Customer Review

3 of 5 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars An anomalous expedition, 2 Feb. 2014
This review is from: The Echo (Hardcover)
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A science fiction novel. This is part of a series of four, entitled 'The Anomaly Quartet.' First in the series was The Explorer.

This volume does stand somewhat on it's own, in that it involves new characters dealing with some of the events from the first book. So you might be able to get into this if you haven't read that one. But as a whole they do feel like parts of a bigger story, so you would probably be better off starting with the first book.

This one runs for three hundred and eleven pages. It is divided into three parts. And further into seventeen chapters.

Just like the first book, it does contain a bit of strong language and some adult moments, and thus is really strictly one for mature readers.

The main character, who narrates the whole thing in first person present tense, is Mira. Which is short for Mirakel. He is one of twins. He and his brother Tomas are brilliant scientists. They have put together a space expedition to an anomaly near the solar system. An earlier ship that went on a deep space voyage near there was lost with all hands [for that story, see the first book]. And if you liked the explorer, this is well worth a look.

Mira is on the crew. Tomas is in mission control. The narrative tells of the expedition, and also details of the two brothers life before and their relationship. From which you get the impression of Tomas being the dominant personality of their paring.

When the ship reaches it's destination, they, and none of the crew, are prepared for what happens next.

This is described as 'literary sci-fi', in that it's a character drama tackling themes of the kind you would find in many mainstream novels. But one that also takes place in a science fictional setting. Doing things with the narrative that you couldn't do otherwise.

The lead character of the explorer wasn't desperately likeable. But Tomas is. And his narration makes the book an easy read. Although the prose isn't overly descriptive - not that the style of the book would require it to be - so you can end up skimming things if you're not careful.

Once strange things start to happen it doesn't feel as if we're going over ground from the Explorer. And some of the concepts explored here are quite interesting and unsettling.

As is the ending, and what happens in part three.

The likeability of the main character stopped me from going up to five stars when rating the explorer. As mentioned, that is not a problem here. But the only, minor problem with this is that it doesn't feel quite standalone. It could work well enough as a standalone read. But knowing there are two more books to come means it does primarily feel like a chapter in something bigger.

Still, it's a good read and a good bit of science fiction. And I do want to know what the next chapters of the quarter will hold. So it does it's job.
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Review Details

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Reviewer

Paul Tapner
(VINE VOICE)    (TOP 500 REVIEWER)   

Location: poole dorset england

Top Reviewer Ranking: 316