I haven’t read a Science Fiction novel in a while but the ever so lovely Titan Books sent me a copy of The Race by Nina Allen. For not reading a Science Fiction novel in a while to reading this, I have to say I will certainly be reading more of this genre.
A child is kidnapped with consequences that extend across worlds… A writer reaches into the past to discover the truth about a possible murder… Far away a young woman prepares for her mysterious future…
In a future scarred by fracking and ecological collapse, Jenna Hoolman’s world is dominated by illegal smartdog racing: greyhounds genetically modified with human DNA. When her young niece goes missing that world implodes… Christy’s life is dominated by fear of her brother, a man she knows capable of monstrous acts and suspects of hiding even darker ones. Desperate to learn the truth she contacts Alex who has his own demons to fight… And Maree, a young woman undertaking a journey that will change her world forever. [blurb from the book].
The blurb would lead you to believe that the whole novel is set in Sapphire, this is not the case, it actually consists of four novellas which are all linked in unexpected ways. I was very impressed with this novel. The character’s were incredibly interesting and I found the whole story so intriguing that I had to read on to find answers.
This is Nina Allen’s debut novel and you can certainly tell it’s that. It’s a book about longing and belonging. Two things that really resonate with myself. There are four main characters in this novel: Jenna, Christy, Alex and Maree. The tales of these characters are connected to each other and together they create this vision of people’s lives, fears and hopes in a futuristic England.
I love that Nina Allan has created a story that reveals the whole entirety of human life and the emotions along with it. Allen doesn’t shy away difficult issues, but writes boldly about them. Her brashness about sex shocked me completely but everything she said was true. She also writes boldly about the consequences of these events, because they affect the characters’ lives. This is how she is able to create reality in a world of science fiction.
The only qualm I really have it that at times I did really get irritated by the story. I felt that even though I loved this book to begin with, I wanted it to end way before it actually did. Maybe this was just me?
Overall, this book is very deep and very human and those are both two things which I love. I would love to read something else from Allen in the future and see how her writing has developed.
Has any of you read any good science fiction books recently? If so what were they?
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