17 Oct 2014



SOURCE: Ex-library stock. 

THE BOOK {According to amazon.co.uk}: The planet had fallen off the map. Lost on an unknown and forgotten planet, scientist Karl Allman discovers himself haunted by an ancient race. The descendants of earlier colonists have reverted to a savage tribal culture of sacrifice, pillage and violence. When Karl falls in love with an outcast girl, he has only one goal: escape. But escape is a distant dream on this nightmare planet.

FIRST SENTENCE {Chapter One: Karl}: Karl was dreaming of his clone-wife, far away on distant Avalon, when the plasma bolt slammed into Ship's engines.

MEMORABLE MOMENT {Page 86}: The sagas never mention laundry, she thought. As they lifted the first of the steaming cloths from the pail to the lip of the wringer she said to lighten the mood, "You never hear of Gunnlaug Serpent-tongue wrestling with washing."

MY THOUGHTS: Whilst not a big reader of sci-fi novels (that's Mr T's department) I nevertheless do indulge every now and then and admit to being curious about this one given that I'd heard the planet on which our protagonist finds himself has similarities with a Viking settlement.

Perhaps more for those who enjoy their books full of 'world building' of which the author does a fairly decent job. For those readers who, like myself, are into characters, well, let's just say I found this element of the book somewhat .... unadventurous? The fact that the author spent so much time driving home certain ideas (women as little more than baby-factories, Bera, an unwed mother, a slut, the grim conditions in which Karl found himself and so on) mundane. And as for the dialogue? Awkward, amateurish and unconvincing to say the least.

Still, interesting in that as far as this genre goes I'm used to reading of planets and societies far advanced to our own and in this Winter Song is quite different. Whilst the starship from which Karl ejects is obviously technologically superior, Karl himself biologically and technologically enhanced, the planet, indeed not without its similarities to Viking society albeit with a bit of a space-age twist, on which he finds himself can scarcely be described as such.


Brandi Kosiner said...

I don't always get along well with scifi either.

Kelly said...

I enjoy a certain amount of sci-fi (both in books and film), but like you, I do want decent character development.

This one sounds rather lacking.

Camila Rafaela Felippi said...

Hi Tracy!
Where are your hedgehogs? But I liked your new colors! :D

Have you ever write a book? You have so many ideas and write so well!

Sherry Ellis said...

Too bad the dialog wasn't better. It sounds like an otherwise good story.

Melissa (Books and Things) said...

I'm into both characterization and worldbuilding so I may like it slightly more then you did. Not sure that seems like a lot to fit in a world!

Suko said...

Hmm... This sounds kind of interesting. I don't usually read this type of book, but I'm fairly open-minded. Nice review!

Melliane said...

I have a bog problem with sci-fi books mainly when we have robots, planets and else but from time to time I can have a good time. But it just that it doesn't really attract me.

Stephanie@Fairday's Blog said...

This doesn't seem like the book for me, but I like that the author did a good job with the world building. Thanks for sharing and good for you for trying something out of your normal reading comfort zone. :)

Barbara Fisher said...

Hi Tracy, I’m so impressed with how much reading you get through, wish I could read as quickly. Sci-fi novels are not really my thing, so I will give this one a miss.
I’ve just finished Love in small letters by Francesc Miralles, thank you for the recommendation – I loved it.
Have a great weekend, Barbara

Brian Joseph said...

I used to read a lot of science fiction and I still do occasionally, I tend to like world building as well as strong characters.

Though it looks good in many ways, I think that the poorly written dialog would be too off putting for me.

Betty Manousos said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Betty Manousos said...

hi tracy,
great review as usual.
science fiction books are okay but I wouldn't call it my favourite genre.
this sounds kind of interesting though.

good night~
big hugs!

Literary Feline said...

I just read a science fiction novel too. I enjoyed mine more than you did yours though. I'm sorry this one wasn't better for you. I do like a fair amount of world building, but ultimately it's the characters who make the story worthwhile--and so there has to be strong character development for me as well.