Sunday, December 16, 2012

REVIEW: Apocalypse Ocean

Title: Apocalypse Ocean
Genre: SF
Price: $4.99 (ebook)
Publisher: Amazon Digital
Point of Sale: Amazon / Barnes & Noble
Reviewed by: Chris Gerrib

I’ve been a fan of the SF writer Tobias Buckell ever since I met him at a convention.  He’s a cool dude, and writes fairly hard-boiled SF novels.  He first came to fame with Crystal Rain, set in a world colonized in part by aliens who wanted to be worshipped as ancient Aztec gods – human sacrifice and all.  This was to be Book One of a five-book series.  Alas, after three books, his publisher suggested they move on, and Tobias did so.  But he still wanted to write Book Four and Book Five, and had fans willing to read it.  So he did a Kickstarter project (full disclosure – I contributed) and the result is Apocalypse Ocean.  This novel is now available to the general public as an ebook.

Buckell has done something I am striving to do in my own writing, namely write loosely-connected sequels, such that a reader can start with any book in the series.  I believe Buckell has succeeded in that goal with this book.  Set on Trumbull, a human-colonized world that has fairly recently become independent of alien domination, the book features Buckell’s recurring dreadlocked agent of general chaos Pepper, one of his “daughters” Nashara and a criminal mastermind named Kay.

Trumbull is a world where trees emit a flammable mist, which rains down and coats buildings and people like napalm.  Oh, and there’s a dead zone, an area in which all unshielded electronics fail to work.  Lastly, an unknown “thing” called a Doaq is running around at night, eating buildings and people.  It is, in short, a nasty place; interesting to visit but you wouldn’t want to live there.

I’ve admitted my bias – after all, you don’t donate to a Kickstarter project unless you like the work – but Apocalypse Ocean is one hell of a good read!   Buckell starts the action early, and it never lets up.  Not only that, his worlds are not the stereotypical clean rooms of old-school SF; they are real, gritty places inhabited by believable aliens and people.  I highly recommend you read this book.


Just posted today - Tobias Buckell talks about the Kickstarter process.

1 comment:

Unknown said...

Naming the planet after Trumbell is a cute detail