Anomaly Paperback – September 1, 2011
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About the Author
- Item Weight : 1.1 pounds
- Paperback : 373 pages
- ISBN-10 : 1478175559
- ISBN-13 : 978-1478175551
- Dimensions : 6 x 0.84 x 9 inches
- Publisher : CreateSpace Independent Publishing Platform (September 1, 2011)
- Language: : English
- Best Sellers Rank: #1,329,291 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
- Customer Reviews:
Top reviews from the United States
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I found the premise appealing. What turns out to be aliens who are vastly superior in technology (and maybe more) to us discover Earth. This is the polar opposite of a typical space opera fare where they either are mostly English speaking comely females longing to mate with the captain or grotesque monsters bent on our destruction. These guys want to chat.
The majority of the book is not only the difficulties chatting with an alien and a side note business about the worldwide civil unrest the existence on Earth of an alien causes. Curiously, the author dismisses the John McClane character from movies such as Die Hard as a figure not to admire anymore due to his method of conflict resolution. However, there are two scenes in the book where John McClane would have saved the day but the protagonist does nothing of the sort.
The book starts out in a roar, maintains its pace for a bit and then wanders until the very end where a crisis creates an ending. The text is rampant with typos and word misuse. The thing which really bothers me is, at the very end, the protagonist gets a message which can be interpreted in many ways. He chooses a way that I doubt anybody would guess and in the end, there wasn’t any reason for the vagueness of the message anyway. It cratered the book for me.
My idea of a protagonist is not some cowering metrosexual who has to have his girlfriend bail him out of a major crisis. Give me John McClane.
5 out of 5 stars
Sometimes a book will leave me speechless for good or bad reasons. Anomaly left me speechless for a couple days because I couldn’t find the words to describe how great of a story it really was. The end of the entire book Cawdron explains a little about what spurred him to write the story the way that it was written — and I love it even more. I had just finished the book. I was in that post-great-book-euphoria and then that part comes on and just solidifies my love for the story, characters, and overall way that the story was told.
I think the thing that I liked the most was that the person who was least qualified to make hypothesis was the one that they kept coming back to for answers. Sometimes you can have all the degrees in the world but it won’t help you see something that a school teacher would see.
I also felt that Cawdron did a great job going through the different reactions by different types of people. From religious to government types — everyone had a different feeling about it and Cawdron explained it in a way that both made sense and made the book feel incredibly realistic.
Cawdron is quickly becoming my go-to for Science Fiction stories because they remind me of some of the stories that got me into reading Sci-Fi in the first place. It just has that “old school” feel to it without feeling old (if that makes sense).
Overall, Anomaly will stick with me for a long time. The story was that memorable and well told. Cawdron is a master of his craft and I’m glad I have some other books of his to read soon.
The narration by PJ Ochlan really put the cherry on top of this. He was able to give voices to the character in such a way that they felt real. I love that about a good audiobook.
Top reviews from other countries
The characters were quite attractive and there was a naïve logic about the way they interacted, even if it was inconsistent from time to time. I have to say I struggled with 'visualising' the anomaly sometimes and the writer could go into some depths about flags hanging or blowing in the breeze. It also would benefit the reader if they were intimate with the layout of New York as there are some detailed references to roads, building, parks that made no sense at all.
This is a quite thought provoking story that takes a reasonable approach to dealing with alien first contact. There is a bit of shooting and massacring, that is required to make it believable for US readers (standard operating procedure in the US), but not much.
This was a story about assumptions and logic and that is what made it interesting.
This is a complete book and is not a trick to make you buy the ending in a 'sequel'.
Anomaly is self-published and I have to say it is one of the few self-published books that I have found both enjoyable and remarkably free of editing errors; there are a few but these days even the best traditionally published authors rarely get their books out without a few typos still floating around. His prose could have used a bit of additional gentle editing, however, it frequently felt clumsy and in places drifted off into inconsequential detail whilst in others omitted important detail. But this does appear to be one of Cawdron’s earliest works so I have hopes that this will improve as he gains experience.
The anomaly itself, the science of the investigation and communication attempts are all well-handled and maybe Cawdron should have confined the story to just these aspects but he also chooses to look at the religious, social and political aspects of first contact and here the book is altogether weaker; he raises these issues as a background to the main story but I found the events associated with them to be both unlikely and given so much less coverage than I felt they warranted. Ultimately the questions they raised were neither addressed nor concluded, feeling more like a rather scruffy wrapping around the main events of the story.
For the most part that story worked well and had a satisfyingly conclusion. The writing, though mediocre, has promise and is better than most of the other self-published writing I have so far read. The core ideas and science are generally well presented despite some of the peripheral aspects getting rather less attention than they deserved. All in all a good book, though, and I will be reading more of Cawdron’s work in the future.
This book only has a handful of characters who you really follow as they attempt to decipher the meaning of the anomaly which has appeared in New York. This takes place under the glare of the media spotlight. While political battles rage outside the team, they are rarely felt by the scientists and others who are trying to unravel why a patch of New York is no longer obeying our laws of physics and slowly rotating in the air.
The way the story reflects the tensions which the appearance of such an anomaly would cause is well portrayed, the ideas around communicating are interesting. The conclusion is satisfying, leaving you wanting more.
I would recommend this to both seasoned sci-fi fans and someone looking to dabble in the genre. The book has great ideas reminiscent of classic authors such as Haldeman, Sagan or Asimov, while being modern. For me this was a pleasing break from the heavier Banks, Hamilton or Anderson space opera I normally devour. Definitely worth buying.