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Customer Reviews

4.0 out of 5 stars
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on 3 February 2014
The Outside Context Problem trilogy is an epic, enjoyable and very believable depiction of a hostile alien force coming into contact with humanity. Refreshingly, this is one science fiction book where the characters are very much aware of science fiction plots about alien invasions, from "Independence Day" to Niven & Pournelle's "Footfall" and many other references. A large part of the trilogy deals with the uncomfortable aspects of occupation and collaboration, sandwiched between the action packed beginning and endings of the series.

However, the books could do with some "Outside" help of their own in the shape of an editor. Parts of the story are inconsistent or have errors in them, the author insists on repeatedly using the book to political points about NASA and Israel (for example).. the sort of thing that you can get away with once or twice, but it gets repetitive. And I lose count of how many times I read "like a bad movie" in the book. And come to think of it "tits on a bull" is something that should only get one outing, if that.

But overall this is a very enjoyable trilogy, even if some of it is quite a tough read due to the subject matter.
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on 24 October 2012
Believable alien contact is one of my favourite subject matter and Iam always on the lookout for new authors, however the books still need to be well written, of decent book length and the right price.

I first came across this author when I read his book 'Invasion' which is also an excellent read, I couldn't believe the value for money aganist some of the rubbish kindle books out there which where higher priced and poorly written.

This book is the first one in the Trilogy of what happens when a superior race comes to Earth and wants the planet for themselves, if you like that sort of book you will love this.

My only comment being from the UK is that I hope in the coming books what happens in the rest of the world is included, its briefly touched on in this book and I have no problem with that as at the end of the day its a US book for a US market.

An excellent read and one that I couldn't put down, please Mr Nuttall release the sequel ASAP!!!!!!!!!!!
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on 27 October 2012
I found this book really gripping. As other reviewers have noted all the action is very believable. It strikes the right balance between the aliens being technologically advanced but still being subject to basic physics and therefore human weaponry! It is one of the few novels where humans give a good account of ourselves without resorting to ridiculous hero tropes or unbelievable weaknesses in the aliens.

I have only given it four stars due to the odd typo and, to my eye, the too often repetition of certain phrases and memes, which detracts a little from the overall writing which is very good.

I got the book while it was free, but was so impressed I'll be heading to the author's website to donate. I await the next installment of the trilogy impatiently.
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on 2 June 2013
This review is attached to Volume 1 but applies to the three books in the series. I'll try to avoid spoilers.

First though the editing - like most self-published books this needs a good editor. There are not too many typos for once, but even so an editor would have picked up the multiple use of the same phrase by different characters - 'teaching the horse to sing' for an unlikely event, 'knowing they've been kissed' for a successful military action. Other than that the story telling is pretty robust. I'm sure an editor would have tightened it up, but overall a good robust page turner.

The plot lines are derivative. As I said in the review title it reads like a mashup of the Harry Turtledove alt-history series of an alien invasion during WW2 with some of the plot lines from Falling Skies. I haven't checked publication dates against TV scheduling, so can't be entirely sure about the TV series, but Turtledove is clearly an influence. The battle for Chicago, the cross-cutting between USA, Britain and Israel are all common elements, even if handled in a different way.

Despite that I enjoyed the series much more than any other self published work on the Kindle. I bought Volumes 2 & 3 before I had finished Volume 1 for example.

A good holiday read, not too demanding, a story that races along, some genuine tension but not too much in the way of character development.
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on 8 July 2014
Oops! Made a mistake and put in my review of this book as a review of The Trojan Horse (which I haven't as yet read) for this book, which I reviewed through sheer boredom halfway through.

As it happens Outside Context Problem turns out to be a decent story - once you've nearly reached the end. Restored my faith in Christopher Nuttall as a page turning author. Just a pity about all the flannel for nearly three quarters of the book. I ended up skipping page after page as I am SO not interested in the make up of the American military services or the various characters' deep background history. He's come up with an invasion idea which he perceives could be true, hitting America as the "most important country in the world" first before the baddie aliens turn to the rest of Earth. True America has more armaments, more people, more everything so odds are they would try and knock them out first, and good ol' American know how will doubtless knock them back in the next books. If you want a quick read don't bother.
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on 12 June 2013
Like all of Mr Nuttalls books availale on Kindle this one is great value for money. I have noted another critic rightfully pointing out a similar concept involving Falling Skies, of which i am also a fan, this book was written prior to that TV series...Like his other books, this one has strong believable characters and he tells the story from multiple viewpoints. It is well thought out from a world political stance and in my mind is quite plausible. I am now watching the skies for first contact and preparing my go bag ;-)It covers various aspects of human nature and is certainly food for thought and makes the reader question what path they might take. It also has various moral issues to contend with which as ever are cleverly covered. Mr Nuttall writes accurate military actions and doesn't beat about the bush with sensitivities which is a relief when compared to other more cautious authors. He also doesn't give in to techno babble. All in all it's a good read and i look forward to seeing how the story carries on.
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on 31 October 2012
Plot description has already been given, so I'll just comment that this book is a good 'page turner' in the action department, although the cast of characters is perhaps a little large (and some of them are rather 'thin' .. not that they live very long in many cases). Many nods to previous books, films and TV series, but none the worse for that. Note that this is book 1 of 3 though, and you'll have to wait until mid 2013 (and pay, probably) for the conclusion (assuming Mr Nuttall sticks to his deadlines better than some I could name - yep, GRRM!).

As a free book (that week) this was very good .. I'll probably even pay real money for the other instalments.
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on 13 November 2012
very very long winded but I stuck with it as I thought it had potential, if there is a follow up it needs to pick up the pace
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on 12 April 2013
The first in a series of books dealing with a possible alien invasion scenario. Chris Nuttall manages to convey a sense of realism into his plots so that they seem quite believable.
By far my (current) favourite author in this genre, I bulk-purchased this title along with all his other released work after reading another of his e-books and I'm glad to say he hasn't disappointed me so far.
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on 8 November 2014
Great Trilogy. One slight criticism... the author repeats a few things a bit to much through each book.. not sure if he is thinking people will read each book in isolation so each book needs to restate key elements? It gets a little tedious - but not much though :-) ), but all in all a very thrilling read (especially for the pennies being charged for the kindle versions).
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