Yesterday I finally finished the book that I started last Wednesday, after writing the Reading Roundup post. It was a long and detailed book in a small print size, so that is why it took me such a long time. Well, that is my story and I am sticking to it!
The book was Proxima by Stephen Baxter. Here is the blurb:
The very far future: The galaxy is a drifting wreck of black holes, neutron stars, and chill white dwarfs. The age of star formation is long past. Yet there is life here, feeding off the energies of the stellar remnants, and there is mind, a tremendous galaxy-spanning intelligence each of whose thoughts lasts a hundred thousand years. And this mind cradles memories of a long-gone age when a more compact universe was full of light… The 27th century: Proxima Centauri, an undistinguished red dwarf star, is the nearest star to our sun. How would it be to live on such a world?
Now, oddly, that blurb doesn’t bear much resemblance to the book I actually read. Other Goodreaders agree. So I will try to find a better one:
Mankind’s future in this galaxy could be all but infinite….
There are hundreds of billions of red dwarf stars, lasting trillions of years—and their planets can be habitable for humans. Such is the world of Proxima Centauri. And its promise could mean the never-ending existence of humanity.
But first it must be colonized, and no one wants to be a settler. There is no glamor that accompanies it, like being the first man on the moon, nor is there the ease of becoming a citizen of an already-tamed world. There is only hardship…loneliness…emptiness.
But that’s where Yuri comes in. Because sometimes exploration isn’t voluntary. It must be coerced….
Well, this one is a bit better! The book is about the first human colonisation of a planet outside our solar system, and also about the shattering and far-reaching political machinations taking place between factions in the solar system. Anyway, I gave the book four stars and here is my review:
It is very hard to rate and review a book like this. So much of it is fantastic: the amazingly detailed world building, the complex political events taking place and also some of the characterisation. But other parts are not so good and are quite tedious to flog through. I hope that, if I bring myself to read the sequel Ultima, some of the hanging plot threads are dealt with: apparent time twists, for example. The book is also too long and could do with being edited down. Yet again, there are other even longer books and series that keep me enthralled all of the way through because the tempo is kept up and the reader doesn’t lose concentration. So, I think it is worth persevering with this book, but I will have a think about whether I will tackle Ultima!
As I have now been to the Library, I have a pile of eight new books next to my bed. When I have uploaded this post, I am going to have a good look through them and decide which one I want to read first. Such absolute luxury. Hooray for libraries!
Happy Reading to you all!