It feels like it's been ages since I last reviewed anything, and even longer since I last reviewed something new. I've a sizable personal library, but I rarely add to it these days, and so little of what I've acquired could be considered contemporary fiction. Only a few weeks ago, I noticed how much I'd come to miss the influx of newer works that reviewing afforded me. I'd said as much in conversation and, as if my desire to return to reviewing had been broadcast, I found a package had arrived in the mail, courtesy of Tor Books. The timing was surprisingly perfect (and on the verge of suspicious—is one of the earlier review copies bugged?) and, as mentioned in my previous post, I immediately set my reading list aside for this latest addition—James L. Cambias's A Darkling Sea.
I've been fortunate to have encountered some of the best modern science fiction through my time as a reviewer. John Scalzi's Redshirts, the first book I reviewed for Tor, was both hilarious and heartfelt. Not only did it go on to win the 2013 Hugo Award for Best Novel, there are now plans to bring the story to television in the form of a miniseries on FX. David Brin's Existence, my second Tor review, was an amazingly rich and rewarding reading experience. Rapture of the Nerds, by Cory Doctorow and Charles Stross, read like a delightful exercise in absolute madness. In general, it's been an exciting time to be a scifi fan and, more often than not, Tor has had a hand in releasing some of the best works in the genre. A Darkling Sea is a perfect example of their knack for churning out quality science fiction.
It was a quick read, in that it was compelling enough to keep the pages turning and turning. I haven't often had that experience, in which putting the book down seemed less and less likely as the story went on. I think it took me all of two days, one reading session each, to finish. It's highly recommendable, especially for the fact that while it touts itself as "hard science fiction", it's not too technical as to ward off those less experienced with that particular subgenre. It'd make for an excellent introduction to hard scifi, in fact, which makes it all the more apt for recommendation.
Getting the chance to review this book is something for which I'm perhaps inordinately grateful. It gave me an opportunity to get back into reviewing, to blog more, and to add to my still-small list of completed reads for the year. More than that, it was simply a darn good book. Take a look at my complete review over at A Reader's Respite, and see if you might not want to add it to your list of completed reads as well.
Click here to read my review of A Darkling Sea @ A Reader's Respite