Book 188: The Explorer by James Smythe


The Explorer by James Smythe

Rating: 5/10

This is the first part of a series of which I read the second book “The Echo” first. I hoped that maybe there’d be some explanation to some things that bugged me in the second book and that’s why I read it.

In this book there’s a spacecraft that is travelling at warp speed (something I don’t remember being actually said out loud in the second book, but that’s one worrying aspect less), apparently just so that it could go as far as it can with about half the fuel and then turn around and go back. However, it’s more just a psychological thriller set in space – the crew and what happens to them, and mainly about what happens to the journalist Cormac Easton.

It is interesting in some ways for sure, the whole premise is quite nice, but I can’t tell more about it to avoid spoilers.

As a slight explanation for the second book in the series it’s fine. I doubt I would have wanted to read the second book if I’d had started from the first one. I think that “The Echo” really is the superior book and hope the following part/s will be as well.

The book surprised me by actually being surprising – you get used to what’s going on, and something happens to turn everything upside down.

It was a very quick read though, and I’m sure some people would enjoy it, I just didn’t really like any of the characters – maybe they’re not likable, or just too strange for me…  🙂

Book 185: The Echo by James Smythe


The Echo by James Smythe

Finished reading on July 18th, 2015

Rating: 8/10

This is the second book of a series of four books and the first of those that I’ve read. I hadn’t even heard of this book before I got this as a present. However the back cover mentions a space program and the disappearance of a spaceship, so I figured it should be right up my alley.

It was in a way. If you’ve read Andy Weir’s “The Martian”, then you might like it. In my view it’s kind of the movie “Moon” put together with The Martian and some extra dark substance.

So the premise – there’s an anomaly – something no-one knows anything about, except that it’s dark. And there’s the second mission going to investigate it several years after the first mission there disappeared.

I think that this book is interesting from the psychological side of things – what and how the members of the crew do and how do they deal with things, but ultimately it’s about sibling rivalry and (read it with the voice of The Sorting Hat) “a thirst to prove yourself”.

To not give anything away that’s how far into the plot I’ll go. Have to say I’m quite curious to know what happened in the first book (although it’s not necessary to read the first one before this one) and what will happen next.

I did find it quite interesting and a very fast read, maybe even a bit too fast – there don’t seem to be too many descriptions of anything really…

Possible spoilers coming up! Highlight at you own peril.

There were a couple of things that bugged me – maybe they were or will be addressed in the previous/next books – it’s the physical nature of the anomaly, the closed time-like curves, communication-speed with Earth and the stars that they’re passing by.