I‘ve gone onto a different tack here. Originally I was trying to get a review for a full story a week. However, my Dad (a frequent contributor) passed away a while back and I’m having a hard time knocking down a book each week, especially monsters like Game of Thrones and Pillars of the Earth.
With this in mind, I’ve used Dad’s eReader to search around Amazon and pull down free short fiction, a way I can honor my commitments here and not have to read every waking hour. So, this week, our first shortie – The New World , a short “hook” story for a trilogy.
I wasn’t sure what to expect. Free is free, after all. And, heck, even I’ve got a couple of books on Amazon – one of them I put there myself without agents, editors or parental guidance. And when I hit this clunker in the first few paragraphs, I thought “Uh oh. Someone got Microsoft Word for Christmas”.
Here, a young girl sees the planet they are traveling to “…through just the couple centimeters of glass in the cockpit viewscreen.” And that caused my mind to hit a bump in logic – first off, a super modern scoutship wouldn’t use “glass” in a viewscreen, and it isn’t like you are looking “through” a window – you are looking at a video representation of the scout’s visual scanners. Through was a bad choice of words.
But, happily, everything after that spooled out remarkably well.
In The New World, young Viola is the daughter of the couple who will leave the prodding colony transports behind and race ahead to make a first landing on the planet they’ve chosen. It’s a auspicious task, one that anyone would be honored to be given. But not Viola. Caught up in her teen angst of who likes her and who is snubbing her, she sees the mission as an intrusion. Worse, she’s tired of the word Hope, since everyone on the mission uses it, over and over again. So, more like a young child on a long vacation drive than a trained mission specialist, she sulks and pouts over the long months.
But then comes the atmospheric entry and, as they say, childhood’s end. And here’s where Patrick Ness shines. I’ve flown planes where something goes wrong, where suddenly you have your hands full and things are unraveling around you. And unravel they do here, in the most horrific ways. Mr. Ness caught that feeling of speed and chaos really well – I’ll not say anything further, save that you might consider looking up this short novella for yourself on Amazon. And if it’s to your liking, there is a trilogy backing it up. Maybe you’ll like that too.
I don’t have time to read it, but if you do, I’d welcome your thoughts here.
Good read. And a clever marketing effort.