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Customer Review

1 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars `When it is time, we'll all go into that darkness out there', 17 Dec. 2013
This review is from: The Echo (Hardcover)
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"Space and stars, and... loss and loneliness"

After The Machine,James Smythe has become a must-read author for me: his writing is bold, highly-crafted yet effortlessly readable, and invested with a probing, restless originality and intelligence.

This is sci-fi, a genre that I would normally avoid, but sci-fi at its most existential as a ship travels into deep space to investigate the `anomaly'. It follows The Explorer but can be happily read alone. In terms of references, think Solaris rather than space opera.

Smythe does an excellent job of exploiting the latent creepiness of twins but makes it part of a symbolic structure of doubling in the book (the echo). There's so much that is subtly unsettling about this text that we're constantly on edge as we read it - and the last 50 or so pages are a tour de force that make this literally unputdownable.

So an intriguing, disturbing, brooding book which is meditative and deeply introspective: our main character travels further than any man before but finds the greatest mysteries in himself.

Highly recommended.
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