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Sundiver (Uplift Trilogy)
"Children of Blood and Bone"
Tomi Adeyemi conjures a stunning world of dark magic and danger in her West African-inspired fantasy debut. Pre-order today
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His best stories surge forward with tremendous energy, each one avid to find some extrapolated consequence of its premise which will startle and challenge the reader. * INTERZONE * The Uplift books are as compulsive reading as anything ever published in the genre. * John Clute, THE ENCYCLOPEDIA OF SCIENCE FICTION * --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.
About the Author
David Brin is the Hugo and Nebula award winning author of 12 books, possesses a doctorate in astrophysics and has served as a consultant for NASA. He lives in California. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.
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However the actual story of this particular book is a bit weak. It really is a detective novel set in a sci-fi universe, and I am not a fan of detective novels. The whole Scooby-Do ending is quite contrived and some of the leaps you have to take to accept the explanation are far-fetched (not a spoiler, but an entire race hid a special ability for thousands of years, and no-one noticed? Really?).
You also have to accept a fair bit of pseudo-psychobabble, and as someone who studied psychology it was a bit grating. Multiple personalities are NOT schizophrenia, and 'visual glare' doesn't cause psychosis. But if you don't have a psychology background you probably won't notice those things.
That being said, I still enjoyed the read and look forward to the rest of the trilogy, which I believe do not have the same 'detective story' style.
Also a note for the Kindle edition, it contains quite a lot of distracting errors; misplaced periods, random capitalisation, spelling errors. Far more than I've experienced in a long time reading on the Kindle.
Digital version: *
The story itself is great.
The digital conversion is a bad job. Misplaced capitalization, wrong or simply missing punctuation, wrong word selection (eg "dining" rather than "doing"). And the basic formatting, e.g. margins, is also off-kilter.
The error rate has been getting steadily higher as I read through the text. At the start it was noticeable but not bad. At around 1/3 of the way through it's downright disruptive.
As a single example, midway through the book the hero just happens to have a set of lock picks and burglary tools with him, with absolutely no character history to suggest he'd even know how to use tools like this in the prior chapters. A chapter starts, the hero has lock picks (wait, isn't he a scientist?), and how convenient that when we are told he has burglary tools AND skills, we are also told that on Mercury in the future, they use regular locks because of "magnetic interference" to electronic locks.
Unfortunately, the book is absolutely full of deus ex machina moments like this combined with hasty "after the fact" back story to explain a characters actions or talents. It's almost like the author had to go back through the story and add in some asides to explain holes and gaps. Ironically, the author even makes fun of the concept of using deus ex machina!
I'm aware that this was David Brin's first novel, and first novels are often rough. I'm looking forward to trying the next book in the series, due in large part to favorable reviews from reputable sources. I've enjoyed his essays and short stories in the past, and fully expect the next book in the series to be a vast improvement over Sundiver.
***SPECIAL NOTE ABOUT THE KINDLE VERSION***
The Kindle version is chock-full of typos and formatting errors. This is not the authors fault at all, however it is important to point out that if you get the Kindle version, you're going to be have to read carefully to get past the punctuation and spelling errors.
The story was novel though more fiction science than science fiction. I became engaged in the story slowly, but I was hooked eventually. I enjoyed the book very much. However, I feel a little disappointed in that the author never really created 3 dimensional characters to which I could relate.