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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars More great reading from Eric Brown
It's difficult to review fiction without giving the plot away but, suffice to say, this is an engrossing story from Eric Brown. As usual, the main characters are very well described and you feel a strong affinity with them by the end of the book. The story itself revolves around the exploration of a remote planet many light years away, although there's plenty of action...
Published on 9 April 2011 by SteveBex

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3.0 out of 5 stars Interesting detective-space romp
This story is constructed in three quite distinct but interwoven parts.
The first, which is an SF plot in the classic style, has a space ship captain pulled out of a dead end job and given a mission to pilot a ship to an uncharted part of the galaxy. His passenger is a rich eccentric with a strange reason for the journey. This then develops into an entertaining...
Published on 28 Jun 2000 by John Peter O'connor


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3.0 out of 5 stars Interesting detective-space romp, 28 Jun 2000
By 
John Peter O'connor - See all my reviews
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This review is from: Penumbra (Paperback)
This story is constructed in three quite distinct but interwoven parts.
The first, which is an SF plot in the classic style, has a space ship captain pulled out of a dead end job and given a mission to pilot a ship to an uncharted part of the galaxy. His passenger is a rich eccentric with a strange reason for the journey. This then develops into an entertaining space-romp.
The second part, is a more down to earth scenario and sees a female cop on the trail of a serial killer. If the first part was classic space-romp, this is classic pulp detective stuff. However, while the first thread was an entertaining read, this section is pretty lifeless being devoid of suspense and it seems, ultimately existing more to tie off loose ends in the rest of the book than to add anything of its own.
The final part is the ending which attempts to draw everything together, answer all of the outstanding questions and provide a conclusion in about one fifth of the pages that are needed to do so. The result is that the conclusion of the book is unconvincing and unsatisfying.
Eric Brown is a master of the SF short story but the problem here is that, towards the end, he has forgotten that he is writing a novel and switched back into the wrong mode of writing.
I also got the feeling that, before writing this book, the author had just read the first part of Peter Hamiltons "Night's Dawn" trilogy and though "I could do that." This is of course reinforced by the title of the book which used a word which is a) liberally scatteed through Hamilton's monster trilogy and b) uncommon in English fiction.
With a more carefully constructed ending and a strengthened detective thread, this could have been a much better book. It is a shame that nobody in the publishing house pointed that out to the author.
I give this book three stars because, despite the flaws, it does contain some great writing.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars Such a let down, 14 Nov 2012
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This review is from: Penumbra (Kindle Edition)
I found this very disappointing. The plot is simplistic and it frequently flags up what will happen next. For a deep space SF story it could easily be reset in the 17th century aboard ships. Compared to the complexities of plot and total thoroughness of background setting of recent SF novels it palls greatly. Compare with for example - "The Hydrogen Sonata" - Iain M Banks (though any other of his novels) -- 1Q84 - Haruki Murakami (all 3) -- The Quantum Thief & The Fractal Prince (2 out of 3) - Hannu Rajeniemi. They are so much more sophisticated in their depth. I had to come back to check I had not bought a younger reader's book. Though I do enjoy Terry Pratchetts younger reader books.

I am now reading Brown's "Starship Summer" - we will see. Perhaps I should try some of his short stories.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars More great reading from Eric Brown, 9 April 2011
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This review is from: Penumbra (Paperback)
It's difficult to review fiction without giving the plot away but, suffice to say, this is an engrossing story from Eric Brown. As usual, the main characters are very well described and you feel a strong affinity with them by the end of the book. The story itself revolves around the exploration of a remote planet many light years away, although there's plenty of action back on Earth as well.
For fans of the genre, I would say the closest current author, in terms of style and subject, would be Jack McDevitt although I personally much prefer Eric Brown's novels.
The only reason I'm not giving 5 stars is because I get the feeling this author has an even better novel just around the corner!
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3.0 out of 5 stars Enjoyable Read, different style to other authors, 30 Jun 1999
By A Customer
This review is from: Penumbra (Paperback)
Interesting style, as you look at Eric Brown's universe through the characters, you do get a very different feel about each situation. At times the writing does not flow together. His use of technology was quite good, but at times his imagination seemed a bit hemed in - so not very thought provoking. The story moves quite quickly, but don't hold your breath for the ending. However worth a read.
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Penumbra by Eric Brown (Paperback - 11 Mar 1999)
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