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on 12 September 2011
I thought this book was quite an interesting read.

In places the author did dwell too much on the technical aspects of things, going into intricate details, whereas in other areas of the book where you wanted that extra detail it was missing.

I also found the way the story moved forward at the end of chapters a little bit annoying, you would find yourself reading a part of the book and it would be compelling reading, then the chapter would end, that bit was left I think with a lot more depth and explanation to explore, but we had moved on.

That said the overall concept of the book was good, and I thorougly enjoyed the story.

JC
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on 4 October 2014
A very clever and well thought out story.
The world that is created is both beautiful and terrifying in the control that exists.
This well paced story is one that I will read again and again.
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on 2 October 2015
Nice twist at the end. Enjoyable read.
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on 15 January 2015
Not unpredictable, but a great short story. It's not hard to believe that science and desperation could lead us down the path before too long.
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on 3 October 2014
Excellent read.
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on 31 January 2013
This is a most peculiar book to review. Fortunately I'd read some other reviews which said stick at it and it'll be worth it in the end, and in many ways it was and I'm glad of the advice, because a number of times in the first half I nearly gave up.

That had nothing to do with the writing- Cantrell is a fine writer and the book is well edited, but it is just too frontloaded with technical information rather than story. For a novel, it is just way too technical; the science is definitely sound and the author deserves five stars for his research and technological know-how- the tech explained here and the whole scenario is entirely believable- it's just that there are pages and pages of technical description that is frankly brain numbing in a work of fiction- the art of a good 'hard' sci-fi book should be that the technology is believable and acceptable without lengthy descriptions disrupting the story telling...Alistair Reynolds is a good example of a writer that pulls this trick off.

However for much of this book, it's difficult to discern whether the author is wanting to write a series of articles for New Scientist, or a novel. In that way perhaps he would have been better providing all the techy info in an appendix or maybe a second, technical back up booklet, I don't know, it's just what at its core is a great story, is just muffled by a lot a stuff I- and I suspect many people- will just skim through.

Having said that- and the fact that the characters are inevitably very cardboard with all of this authorly attention to the technology- at exactly the halfway point the story suddenly takes off and you have an absorbing page turner that for a while you can't put down. Quite extraordinary. That fascinating tale is then muted a bit again by more OTT technical info but a real novel with an interesting story emerges.

In fact strip away all the techno guff and you have an excellent, old school sci-fi tale here competently written and worthy of five stars. The author needs to decide though what sort of book he wants to write, and perhaps if in novel form, concentrating on the storytelling and characters a bit more, because if he does so, he's clearly capable of producing some very good books indeed. As it is though, I finished this book feeling let down through a wasted opportunity...too much science and not enough fiction...shame.
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on 15 July 2011
Like a lot of other reviewers I thought there was far too much "technobabble" in this novel. The author often shoves long explanations of fantastical advances in science into the story which ultimately add nothing to the plot. I think you would have to be a fervent fan of sci-fi to rave about this book. It doesn't really get interesting until about two-thirds into the story. The ending is not too bad, if a little predictable, so I gave this book three stars. If you liked the BBC drama "Outcasts" you should like this.
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on 1 September 2010
I started reading this book on my notebook and switched to my Kindle when it arrived and so this has the distinction of being my first Kindle 3G read. There were occasions, however, when I nearly gave up on it, but my curiosity over where the plot was going kept me going.

It is not a sophisticated read, a little clumsy and in need of a good editing. I also felt that, perhaps it is for younger readers, although that might be doing a disservice to younger readers (I'm too old to comment). Certainly the protagonist seems to act and get treated like a teenager and that seems to be the narrative viewpoint. My biggest problem with the book is that the author has a tendency to dwell on overly detailed explanations that add little to the story and interrupt the pace. It is almost as if all of the research the author has done for the book **has** to find its way onto the page. Because of this I occasionally found myself skim reading parts. I don't want to give the plot away, because there are good twists and ideas in here, sufficient to keep me reading, but there is one scene where the main character is in a life or death situation and rather than develop that and build some tension, I thought it wandered off into some distracting explanation or another.

I think you have to read to the end to understand what the author was doing with some of the earlier chapters, particularly the future-history lessons, which initially seemed a little over the top - and overly juvenile in their explanations (although you will understand at the end). I'm not sure but, these might have been less distracting, if some of the other 'over-explanations' and 'analysis', were cut back.

In summary, I found it a little frustrating, but do not regret taking the time to finish it, even if I did have to skim read some of the (in my opinion) unnecessary techno-detail.
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on 9 November 2014
I really enjoyed this book. It was a bit of an unknown, picked up through a Kindle promo. Good pace, interesting premise with the odd twist. Read it in a day when relaxing by the pool on holiday, I just wish there'd been a bit more at the end.

Potential for a follow-up if the author fancies it though! :)
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on 5 August 2014
It may be of some significance that, when writing this review only a few days after I finished reading the book, I now find it difficult to recall much of what it was about. Readable if you've nothing better to hand.
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