The first novel that I have read on my Kindle is Debatable Space, a sci-fi novel by Philip Palmer. I found the book to be hard reading but I think by the end of it I figured out why I didn’t really like it:
- Character development; there was actually heaps of character development in this book, so I can’t fault it. What I didn’t like is that having developed the characters to a point, the author just went on developing them some more, and then some more. I didn’t really get the feeling that I “got to know the characters” because I kept getting side swiped by a new revelation. Half the fun of reading a story is getting to know the character and being able to predict how they are going to react at a macro level.
- Narrative style; whilst a lot of the book was written by a subjective point of view I never really felt like I was in the room. I think this could be due to the character development as well – maybe I am such a poor reader that I like to have clearly defined heros.
- Adult themes; a certain amount of explicit material is expected in the sci-fi genre. It just seems to go with the territory but this book seemed to take it to the extreme and it didn’t really seem to add much value.
- Lack of exploration; one of the things I love about the sci-fi genre is how authors introduce and expand upon bleeding edge concepts such as relativity, nanotechnology, alien life forms etc. This book had those elements present but I would have loved to see more exploration of these topics rather than leaving them as just props.
Despite what might seem like a negative review, I’d love to see the author write another book in the universe that he has created and address some of the issues above, perhaps with a smaller time-scale. I thought the DR robots were an interesting concept, especially the aspects of their remote operation.