Every once in awhile I come across a book that I feel is well written and with an interesting set of characters in an interesting story, and yet it doesn’t click with me. This is one of those books.
Given the number of books I read in a year, and with many of them being by authors who are new to me, I shouldn’t be surprised that I run into this, and yet each time it happens, it surprises me none-the-less.
A team of explorers are on an intelligent space ship, Alchemon. They are sent to investigate some unusual signals from a distant area, but everything possible seems to go wrong and soon they begin to distrust one-another … a dangerous thing to do when you need to rely on everyone for day-to-day survival. In time, they realize that this fight for survival is also a fight to save the human race.
Mostly I just found this book rather dull. The suspense didn’t built up enough for me. Only one moment stands out in which I wondered how one person was going to react and if another would manage to survive the encounter. Otherwise I thought the book was so evenly paced that you could pick up reading the book at any page and it would feel the same from that point on.
The characters never grabbed my attention and so when they started to fear one another I never knew who I was supposed to root for and who I was supposed to worry about.
The “something is out there” story also never caught on for me. I’ve read this sort of space opera fairly recently, and done quite well (The Expanse series comes first to mind) so this turned out to be quite a disappointment. There are differences, of course, but it just wasn’t enough to excite me into reading more.
Looking for a good book? Starship Alchemon by Christopher Hinz is a space opera story that hits all the right marks for clever characters and story, but does so in such a methodical and evenly paced way that the book is really quite dull.
I received a digital copy of this book from the publisher, through Netgally, in exchange for an honest review.
* * * * * *
author: Christopher Hinz
publisher: Angry Robot
paperback, 376 pages