Reading Level: Adult
Genre: Science Fiction
Length: 384 pages
Publisher: Tachyon Publications
Release Date: April 15, 2014
Stand Alone or Series: Stand Alone
Source: eGalley from NetGalley.com
Rating: 4.5/5 stars
I am a big fan of Sullivan’s Riyria novels, so I was curious when I saw this science fiction novel by him. I got a copy of this book through NetGalley for review. This was a very well written and fascinating novel and I ended up enjoying it a lot.
Ellis Rogers has built a time machine in his garage. Of course he hasn’t tried to use it, he doesn’t even think it will work. However, when he finds out he is dying from a terminal illness and that his wife has been cheating on him…he decides what has he got to lose? If it doesn’t work he’ll be dead in a few months anyway. So he tries it…and it works. However the world and time he lands in is completely different from what he expected….he may have been a bit off on his time calculations.
This was a very well done sci-fi novel. Ellis Rogers ends up in the Hollow World. This world is a bit of a dystopian society where somethings are great and others not so great. Being that Ellis is a Darwin and an “original” he immediately becomes a bit of a celebrity. The Hollow World has no disease and everyone lives for ever. The main purpose of everyone in the Hollow World is to try and be different from everyone else, this is a major driver in why people in the Hollow World do what they do. The concepts of murder and death are foreign to these people.
When Ellis witnesses a murder in the Hollow World he is immediately drawn into the investigation…after all he is a savage that comes from a time when people died all the time so he must be an expert. The majority of the book ends up being a murder mystery/thriller of sorts.
The world-building is really well done and intriguing. We are introduced to a world where people have everything (health, food, whatever they want) and are struggling to find meaning. We are also introduced to the Geomancers that keep the world stable. All of it is very fascinating.
The characters are well done and have a lot of depth to them. The people of the Hollow World are different but as you read on you realize despite all the evolution they still have many of the same problems with finding a purpose in life that we do now.
I am not going to talk a ton about plot because it is hard to do that without adding too many spoilers here. The why and when behind the Hollow World is well filled out though and the way Sullivan fills the reader (and Ellis) in on this is very cleverly done.
Overall I really enjoyed this dystopian science fiction thriller of a novel. It is completely different from anything I have read from Sullivan before, but the excellent world-building and likable characters as still present. The plot is creative and has some excellent twists and turns in it. I definitely recommend this book to sci-fi fans and to fans of Sullivan’s other works. It was an excellent read. I can’t wait to read the first book in his First Empire series which Sullivan is working on writing now.