Wednesday, October 16, 2013

Under Vanishing Skies by G.S. Fields

I received a copy from the author in exchange for an honest review.

Synopsis: Follow Aron Atherton as he tries to forget the horror of a dying world. Under Vanishing Skies shows the darker side of humanity without law. With a small fraction of the population remaining, Aron and his mates try to survive changing weather conditions and pirates with rebuilt technology and the expanse of the Maldives. A chance arises for some to be rescued to the new Mars colony - who will make the cut? Will they want to leave the only home they've ever known?

Characters: Aron Atherton swears like a sailor, but is a big softie at heart. The only problem is a tough world that eats nice guys for breakfast. His ragtag companions each have great supporting capabilities. The enemies are realistic and terrifying.

World Building: I appreciated the realistic idea of rebuilding technology after an apocalypse. There are a few futuristic technologies that are certainly plausible from what we have today. The author does a great job describing the Maldives - the reader can really paint the scene..."Each island looked like a fried egg with a green yolk." I enjoy the proposed aerial view...these random analogies thrown in throughout.

Writing Style: I didn't appreciate the extensive use of cuss words, but they seemed to lessen as the book went forward. Otherwise, I only found a handful of grammatical or spelling errors. G.S. Fields definitely understands how to make you want to read to the last page! Impressive as a debut.

What I Liked: I enjoyed that this was not just a survival story. Mystery-suspense-intrigue-apocalyptic-scifi-with a hint of romance. I was satisfied with the well-rounded elements, and especially found the Mars colony idea a wonderful way out.

Deal Benders: Again, I could have done without all the swearing - not the best way to make a point about how crude a character is. There are also a few graphically described scenes in the aftermath of pirate attacks, and I feel they could have been handled a bit softer to appeal to a greater audience.

Overall Rating: I gave this book three stars because I liked it. Without all the 'deal benders', I would have given it four stars.

FOR FANS OF: Paolo Bacigalupi's "Ship Breaker" books.

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