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Tumbler Paperback – April 27, 2010
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The Amazon Book Review
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About the Author
Brand Gamblin started life as a video game programmer. In his spare time, he wrote and produced short stories and videos. His comedy video series "Calls For Cthulhu" gained cult status among horror fans. His short stories have been printed in the Flying Island Flagship magazine, and in PC Gamer UK. In 2008, he wrote his first full-length story "Tumbler". Since then, he has written a steampunk retelling of George Orwell's most famous work ("1884"), a futurist novel which combines a neo-victorian Oliver Twist with Henry Higgins ("The Hidden Institute"), and a short story compilation ("The Danny").
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Top customer reviews
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But she has another think coming. How she learns of this is a big part of this novel's charm; a turning point about halfway through, in which Libby finds herself struggling to keep a little girl alive and conscious, leads her to realize there's more than one way to look at her situation, and that the life of a Tumbler has as much opportunity as hardship -- especially if, as Libby is, one is imaginative, willing to work, and willing to accept friendship.
I think this would be a GREAT book for any young readers on your holiday gift list, whether they typically go for science fiction or not. I cannot recommend it enough!
There are some great things that do make this novel while not a deep read at least entertaining. I did enjoy the story as it was just simply doing what it seems no other Science-fiction novelist wants to do and made a novel where killing is not the central premise. Libby is an outsider to the world so she makes a decent protagonist to help us understand this odd little world where mining and very little else apparently make themselves at home.
That being said this novel suffers from several issues, problems, and probably just little nit picks on my end. First of all, the protagonist Libby seems to fall under what I dub "Bella Syndrome" in that she's very plain. So plain, that you tend to believe it is an intentional move to try and insert yourself into the character. She has no interesting hobbies or personality quirks. She simply likes working and mining. I mean all I was really hoping for at some point was to try and understand this character who the entire novel is focused around. Over the course of the novel you see very little in the way of her background (though this is very intentional), or pass-times besides playing poker. I don't even want to get into how she becomes a hero, great reformer, and all around perfect human being without any real faults.
The science of the novel seem very spot on and the concept makes for an almost believable idea that this could be the way space mining works. At least that's the way it is sold, I could be completely off.
Overall, I will give Tumbler 3 out of 5 for length as if you really wanted to you can read the novel in a few hours as it's very short. I will give it a 4 out of 5 for price as the story is worth the 5 dollars you pay for it.
In conclusion, it has some major faults, but is oddly entertaining and unlike most science fiction you will run into. If that seems up your alley its worth checking out. If Character development and depth is important to you, avoid it like the plague.
If, on the other hand, you enjoy a well-written story reminiscent of those of Heinlein, read on....
An intelligent young woman who is willing to work hard to achieve her goals, takes the leap of faith to spend virtually everything for a ticket to the asteroids. Conned out her last credit on arrival, she quickly discovers that the libertarian frontier is a seemingly-insurmountable series of obstacles. Her grit and willingness to learn the rules (mostly unwritten) and use them to succeed brings her to the attention of an irascible old miner.
Libby continues to demonstrate the ability to learn, think and plan as the story unfolds. She is driven by a determination to "make it on her own" that initially makes her life harder, but her unselfish heroism earns friendship and respect that she only slowly becomes aware of.
In the end, the character and identity of the old miner is revealed, and Heinlein fans will appreciate the tribute to one of his most favorite characters.
I'd say this is actually two books, but that's not a complaint. There's a quite satisfying climax and potential ending about halfway through. I almost expected to turn the page and find another book or even some short stories, but was pleased to find another chapter in the continuing story of a young woman who takes a chance to make it rich, then finds that maybe money isn't everything.
Brand Gamblin presents the material well. The writing is quite decent. I'd give it my whole-hearted approval.
My four stars is equivalent to screaming READ THIS BOOK! I reserve those five stars for when I find a book so compelling that I can't tear my eyes away from it until I finish. Those are few and quite far between.