Sunday, January 18, 2015

Quarantined Planet By John Allen Pace, a Book Review

Genre: Science Fiction

Synopsis: Food doesn't grow easily on New Earth. Much of it arrives on massive supply ships and when one goes missing, the planet's few thousand inhabitants are in grave peril. Chloe Meeks, a beautiful and gentle soul longing for a human utopia, is a rookie space pilot who doubts her abilities. Putting those insecurities aside, she joins her stern British captain Gordon and Nix, a wise-cracking young man vying for her affections, to find the lost craft. Dodging asteroids and other dangers in a rickety spaceship, they find the supply vessel drifting, its crew dead. Chloe is soon confronted with the horrifying knowledge that her former lover Amon Earl is responsible. She later learns that New Earth has been quarantined as a galactic threat and even worse, Earl intends to eradicate the few humans remaining as atonement for Earth's demise. To stop him, Chloe will have to do the unthinkable; murder the man she loved.

My Take: First of all, this book is really short for a sci-fi book. The price for such a small book is outrageous. The cover art is, meh. A lot better than a lot of self published work, but nothing that makes me go: I have to pick this up! Sorry, been a bit self-conscious about cover work lately! 

But a book isn't about the cover, or at least not just about the cover! Unfortunately, as a sci fi fan, the cover is the best part for me. There are whole scenes that are almost completely ripped off from Fire In The Sky, a really bad 1993 sci fi movie that told the reportedly true story of three men's alien abduction. Yeah, there are plenty who can argue that it gives validity to the story. Lots of sci-fi stories have taken elements from "true encounters" to do the same, but there is taking aspects and then there is almost verbatim scene copying. 

And that wasn't the only thing about this book that was taken from others. Now, there is nothing new under the sun, I know. I am sure that there are plenty of things in my own books that hearken back to other works, intentionally or otherwise. But when the entire book feels like a mish-mash of a bunch of other stories, even to the point of the way that it flows? There is formulaic, and then there is not having a new or original spin on anything. 

Sorry, The Matrix was a massive rip off of several other themes and concepts, and yet it presented it in its own original and brilliant light. That is why it is still being watched today. This book did not do that.

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