Barren Waters: The Complete Novel by Julia Shupe (Book Review)

Sorry everyone it’s been quite a while since I posted any new reviews, I got a bit distracted with other things recently. However, here is a re-post of a book review that I originally did back in 2017.

Barren Waters is a post-apocalyptic tale of survival in a dystopian future where the world’s oceans have become barren and stagnant due to mankind’s pollution of their environment. As the human race continues to pump toxic chemicals into rivers, streams and waterways across the world it is not difficult to imagine the possible effects that Julia Shupe presents in this novel, and the scary thought is that it could come true.

In the 22nd century the pollution has reached intolerable levels, and the efforts of mankind to clean up their act and attempt to preserve their home, is too little too late. Plankton in the deep oceans have died out, leaving a wide variety of aquatic animals without food. Starvation becomes rife and mass extinctions leave the oceans dead.  Shrinking levels of oxygen in the atmosphere, further restricts the survival of both plant and animal life, including those of human kind.

Julia recounts the lives of two scientists with the foresight to prepare for the coming disaster, and the trials of their surviving family, a son and grand-daughter 50 years later, struggling with daily life in their harsh, unfortunate circumstances.

Favourite Quote:

“Jeremy had always believed luck was a double-edged sword. Good luck could easily turn bad. And fast.” – (p2)

The author, Julia Shupe kindly offered me a free copy of her novel, Barren Waters in exchange for an honest review.

The narrative jumps back and forth quite a lot between its descriptions of the unfolding apocalypse and of the resulting consequences, and the dates of the events don’t run consecutively, instead forming part of the story at the necessary time. It does not detract or confuse the story too much, but for those who attempt to follow the proper timeline from beginning to end will find this incredibly difficult and somewhat confusing. However, Julia has crafted a well thought-out and imaginative tale, which both intrigues and entertains the reader, while also provoking thoughtful scientific stimulation.

My only other niggle is the usual issue which pertains to most self-published books, the high number of annoying spelling mistakes within the Kindle copy. However, at 4 out of 5 stars, don’t let those errors put you off from enjoying this otherwise wonderful tale of human survival.

I may now be tempted to delve deeper into this author’s world, by reading her fantasy series The Sentinels of Kiln.

The Race Through Space: Event Horizon – Book 2 by David Hawk (Book Review)

This second instalment in the Race Through Space, Event Horizon series continues the story of Neil Webb and Marie Arroway from where its predecessor Event Horizon book 1 left off.

 

If you haven’t already, you can check out my review of Event Horizon book 1 here, or begin with the review of books 1-3 of the original The Race Through Space Trilogy via this link.

 

…warning: series spoilers ahead…

Continue reading “The Race Through Space: Event Horizon – Book 2 by David Hawk (Book Review)”

Ringworld Series: Book 2 – The Ringworld Engineers (Book Review)

Ringworld Engineers, the sequel to Larry Niven’s classic science fiction novel, Ringworld continues the tale of Louis Wu, and the alien explorers. Twenty-three years after leaving the Ringworld behind them, Louis, Nessus’s ex-lover, Hindmost to the Pierson’s Puppeteer race and the catlike kzinti, travel back to the massive alien construction.

 

…beware of possible spoilers for those not familiar with book 1, Ringworld…

You can read my review of book one, Ringworld here via this link.

Continue reading “Ringworld Series: Book 2 – The Ringworld Engineers (Book Review)”

Ringworld Series: Book 1 – Ringworld by Larry Niven (Book Review)

On his 200th birthday Louis Wu meets a Pierson’s Puppeteer, a strange sentient species of alien being thought to have vanished from known space. The Puppeteer, Nessus wishes to recruit him for an exploration into the far reaches of space. These unlikely allies are joined by two others to form an unusual group of four, and together they travel to what is known as Ringworld; a star orbited by a massive ring. These four intrepid explorers must now visit the Ringworld, tasked by those who lead the Pierson’s Puppeteer race, with learning more about the unusual world and its occupants.

 

Told from Louis’s Wu’s human perspective, we explore the Ringworld along with these characters, learning more about it as they do. The book is classic science fiction full of adventure and hard science. I love these types of stories, with their detailed descriptions of spaceships, planets, alien beings and the physical science which allows it all to co-exist. Trepidation and excitement at new discoveries keep the reader immersed in this fascinating world.

I found the book to be well-written and engaging, with a good balance of science and story. Though it begins to drag a little in the middle, with the seemingly endless and repetitive motion of the characters as they fly over desolate landscapes, rarely landing or interacting with the Ringworld natives. The ridiculous quarrels between the explorers also annoyed me slightly, dragging the story out. Towards the end I noticed a few errors cropping up, which is unusual in professionally published paperbacks such as this, but since I’ve read plenty of books with a lot more issues, it didn’t put me off reading.

As is usually predictable with science fiction books, there are numerous alien beings and strange species with difficult to pronounce names, such as Halrloprillalar Hotrufan and Zignamuclickclick. However, at 4 out of 5 stars Ringworld is an enjoyable classic for those who love their sci-fi filled with hard science and adventure.

I now look forward to checking out book two, The Ringworld Engineers.

 

See also:

Book 2: The Ringworld Engineers

Book 3: The Ringworld Throne

Book 4: Ringworld’s Children

Dark Matter by Blake Crouch (Book Review)

Today’s book review is the science fiction novel Dark Matter written by Blake Crouch, the man who created the Wayward Pines series.

 

… warning may contain spoilers … Continue reading “Dark Matter by Blake Crouch (Book Review)”

Dragon Teeth by Michael Crichton (Book Review)

Despite it being a posthumous release, I picked up Dragon Teeth for two reasons; the first is because I am a fan of some of Michael Crichton’s earlier works, and the second because the book cover resembles those of his Jurassic Park novels, which I adore. You can read my Jurassic Park and Lost World reviews via this link.

 

Unfortunately, this book is nothing like Jurassic Park, in both style and substance. Instead, it is an old Wild West story in which a group of scientists dig up dinosaur bones, in a hostile land filled with Indian tribes and pistol fights.

In hindsight it became glaringly obvious that Dragon Teeth was not my type of novel. Originally written by Crichton back in the 70s and shelved for decades, this book appears to have been pieced together from both the early manuscript, and copious notes which had been added on to it over the intervening years, and it shows. As a result the finished product doesn’t feel like it was written by the Michael Crichton that we’ve all come to know and love.

While I enjoyed reading about the excavations; the scientific processes and procedures, the names of the dinosaur species etc. there just wasn’t enough of it to keep me interested in the overall story. It is ok as a stand-alone novel, though just not my usual cup of tea. At 2 out of 5 stars fans of historical fiction and/or Westerns may enjoy Dragon Teeth, just don’t expect it to be anything like Jurassic Park, or indeed any other novel from Michael Crichton.

 

See also:

Jurassic Park

The Lost World