I'm not usually a fan of science fiction....or apocalyptic themes, but this book I could read with thorough enjoyment and interest. I love the characters.....real, thoughtful, and perhaps if more young people read Bryan's books, they'd get a nudge to try the classics as several of the characters quote both the ancients and the Victorians with ease. The plot is fascinating and Bryan cleverly introduces the uninitiated to the science of the stars. I leaned a lot actually. The church comes out rather well in this, at least from the standpoint of the Revd. Michael.....sensible, intelligent, and pastoral...and in a very Brit way, charmingly self-deprecating without being annoying. Would be nice to be able to clone him several times! (I work in the church.....believe me, I know!) The murder mystery is gripping and I love reading that genre. This did not disappoint. I hope Bryan keeps writing this series for a long time.
It makes me feel uncomfortable to be critical about writing, with no mitigation, but this is possibly the most poorly written book I have ever read. It was selected by someone in my book group, so I read it honour bound, but that is the only thing that got me through it. The prose is wooden and simplistic. It makes Dan Brown look like a virtuoso wordsmith. The characters themselves are two dimensional stereotypes who behave in entirely unconvincing ways that no human being ever would. The plot is simply bizarre - and not in an interesting, quirky way, just non-credible, odd, and - surprisingly, given the "end of the galaxy" aspect of the plot - dull.