Pelquin's Comet: Ian Whates

I promised a review of this a couple of weeks ago, but I'm afraid I got busy. However, never one to knowingly go back on a promise, here are my thoughts.

This is what I call 'traditional' science fiction. There is the beat-up but trying hard spaceship with a rapscallion captain complete with dubious past. The crew is a bunch of misfits and everybody has a hidden history, including the baddie your not sure is a baddie and the 'mystery girl' who is both a killing machine and a ripper engineer, but who doesn't understand how or why she can do either. Add in a hostile group of aliens, and a 'lost in the mists of time super powerful aliens' group and...

Hold on, sounds like Firefly. Or maybe Farscape. Or was I thinking of...

That's what I mean by 'traditional' science fiction. Some would call it space opera (I wouldn't). It sits firmly inside the comfortable definition many of us have about 'old school' SF.

The good news it that it works. I mean really works. It is a page turner (or button tapper, depending on your media). Thing is, you can take pretty much any story down to its fundamentals and its ends up like every other story (check out the 'net for similar comparisons that show Harry Potter and Star Wars to be essentially the same story).

Its not about the story. It never is about the story. There are only five stories (yes, I know opinion varies on the exact number, but cut me some slack here).

Its about what you do with it. Its about what you do with the characters, and the setting. Its about how you tell the tale. Whates is a Master storyteller. Enough description to sets scenes without spoonfeeding detail, enough depth to bring his characters to life without giving everything away about them  - actually quite a difficult thing to write. It pulls you in, doesn't demand too much from you, and lets you wash along with the story.

Certainly worth a read, and I am looking forward to the next book.

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