- File Size: 905 KB
- Print Length: 302 pages
- Simultaneous Device Usage: Unlimited
- Publication Date: March 14, 2016
- Sold by: Amazon Digital Services LLC
- Language: English
- ASIN: B01ALMM9Z0
- Text-to-Speech: Enabled
- Word Wise: Enabled
- Lending: Enabled
- Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #719,708 Paid in Kindle Store (See Top 100 Paid in Kindle Store)
|Print List Price:||$11.99|
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Sunspire (The Reach, Book 4) Kindle Edition
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Sunspire is the final volume in Mark R. Healy's Reach Series, which has enthralled and captivated me from the start. Healy has a definite talent for generating excitement without wearing the reader down or having to constantly one-up himself in every novel. Original, well-balanced and perfectly paced, Sunspire gives you everything you want in a sci-fi action novel.
At the end of the last novel Skybreach, Knile and the ex-Redman Lazarus made it up to the orbiting habitat but were forced to escape to the skybridge when a planted bomb ripped the habitat and space elevator apart. The orbiting habitats above Earth are all linked by these skybridges allowing for transit between them. That is before the elevators were all shut down. Knile, Lazarus, plus Ursie and her new friend, the lovable old janitor Tobias, must make their way several dozen kilometers along the skybridge to the next habitat called Sunspire.
Back on Earth, Talia, Roman, and Silvestri resolve to make their way down the Reach, through the city and across the surface of a dying Earth to the Sunspire space elevator, which sits on a remote mountain across a desert wasteland. They will take this elevator to meet up with Knile then hitch a ride on a ship, per their original plan.
The book jumps between these two journeys, one on the surface, one up in orbit. Several enemies attempt to thwart them. The action definitely kept me hooked throughout. While earlier novels explored other themes such as post-apocalyptic despair, family, and friendship, Sunspire and its predecessor Skybreach largely discard these themes in favor of straight action.
You do not get much exploration or insight into the post-apocalyptic setting or any of the common themes in that genre. Healy does not explore the causes of the collapsing civilization or depict heroes trying to save their dying Earth. It is forsaken. Without this element, the post-apocalyptic scenery is mere setting. This disappointed me a little, only because the first novel explored this theme.
The family dynamic between Knile, Talia, and Roman played a big role in the first two novels but faded in the third and fourth. Here, they've largely coalesced into a static pseudo-family. Silvestri was an interesting secondary character, as were Duran and Zoe. This helped add a significant human element among the explosions and gunfire. The book doesn't really spend enough time on these relationships to make a big impact but I think it was strong enough for the kind of story he was trying to write.
Some of the characters felt a little too good to be true, possessing tremendous patience and insight despite their extremely rough upbringing. These are supposed to be ex-thieves, smugglers, mercenaries, yet tend to talk like sitcom parents at times. This was an issue for me throughout the series but it usually doesn't rear its head much. Most readers probably wouldn't care.
To sum up, an excellent and satisfying conclusion to one of the best science fiction series out there. Healy has a definite talent for sci-fi action, likable characters, and lively settings. My minor criticisms aside, I highly recommend all four books!
Mark R. Healy's clever utilisation of his cast of characters is on display again here and this is definitely one of the strongpoints (amongst many) in this series.
There's a lot of ground covered and some unexpected surprises in this novel....These characters do not have an easy time thats for sure. Again, as in the previous books in this series, the action and pace of narrative never lets up and we get an exciting and satisfactory conclusion, which lets face it is a pretty rare thing in series endings.
Many congratulations to Mark on developing and writing such a realistic and believable cast of characters who hang onto hope in the grimmest of circumstances. I've loved reading these books and very much look forward to whatever the author does next.
Independent writing, just like music, has a huge amount to offer. Do yourself a favour and give this great author a chance to entertain you
Healy steps up the action as Sunspire's heroes race to a forgotten decommissioned space elevator which has become the only remaining means to escaping to a better life offworld in distant space colonies, paradise-like in comparison to Earth. It is an adventure story as much a science fiction novel, without any intrusions of fantasy or garish sci-fi technologies that seem absurd or esoteric. The Reach is an easily visionable alt-future to our own world.
The author's world-building organically expands, and 2ndary protagonists shine in the spotlight and action, leaving readers wondering if a spinoff series is in the making (which would be very welcome). But readers will feel satiated at the end of Sunspire as loose ends are tied up in dramatic scenes of action and final exposition.
Mark provided me a free ARC of Sunspire in exchange for an honest review.