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review 2015-11-30 20:26
Deep Time
Doctor Who: Deep Time - Trevor Baxendale
[I received a copy of this novel through Edelweiss, in exchange for an honest review.]

3 to 3.5 stars

This is the last book in the “Glamour Chronicles” series. I’m glad I seemingly read them in the “right” order, because while they were supposed to be readable in just any order, I don’t think they really are. At least, “Deep Time” should come last, as it brings a conclusion to this whole Glamour thing. A good or a bad thing, depending on how you see it: I felt that this story may have fared better on its own, because the way it tied in with the elusive Glamour was a bit vague. It still worked in the end, though, so that wasn’t too much of an issue, at least.

In any case, it was way, way better than “Big Bang Generation”. Not over the place, and one of those darker Doctor Who stories, where danger feels more real, where people die in gruesome ways.

This time, Twelve and Clara embark on board the Alexandria, a brand new spaceship, in an expedition financed by a rich guy. Pretty much every member of the expedition has their reasons to try and find the mysterious Phaeron Roads, an ancient network of now-collapsed wormholes. At the end of the journey, they hope to find what their heart most desires: a long-lost parent, the money to at last find a place where they can live in peace, the kind of adventure money can’t buy… And within the Glamour Chronicles, doesn’t that ring a bell? After all, from the beginning of this trilogy, it’s been about “wanting”...

The plot was classical, should I say: not very original (expedition gets stranded, time and space go wonky, some people die, the answer comes through what remains of a mysterious ancient race…), but it was enjoyable, with well-timed dark moments. It would've deserved more development, more fleshing out. Like the other novels in the trilogy, it was short, and didn't leave much room for additional details.

I found the Doctor more active than in previous books, more “Doctor-like”, with more important screen time, too, and as a result, “Deep Time” felt like an actual TV episode, in spite of the large cast of characters (the large cast had kind of killed Twelve’s presence in “Big Bang Generation”, in my opinion). And speaking of these secondary characters, they were interesting enough; their backgrounds were kept to minimum information, yet it still allowed me to draw a fairly good picture of them (well, alright, Flexx and Cranmer less than the others). I wasn’t too convinced about Clara, though, as she was a bit too… passive to my liking. There were several instances of characters fainting after a time shift, for instance, and she was just a little too often part of the “weak” ones who didn’t wake up fast. I’m not really fond of such devices.

Conclusion: Not an exceptional novel, but one that does well enough as an enjoyable Doctor Who story.
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review 2015-11-03 16:14
Deep time and the wilderness
Deep Time - Anthony Nanson

Most of the wilderness fiction I’ve read is historical. Last of the Mohicans, Moby Dick, Robinson Crusoe, assorted American transcendentalists, – books whose authors who had the advantage of writing about places and environments that were largely unknown, unpredictable and clearly dangerous. While people still go off on adventures, exploring less known places, mobile phones and GPS make that a very different game. The places untouched by humans are far scarcer than they were two hundred years ago. And yet we have this collective attraction to the unknown, the untouched. For the greater part, fiction has replaced the wilderness with fantasy worlds, and the science fiction bid to seek out new life and new civilizations, and boldly split infinitives where no one has split them before.

 

Anthony Nanson’s “Deep Time” is a real stand out as a piece of modern wilderness writing. It is a speculative novel, but at the same time so rooted in observation and detail, that it is able to create a sense of adventure and mystery right on the edge of human experience. Where fantasy and science fiction can tend towards the escapist, Deep Time brings us back to ourselves, to the land, to the idea of wilderness as something precious that we ought to preserve. It also, by cunning means, encourages us to look at our own time and place with fresh eyes, seeing connections and possibilities we might otherwise have missed. It delivers all of this, and more, in a fast placed action adventure plot that does not let up for some 700 pages.

 

I’ve head genre fiction defined as ‘everything happens and no one thinks about it’ versus literature as ‘very little happens and everyone thinks about it a great deal.’ It frequently bothers me that modern publishing often defines ‘literary’ as something dull, worthy, tediously real and lacking in pace. Very little happens. Everyone thinks about it a lot. At the same time, more creative plots and unreal settings fall into the low brow pop culture bracket, and are not to be taken seriously. Shakespeare could write about faeries, Dickens could write about ghosts and be taken seriously, but they probably wouldn’t get away with it these days.

