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review 2019-01-20 10:58
"Casimir Bridge - Anghazi #1" by Darren D. Beyer - abandoned at 75%
Casimir Bridge (Anghazi Series) (Volume 1) - Darren Beyer

"Casimir Bridge" is an award-winning technothriller that combines deep space exploration and advanced technology with vicious corporate intrigue and global power struggles. The last thing I expected when I started this book, was to be abandoning it at 75%.

 

For me, the book got off to a weak start with a device I hate, a prologue. It was a short chapter that started in the middle of some action, ended with violence and was followed by a "One Week Earlier" heading before chapter two. The prologue wasn't badly done but I think it was a poor editing decision. To me, it shows a lack of confidence in either the reader or the writing. It says "let's show them some action at the beginning so we don't lose them while we're setting up."


I enjoyed the next part, which set up the good guys, the bad guys, and the likeable outsider to whom everything could be explained, in this case, a young reporter who actually investigates things. There was some explanation of the technology and a little world building. Then, for reasons I still don't understand, we headed off for a Zulu dance festival where our young reporter turns out to be part of the privileged elite. What that added to the plot or the characterisation still isn't clear to me.

 

By thirty-two per cent I was wondering if I would continue with the book. I liked the idea of intrigue on an interplanetary scale, larded with big dollops of hard science but I wasn't connecting with it on a personal level. Then the plot took a turn, our young reporter was rescued from a dire situation by a tall, dark and handsome, respectful, competent, quietly-alpha male and real thriller stuff started to happen at some speed.


So I continued, initially because I wanted to know what would happen next, and then because the science was interesting.

 

I stopped at seventy-five per cent when I realised I no longer had anything more than a mild curiosity about what would happen next.

 

When I'm reading a thriller, I expect to be keen to find out what happens and or be committed to the success of at least one character.. Neither the lead good guy nor the lead bad guy had much going for them to hold my interest. The politics was too superficial to offer any surprises and, although our young reporter still offered some interest, the action was constantly slowed while we examined some aspect of space technology.

 

More Larry Niven than Michael Crichton, "Casimir Bridge" does Hard SF well but struggles for traction as a thriller. If your main interest is in space science, spiced with strategy games, I think you'll have fun with this. If you really want a thriller, I doubt this will do it for you.

 

I read this as part of my Thirty Firsts reading challenge. This is a series I won't be continuing with.

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text 2019-01-18 15:56
Reading progress update: I've read 32%.
Casimir Bridge (Anghazi Series) (Volume 1) - Darren Beyer

I was just getting to the point where I was wondering if I would continue with this -it's intrigue on an interplanetary scale, larded with big dollops of hard science but I wasn't connecting with it on a personal level - when the plot took a turn and characters got connected and now I have to know what happens next.

 

So, I'll keep on keeping on and hope that the big science meets some big personalities at some point.

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review 2016-08-19 00:00
Casimir Bridge: A Science Fiction Thriller (Anghazi Series Book 1)
Casimir Bridge: A Science Fiction Thriller (Anghazi Series Book 1) - Darren Beyer I’m not embarrassed to admit it. I hadn’t read very far into Casimir Bridge, the debut novel from newcomer Darren Beyer, before I realized I’d just found my newest favorite sci-fi author.

Such elation doesn’t happen very often for me. In this case, I had been drawn into a very fast-paced, richly described, and multi-layered saga with vividly sketched and engaging characters. In particular, we meet three pivotal characters whose parallel trajectories are juxtaposed against each other throughout the story.

There’s Jans Mikel, the CEO of a vast interplanetary corporation that’s found the ways to make inter-Steller flight much faster. There’s Mandi Nkosi, a reporter who becomes aware of a conspiracy that involves a rival corporation and a not surprisingly corrupt government. It’s willing to use nuclear terrorists to instill fear in earth’s population. The leader of that conspiracy is Gregory Andrews, a classic villain willing to pay any cost to take away a rare element from Mikel and gain the power to literally rule the universe. Along the way, there’s no shortage of important secondary characters that provide depth and key moving parts in the environs of Mikel, Nkosi, and Andrews.

Yes, there are many aspects of the book that qualify it as a thriller. At the same time, the yarn is infused with many aspects that put it in the realm of “hard science fiction.” That shouldn’t be surprising as the author is a former space shuttle engineer who worked on numerous Shuttle missions, including the Hubble Space Telescope. In addition, Beyer claims he conducted many interviews with fellow experts to make the details as realistic as possible. The only noticeable omission in this realism is any explanation of the element Hyperion, the magic ingredient that everyone seeks to control.

For those who like comparisons with established authors, I was reminded of the equally complex series by Jack McDevitt and Kristine Kathryn Rush. I have only one complaint. The cliff-hanger ending is so abrupt I cursed to realize I was going to have to wait awhile to see what will happen next.

Kasimir Bridge is the first of a trilogy set in 2108, and I fear it might feel like 2108 before I get my next dose. Welcome to my new addiction. If you like intelligent, well-crafted sci-fi, it may become yours as well.

Written by Wesley Britton for BookPleasures.com
Author, The Beta-Earth Chronicles


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text 2016-05-28 02:04
Free on Kindle!
 
I enjoyed this one and gave it a four-star rating. 
 
From Smith Publicity:
 
From today through Monday, debut ‘smart’ sci-fi thriller Casimir Bridge, is available for FREE on Kindle. Enjoy the long weekend with tantalizing futuristic technology, deep space adventure, and thrilling plot twists. Casimir Bridge is a nuanced, thought-provoking, and deeply human space opera that draws the reader in and never lets go. Debut author and former NASA Space Shuttle engineer Darren Beyer puts the science back in science fiction with his deep knowledge of space travel and flight to give realism and depth to a genre that all-too-often leans on quixotic and half-baked tropes. 
 
 
"Nefarious bigwigs, collusion and galactic jumps against a cosmic backdrop; readers should definitely want to come back for more.” - Kirkus Reviews
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review 2016-04-20 15:02
A fun read!
Casimir Bridge (Anghazi Series) (Volume 1) - Darren Beyer

This is not usually the type of book that I’m drawn to but it caught my attention.  For one thing, the author is a former NASA Space Shuttle engineer.  Plus I’ve always been fascinated with space travel. 

 

This book takes place about 100 years in the future and travel to planets many light years away is now a possibility.  A reporter, Mandi Nkosi, stumbles upon a conspiracy involving the government, terrorists and Applied Interstellar Corporation, which is a powerful science and technology company.  AIC is the discoverer of hyperium, which has greatly speeded up interplanetary travel.  The weird thing is that hyperium can only be found one place in the entire universe – Saturn’s moon of Hyperion. 

 

I was a little disappointed that there wasn’t more about the finding of hyperiuim and thought there might be an alien twist involved.  And I got lost in some of the scientific explanations but then again I’m not normally a sci fi reader so those who are more used to this genre may be better able to follow that part.  But the book was a fun ride regardless.  I enjoyed reading this author’s perception of what our world will be like 100 years from now.  It’s quite a suspenseful book and has a couple of sub-plots involving Mandi’s mother and the loss of one of their scientists, Sophie, that make it even more enjoyable.  This is the first book in the Anghazi Series so there’s an open ending to it.   So if you enjoy this one, there’s a promise of more to come.

 

This book was given to me by Smith Publicity in return for an honest review.

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