- File Size: 2756 KB
- Print Length: 190 pages
- Page Numbers Source ISBN: 1976938732
- Simultaneous Device Usage: Unlimited
- Publication Date: June 29, 2017
- Sold by: Amazon Digital Services LLC
- Language: English
- ASIN: B073HWCF56
- Text-to-Speech: Enabled
- Word Wise: Enabled
- Lending: Enabled
- Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,028,171 Paid in Kindle Store (See Top 100 Paid in Kindle Store)
|Print List Price:||$10.99|
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SAUL (The Great Curve Book 1) Kindle Edition
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Showing 1-4 of 8 reviews
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Anyway, that slow motion effect (bullet time?) is in effect for literally almost the entirety of Saul. For reals; with the exception of a few chapters here and there, the novel's fifty-thousand-plus words take place during a twelve-minute-and-fifty-one-second catastrophe.
Overall, it's a great book with a very unique plot and some wonderful sci-fi underpinnings. Would easily have been a five if the narration was switched up a little bit and the story-specific vocabulary was more reader-friendly, but as it stands, it's a very strong four. I was given a beta version of the same book a long time ago, but to know that I had the most up-to-date version, I went ahead and bought it. Well worth the price, which was only one dollar. I look forward to what the author cooks up next, and I'd love another entry in this universe!
Saul is on a mission to save his daughter, but the fact is, it's only part of this world built to the max tech adventure! Hard sci-fi DOUBLE HARD with perception altering strategy in a post-apocalyptic furturistic world and that is ONLY the beginning.
I was reminded of Weir's The Martian when it came to the accidental fame of one man's struggle to survive, but also this holds a lot of the Ready Player One feels too. I mean...any great scifi that is groundbreaking could be compared.
Get a copy. And enjoy the ride!
But then last third faltered a little... Lots of new characters and some time line jumping going on that didn't always make any sense, and I'm afraid reading the relevant date at the top of each section to compare it with the last section felt too much like hard work. I wanted more back story, the world building was intense but I could have had more, and there was the whole dreamworld tease we never got to look in on... So maybe that's coming in the next instalment?
Great fun from a promising writer, looking forward to seeing what he comes up with next!
That’s only partially true, however, because, in truth I don’t actually like my sci-fi that all that hard. In fact…
*Looks around, lowers voice*
I’m not much of a sci-fi guy at all; I tend to fall on almost the exact opposite side of the geek spectrum, the end where swords and magic and dragons hang out. As a young geek, I used to get irritated out of all proportion to reason when I would walk into a bookstore and see sections labeled “Fantasy/Science Fiction” because they’re two completely different things. I mean, you don’t see a “Mystery/Romance” section, right? But, I digress.
Despite that, when Brad graciously offered me the chance to read a beta version of Saul, I jumped at it, because I know Brad to be a thoughtful, articulate, and clever individual who, I had no doubt, would have storytelling chops galore. Turns out that not only is that the case, but Brad’s also a hell of a lot smarter than I am, too.
See, this is one of my challenges with hard sci-fi: in theory (pun intended), I love physics (psychics, too, but I think that’s a different thing) and other hard sciences, because anything that explains the complex interworkings of the world around us is a good thing. But, the upper limits of mathematical ability are stretched when I’m forced to count past 21, and I can really only hit that number easily if I’m naked and have the use of visual aids. So, when it comes to hard sci-fi that includes the harmonizing and synthesizing of complex physics and mathematical concepts, well…I look a little bit like a slow, naked guy trying to count to 22.
That doesn’t, however, mean that I haven’t tasted the fruits of smarter men’s loins in the past (I really need to rethink how I phrase these things lest I pull a Tobias Funke and end up blueing myself)—I’ve dabbled in some Asimov, for example, and digested some other stuff here and there over the years. I loved The Martian, in part because Weir did such a good job of explaining the science stuff. So, I’m not opposed to the hard sci-fi; I just take to it less like a duck to water and more like a man whose parents were killed in a cattle stampede ordering a hamburger.
Enter Saul. This novella sets up a larger story, as I understand it, and all of the elements for a ripping sci-fi yarn are here: near-future utopian society predicated on the use of technology to eliminate scarcity; real-time interconnectedness and data sharing/synthesis that ties together virtually (pun intended again) all of humanity; and a universal crisis that upends the status quo and may be either natural or alien in nature, leading to the conflict our heroes must resolve. Most importantly, however, it includes emotion and heart, two characteristics I (probably unfairly) don’t often associate with hard sci-fi.
Horner writes with verve and panache, and though he throws a cornucopia of new terminology and futuristic concepts at the reader faster than the speed of thought and with little explanation as to what they are, there is, for the most part, sufficient context to figure it out as you read* (a little more explanation would have been helpful for us non-habitual sci-fi folks, though). The core of the drama relates to our protagonist’s struggle to save his daughter, and that certainly resonated with me, and helped keep me grounded through all of the brain-challenging technological wizardry.
On balance, this is a very good beginning to something that, with the continued development of character and sharpening of dialogue, could be a truly epic and engrossing tale. Horner has talent to burn and an agile mind, and I’m looking forward to deeper dive with the follow-up novel.
(I will note that I am GR friends with Brad, but that in no way affected my review.)
*Brad very kindly provided a glossary after some readers suggested it would be helpful, but I’m not sure I was smart enough to understand the glossary