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Luminous and Ominous Kindle Edition
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Top Customer Reviews
But this novel is the kind of stuff that made SF my favorite in my youth.
I won't go into the plot as it's summarized well enough here. The concept is disturbing at the outset and only becomes more-so as the story progresses. The prose is spare and lean and the author manages to vividly describe the wildest landscapes and situations without ever resorting to artfulness or histrionics. And that is quite a feat. It's like if Albert Camus decided to write a kick-ass SF novel.
The book is honestly thought-provoking both in its scientific extrapolations and its explorations of human nature. The ensemble of survivors struggling in familiar world turned alien are all well delineated and sympathetic. In addition, Mullette-Gillman has tapped into the zeitgeist and provides us a kind of snapshot of where we are as a people; a culture of people who watch and listen rather than doing. I don't want to go all Oprah Book Club on this but it's obvious the man has something on his mind and imparts it without ever getting in the way of his own ripping yarn.
It fills all the requirements of a great SF novel. It's frightening, awe-inspiring and makes you ask lots of questions knowing you might have to come up with some of the answers yourself. It's also touching and even laugh out loud funny in parts. I cannot recommend it enough. If you want to know what SF once was and should be again then pick this one up or download and set aside a few hours because you're not going to want to be disturbed.
But I had problems, as others did, with the poor editing and sentence structure. I also thought the dialogue was very stilted and felt immature. Some of the scenarios seemed implausible also. Just as an example - the preparation for gathering materials and getting the shelter ready. They had THREE days and loaded up on beer and junk food?
But by looking at other reviews, it looks like possibly revisions were done. I bought the book right after it came out in November 2010 and just now got around to reading it. But usually when a book has had major editing done on it and is re-released, I receive an email from Amazon and am given the choice as to whether I want the newly edited version. I do not believe that happened with this book, which is too bad, because it has lots of potential.
I'm not normally into post apocalyptic novels, and could ordinarily go either way on alien invasion novels. Yet the alien animals and plants are so well thought out, so various and fascinating, and so eerily beautiful and deadly at the same time. Combined with the good writing and strong characterization, that would be enough to bring this novel from a three to a four star.
Something else turns it into a five star novel, one which you remember and think about long after you're done. Ultimately this novel is about the human condition and transformation into something we claim to abhor yet will not quite pay the price to avoid. It is possible to live near the alien creatures and not be infected - a couple of cats are smart enough to do it. Ultimately the question is what humans must give up to avoid being infected, and if they partially desire to be transformed underneath. Even if you are not perfect, a partial effort may be enough to avoid transformation - if you truly make it. While I haven't gone into detail about each character, we care for them all as individuals, and find a little more of ourselves in some of them than we would want to.
Admittedly there were a few small editing type mistakes, but nothing large enough that it detracted from the story for me. Thank you Noah for a great story!
Most Recent Customer Reviews
The author had some really interesting ideas.Read more