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The Zondon Paperback – April 8, 2011
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About the Author
Robby Charters has spent time in about half of the places mentioned in the narrative (and did research on the other half). But apart from having "been there and done it", his biography wouldn't make very interesting reading, which is just probably as well. He was born and raised in Thailand, and presently lives in Northern Ireland with his Thai/Chinese wife, Bless and their son, Abie.
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Top customer reviews
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I found this to be an interesting book, with a good mix of real and fictional science, just enough to be plausible if not probable. As for the story, it's well-fleshed out and planned, and I didn't notice any plot holes. The origins of the aliens, both good and bad, and the tie in with the creation story,the dinosaurs, and the current events in the story are interesting and entertaining. The characters are from extremely different backgrounds, but their personalities, mannerisms and belief systems ring true, probably due to the author's research. This and the travel in the book makes this story appealing from a contemporary standpoint.
Unlike many sci fi books, this one includes research references and a list of definitions (including source and real vs. imaginary). I really liked that, because I don't tend to want to have to research stuff I find in a book designed for entertainment in order to understand it. However, it might have been better if the terms were linked to their explanations the first time they were introduced in the story, perhaps with footnotes. As it stands, I didn't discover them until I had finished reading. Then again, maybe that would have distracted from the storyline. I can see it going both ways.
On the down side, some of the details came too much at once in places. Already complex theoretical physics becomes even more challenging when fictional particles are added to the mix. Also, when about halfway through, the number of characters began to grow almost exponentially. I began to find it hard to keep up with them. Then near the end, they started using nicknames for some of the characters instead of the names they were introduced with. That was very confusing especially for Ed, Eddie, and Edward. Three names refering to two people. With some context and a little flipping back, I was able to figure it out, but it made that part of the book a bit slower to get through.
Besides the occassional information overload and confusing naming, I found the book to be peppered with word choice errors and verb errors, mostly the kind that would not be caught by spell check and that would sound right if read aloud. The story did seem to be edited, don't get me wrong, but it needs a little bit more to polish off a few rough edges.
Overall, The Zondon is a good story that fans of contemporary science fiction will likely enjoy. There are some grammatical issues, but the interesting storyline and well-researched science (and well-developed fictional science) make it worth picking up all the same.
I found this book for free on Amazon and made a goal to read it as part of an A-Z book reading challenge I'm participating in this year.
This was an interesting read unfortunately I can see that it might easily be one that is quite easily discarded before being finished. Overall I think it was well plotted out storyline with interesting features. I read it all the way through but I swear that it took me a very long time to digest the first two pages of chapter one and I'm not sure exactly why other than that the style of writing and sometimes oddly structured sentences were distracting not to mention the notion of twins right away that called for names that were closely related Eddie and Ernie. I had some difficulty being assured that we were always in Ernies head. After that bit it became easier to read.
A word of caution this has spelling errors-wrong words- missing words and very odd sentence structure on occasion that number beyond a dozen and for me reaches the severe warning level. Such things as the word father instead of Farther; Though instead of thought; 'that I do what have now done.'(missing an I maybe.) 'there did came a time'. There were instances where the grammar and word choices were correct but the sentence was a bear to digest and that often comes from passive sentence structure.
Robby Charters has a lot of background in religious study so there is a lot of theology in here. It is quite diverse and probably because his background is with interdenominational church. I did not find it preachy or anything of that sort and it was pretty integral to the plot of the story. What I did find interesting was the exclusion of many religions considered by mainstream Christianity as cults. The main reason for the aspect of exclusion to be of note is because this story reads like at least one of those religions. If I had not checked his bio I'd have thought Robby was one of that ilk. There is at least one time where the dive into theology becomes so steep that it could be construed as preaching (except it wouldn't be preaching anything from any of those interdenominational churches).
This story takes place in many geographical locations but it centers often on Ireland and Thailand, which I gathered from the bio were the two places the author calls home so he's well acquainted with these areas.
Also most of the characters often end up with odd speech patterns somehow related to geographic origin which is okay but when that serves as the only device to give the characters depth it falls short for me and even with that aspect they all manage to sound the same as many people complain when an author fails to use this device. Unfortunately it began to feel for me as though someone decided everyone sounded the same so lets change up the speech patterns. That's always a good trick to start with if you really feel you need to do that. In this case I think most of the time it worked alright, but on occasion I got confused about who was from where and had to keep looking back to make sure that that speech affectation worked for that person. Sometimes for me this use for differentiating characters by speech affectation becomes a distraction when overused.
There are a lot of pop references. Almost too many of those. And there were even some where the reference became a bit obtuse for some reason.
Also it became evident at some point that the quest in this book was patterned like some of the MMORPG's online. Each quest done in a specific order and often portioned out one at a time or at least in that order.
I'd recommend this to lovers of SFF that are not too finicky about the Science part and don't mind a lot if theological discourse. Also Young Adult, but not anyone who hasn't yet grounded themselves in their personal beliefs about religion. This could just get confusing.
There was even a place I started thinking Thetans. (And that's not even the religion this reminds me of.)
Overall I enjoyed the book it contained a lot of interesting information pertaining to mainstream religion and some unusual notions.
There was one very interesting passage that felt like a recurring dream I've had and it was really pretty creepy having someone crawling through ever tightening passages until they get stuck.
I wish we could work together like that, but I fear the selfish evil and hate in many mens heart is just too deep.