Wednesday, 28 November 2012

The Explorer By James Smythe

The Explorer
Release Date: 3rd January 2013
Publisher: Harper Voyager
Format: Hardcover
Pages: 260
Synopsis: A tense, claustrophobic and gripping science fiction thriller from the author of The Testimony.

When journalist Cormac Easton is selected to document the first manned mission into deep space, he dreams of securing his place in history as one of humanity’s great explorers.

But in space, nothing goes according to plan.

The crew wake from hypersleep to discover their captain dead in his allegedly fail-proof safety pod. They mourn, and Cormac sends a beautifully written eulogy back to Earth. The word from ground control is unequivocal: no matter what happens, the mission must continue.

But as the body count begins to rise, Cormac finds himself alone and spiralling towards his own inevitable death … unless he can do something to stop it.
Review: This a really hard book to review. I don't want to spoil anything but at the same time I want you to know how complex and finely detailed this book is. James Smythe is a incredibly talented writer. The plot is very intricate and complex but it's finely woven to form this sci-fi masterpiece.
The Explorer follows Cormac Easton, a journalist, who was one of the very few people on earth picked to go up into deep space. Once the crew wake up in space, they find their captain dead. One by one the crew die until Cormac is all alone. Stuck in the claustrophobic spaceship, he begins to realise that things aren't what they seem. When the spaceship begins to blare warnings at him and the oxygen level's begin to plummet, he knows there is no going back. Panicking he tries all he can to save himself, but he's just a journalist, he doesn't know how to control the ship despite all of his training. Time really is running out for him.
Cormac is our main character and he grows a lot throughout the novel, he really does change to a large extent. At first he was annoying, he was a whiny man, who was obsessed with his wife. That is until some events make this change. We then see him experience true pain and slowly he begins to understand what's been happening around him. I think he finally realises that the world does not revolve around him. The small being he is, is a minute part of the universe. The universe would not feel a disturbance if he died. He realises that the whole idea of him going to space to explore and be remembered is silly, he was selfish and didn't realise until way too late. There are much bigger choices to be made that could save all of humanity, not just himself. He realises that a sacrifice will benefit the earth more than his return.
The rest of the crew are all thought out and real. Some were annoying like Guy, others I loved, especially Wanda, I just wanted to hug her! There was a rather large variety of characters and each bought something new to the page.
This is a very complex book and it could get confusing at times but that's what Sci-fi is all about. The book is told from a combined first and third person perspective which is really interesting and must have took a lot of time to master. It does work well though and once you read the book you will know why. We get flashbacks from Cormac all about his past and how he managed to get on the trip to space. The Explorer is a modern Sci-fi novel that grips the reader from the start. It traps you inside a spaceship and does not let you go, you feel the oxygen levels plummeting, you're cold and starving, while a error message keeps popping up on the screen. There isn't much time left. What would you do? To find out what Cormac does get this when it's released in January!

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