by Gareth L Powell
I had not heard of the writer previously and can’t recall know why led me to buy the book, but I am glad I did.
The themes behind the story are not altogether new, but the way they’re woven together is quite original.
Mysterious arches begin top appear all over the world. In all but a very few cases, people who go through these “Stargate” style portals are ever seen again. Who created these doorways and what is their link with mankind’s future?
Taking ideas from a number of sources this is an intriguing and fast paced traditional science fiction adventure. I was particularly pleased with the way Powell deals with near-light speed travel and the confusing way relative time is woven seamlessly into the story. Many years ago Arthur C Clarke lamented the loss of believable science in mainstream Sci-Fi writing. I think he would have liked this book. I know I did.
The story follows two different threads, one contemporary, the other set in the distant future, with mankind travelling between the stars.
It all seems slightly disconnected at first but I soon began to see where the story was going. However, there were some unexpected twists as the two time-lines merged and the history of the mysterious arches is revealed.
A great piece of Science Fiction writing.
by John Green
I saw the film adaptation of The Fault In Our Stars when it was at the cinema last year. Whilst it is not the kind of film I would normally go to the cinema to watch, I was very taken with the film and its subject.
Having already seen the film I thought I knew what to expect from the book. It is basically the story of two teenage cancer sufferers who are draw to each other and find strength and conform in their relationship.
I had expected the book to be depressing, but it is not. Instead, it is funny, heart-warming and, above all, positive. There are moments of sadness, which is to be expected. But overall I found the book to be uplifting and encouraging.
Told from the perspective of 16 year old Hazel Lancaster, it is the story of how two teenagers, Hazel and Augustus, deal with the combined traumas of teenage love and terminal cancer. At times it is not clear which frightens them the most!
This is one of the best books I have read for a very long time. I was drawn into the story right from the start and didn’t want it to end. Partly due to the inevitability of the outcome, but also because of the writing itself.
A great novel and one I feel almost certain to read again.
by J T Brannan
I came across this book recently when I was looking for some new Science Fiction. It sounded intriguing, dealing as it does with the discovery of something that would change everything mankind thought it knew about our origins.
It starts a little like The Thing with a scientific expedition discovering something buried in the Antarctic ice. The discovery kick starts a series of events that is more than a little reminiscent of the X-Files at its most paranoid. Don’t get me wrong, I loved the X-Files at the time, but the idea of the secret cabal colluding with aliens to take over the Earth was pretty much done to death by Molder and Scully. Although Origin adds a little something different to the theme, not enough to make it original
Origins is a good enough read, but not what I was expecting. It is more of an action adventure than science fiction, with more car chases than hard science. I found the plot a little too predictable in parts, totally unrealistic in others. The way in which the heroes evaded and escaped capture pushed credibility a little too far. The books conclusion is a little unexpected and adds an interesting twist to an otherwise pedestrian story.
Nonetheless, Origin is a well written début with interesting characters. As a not to be taken serious read, it is OK, but if you are looking for something challenging with science fiction at its core, then this is not what you want.