Sunday, August 24, 2014

Zylan's Messengers by Sid Goodman

Zylan's Messengers
Author:  Sid Goodman
Publisher:  Amazon
Pages: 302
Release Date: November 8th, 2013
Source: Received from the author in exchange for an honest review.

Three civilizations, separated by billions of years in time and millions of light years in distance, come to life as their disparate histories converge to help the human race survive in 2408, when all of their bad decisions come back to haunt them. 

Ecological disasters, resource depletion and pollution have finally overcome technology’s ability to cope, as a last minute technological reprieve is offered from one of the alien races … but with a cost. 

Zylan’s Messengers reveals how one alien race was the proximate cause of the most destructive event in recorded human history; one that has never been fully explained, and how it forever altered the course of human development. 

Zylan’s Messengers is a story of the human condition, and humanity’s unique ability in the animal kingdom to make conscious choices that were bad for their own survival as a species

So, I am just going to start off this review by mentioning this book wasn't my cup of tea. While that doesn't mean it was necessarily "bad", I feel like a lot of my personal reading preferences kept me from enjoying this novel. Sid Goodman has taken a lot of time to think through the worlds he has created, but I found it hard to connect to anything that was happening. The first few chapters feel really disjointed, there is a lot of information all at once that makes things feel slow, and at times it reads like a bunch of interconnected short stories, but not necessarily a full novel. It starts picking up towards the end, but I never quite got into it.

It didn't feel like there were characters in this book so much as there was just a story being told for a good portion of the novel. There are individuals we hear about, but I'm not sure we ever really connect to any of them. Most of the dialog didn't feel natural to me, and it felt a little too scripted to really be believable. I don't know, I just felt really distant with everything happening. It felt like the author thought through his worlds, but it was hard to relate to anyone in them. Once the Messengers make it to new worlds, that changes a bit, but I feel like it may have happened a little too deep in the novel.

The author clearly has some big ideas happening, and while I'm not a scientist and can't vouch for the research, it felt like he knew what he was talking about, which was a good sign. The science was a bit heavy, which is always a good or bad thing with a sci-fi depending on the reader. Overall, this may be a book others will enjoy, but it may just not have been the right book for me personally. I want to be in the action, not necessarily observing from a safe distance, so that's where things fell short and never really picked back up.

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