 

I know that it is possible to have books with pace, action, adventure and speculative elements that are also powerful literary pieces. The quality of writing, the kind of depth that can be woven into a plot, the way in which speculation can reflect the world back more meaningfully than representation can. The unfamiliar requires us to think, to test assumptions and the boundaries of our own reality, and you just can’t achieve that by giving people the wholly familiar. Anthony Nanson has entirely proved my point, creating an entirely modern novel, with great literary depth and the kind of narrative that would readily adapt into a summer blockbuster movie. We can have books that are exciting and profound. We can have meaning and enjoyment on the same pages. We can still have wilderness, it hasn’t all gone, and we can protect what remains and recognise what we’ve got.

 

Deep Time is not suitable for younger readers (I’d suggest 14 and up) and I heartily recommend it as a fantastic read.

More about Anthony here – http://www.anthonynanson.co.uk/

More about Deep Time here –http://www.anthonynanson.co.uk/Deep_Time.html

Source: druidlife.wordpress.com/2015/07/01/deep-time-and-the-wilderness
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review 2015-08-03 06:34
No Time to Die & The Deep End of Fear by Elizabeth Chandler
Dark Secrets 2: No Time to Die; The Deep End of Fear - Elizabeth Chandler

No Time to Die

Jenny's sister Liza recently died. Looking for closure, Jenny signs up for the drama camp where Liza died the previous summer.

Jenny knows someone there must know what really happened to Liza and she wants to find out.

This took about 30 pages for me to really get into, but it was fast-paced and kept me guessing. I also really liked Jenny.

The Deep End of Fear

Kate left the Westbrook estate 12 years ago with her parents. One night they left and went to England, where Kate has been ever since.

Not long after, Kate's mother left and Kate was raised by her father. Now that her father is dead, Kate returns to the Westbrook estate to bring a ring back to Adrian, the owner of Westbrook estate. It was one of her father's final wishes.

The return isn't simple since the housekeeper won't even let Kate speak to Adrian.

Kate gets a job as a tutor for seven-year-old Patrick, Adrian's youngest son. But, soon it seems that the past is trying to relive itself and Kate is in the middle of it.

This one hooked me right away. It was suspenseful and intense. I was guessing the whole time since there were many characters in this story that could have been causing things to happen.

I really liked both of the stories. A lot of mystery with some surprise twists. 

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review 2015-06-07 00:00
Deep Time
Deep Time - Ian Douglas Deep Time - Ian Douglas I am having quite some difficulties making up my mind about this one. Parts of it are really great, parts of it are not so great.

The writing in general is excellent. The authors knowledge of scientific matters is well established. When he digresses into scientific, biological or social discussions they are always quite well founded in actual science. Unfortunately here is where we encountered an issue that I have with this book. Personally I think it is way to often that the author simply stops the flow of the story to digress in something that, more or less, amount to a philosophical discussion about science, biology or sociology. It was entertaining the first few couple of times but after a while it just became too much, at least to this reader. What annoyed me in particular was that these digressions often happened in the middle of the action.

Speaking of action. This is indeed one of the strong points of this book and of this author in general. The action is excellent and well founded in science despite it being science fiction. The way the action is described and how the laws of physics impact the decisions as well as the outcome is just great.

The characters in this book is very well done, even the nasty ones. I have to say that I really, really did not like one of the nasties (and that was not the aliens) and I quite felt that this part of the book was more dragging it down than anything else. It kind of settled for the better in the end but I am still a bit put off by that part of the story.

The general story is sometimes a wee bit difficult to keep track of in the sense that it flows over both space and time. Maybe it is just me though and maybe it is because of these, previously mentioned, constant interruptions by lengthy digressions. I would not really like to put someone off by saying that the story is difficult, it just requires a bit of effort to read this book (if you want to get as much out of it as possible), that is all.

The end, well I have to say that it was a wee bit of a surprise. I fail to see how the end explains the why Sh’daar Collective tries to prevent the “singularity” but I still quite liked where the book went. Obviously I am not going to give away any spoilers but, despite a few gripes with this book, I have to say that I am really looking forward to the next book in this series now.
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review 2015-04-14 13:36
Deep time and human nature
House of Suns - Alastair Reynolds

House of Suns already has plenty of reviews. I agree the most with the review from William'sBookBlog. Compared to other sci fi, this novel is set in the distant future. For me that makes it harder to identify with that setting, but a story in such a distant future does have its own charms. And it's also compensated by the fact that it's a rather good story.

 

While it's not a 5-star masterpiece, the book did contain a lot of good stuff: a good story, sci fi concepts that made me think and smile, plausible astronomical settings and characters that are good enough. I liked it more than Revelation Space and will give it a score of 4+ out of 5.

 

 

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