Far from the Light of Heaven
Rating - ⭐⭐⭐
"The colony ship Ragtime docks in the Lagos system, having traveled light-years to bring one thousand sleeping souls to a new home among the stars. But when first mate Michelle Campion rouses, she discovers some of the sleepers will never wake.
Answering Campion’s distress call, investigator Rasheed Fin is tasked with finding out who is responsible for these deaths. Soon a sinister mystery unfolds aboard the gigantic vessel, one that will have repercussions for the entire system—from the scheming politicians of Lagos station, to the colony planet Bloodroot, to other far-flung systems, and indeed to Earth itself."
Far from the Light of Heaven is an upcoming standalone sci-fi novel by Tade Thompson.
First and foremost I would like to thank NetGalley and Orbit for granting me access to review this book. Please note that this in no way affects my opinions. Also note that as what I read was an ARC, things may be subject to change for the final release.
My feelings for this book were overwhelmingly neutral as nothing about this really spoke to me. I found that the story and the characters simply didn't hold my interest. There was a lot of potential, and I think that a lot of people would enjoy this, but it didn't do anything for me.
The writing was digestible enough to get through, though there were a lot of short sentences which I am personally not a fan of. I would rather have a bit of a run-on sentence than short and to the point ones as it feels choppy and robotic.
My only other issue with the writing was the format of the story. I found that there was a lot of wasted space due to the multiple perspectives. For example, an entire chapter was dedicated to the POV of a random character that contained only two lines of dialogue. I find that once you move past three POVs, the story starts to get muddled as there is too much going on.
As I said in the introduction, I didn't get much out of this story. This is not the first form of media to cover this kind of story, and it won't be the last. Now, I said that this had potential as there is a lot of room to create something different, but nothing about this stood out to me and set itself apart from the rest.
I also thought that the story got too big. I might have enjoyed this better if it was contained only to the ship, and maybe partially immediately outside of it. When the pieces of the puzzle started to fall into place this was made clear as suddenly the story got a bit too complex and outgrew its foundation. Despite the ambitious nature of the plot, however, for a good chunk of the book I also felt like not much was happening.
As I said in the writing section, you follow a large amount of characters. Our main characters are Shell, Fin and Lawrence, but because of the multi-pov, I found that I didn't get a good sense of their character as there was too much flip-flopping going on. The more characters you add to the story, the less fleshed out they become and the more muddled the story gets.
I think it would have been best to focus on one, maybe two characters. The story would have been a lot more contained and fleshed out if, for example, it focused on Shell and then maybe Fin.
It is a bit of a shame that this book is wasted on me. I just wasn't able to get into it as the story didn't captivate me and there were too many characters to follow. If you are looking for something with similar vibes, you don't have to look too far as there are many books that focus on something going wrong on a ship.