28 August 2016
This is easily going to be one of the top 5 books of 2016.
With its clever ‘Interview’ style, and somewhat mysterious main character, to the awe inspiring Giant Hand that only gets more awe inspiring as the story goes on, this is one of the best ‘We are not alone’ stories I have read.
I am going to try and do this review without giving too many spoilers away, which might be difficult, so if there are any parts with Spoilers, they will be clearly marked in a section with a heading ***SPOILERS**** and an ending ***END SPOILERS*** so you can dodge that part.
The story starts with a little girl falling into a pit and finding a giant hand. From there it leaps forward several years, and falls into this fast paced Interview style of book. The interviews are conducted by the same man, who is on a mission to work out what is going on. It’s difficult to give you more without spoilers sorry.
Needless to say, the story itself is exceptionally well written. The interviews themselves are incredibly clever, giving you pieces of the story, but not all of it, based on different characters. As you hear the different interviews, you can slowly (or quickly in some cases) piece together what is/has occurred. This is where the story is so clever, in that the Interviewer asks the questions that you would like to hear, sometimes getting the answer you want, and sometimes not, because it's not known, it's left to your imagination, or you don’t need to know right now.
Because of the nature of this book, the characters needed to be good, and they are better than good, they are exceptional. I can’t really go into each of the characters without giving away spoilers (see next section).
However, I can say, that the characters had all the qualities you would want for this type of story. There is the appropriate amount of humour, sarcasm and the like sort of emotional responses to situations. The Interviewer is probably one of the best characters I have read in a Sci-Fi story for some time, with all the correct amounts of arrogance, that air of authority that says he has the power to do what he will and there is nothing you can do about it, but at the same time, he is completely cool, calm and collected at all times, never out of control in any situation. He is always in front, and the information he is gathering is simply to keep him there. This character is brilliant.
The other characters in the story are just as good. There is Rose Franklin, the young girl who found the hand, and is now a Physicist and a part of the team working on studying the artefact. Rose is the project leader, and often comes across as determined, strong, but very soft as well, caring of her subordinates. She is an intelligent character.
One of my favourite characters of this entire book is Kara Resnik. Kara is a helicopter pilot with an attitude. She is somewhat acerbic, sarcastic, and less than friendly most of the time. However, this is a front if you can get past it. And that is how clever these characters are. They are multi-layered, with in-depth personalities.
There are two other major characters, Vincent Couture a linguist, and Ryan Mitchell, a Soldier. These two are involved with the project and have a major impact on the story at several levels. Their stories are utterly fascinating, and again, so multi-layered that it shows the skill that the Author has.
The Characters in this story are easily the best part of this story. Each character in this story is utterly brilliant, and as already stated, is a multi-layered cleverly developed piece of the plot that you only see towards the end.
This is a wonderfully intelligent, and very creative piece of story telling, giving a new twist on the ‘we are not alone’ genre. This should not be missed by anyone who loves their Sci-Fi.