reminds me of Phillip K Dick on a good day.
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Slow Lightning
Slow Lightning by Jack McDevitt (Paperback - 4 July 2011)
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