Wednesday, January 9, 2013

Review: The Radiance by John Robinson

Two disclaimers here - Musa is my publisher and I got the book in a giveaway.

My first impression of this book was that it reminded me of Poul Anderson's Brainwave. This impression did not go away (to be fair, Brainwave is an older book, written before I was born, and I suspect a lot of people have not read it). The plot is essentially similar - what happens when humans (and everything else on the planet) experience a sudden jump in intelligence.

At a personal level, it centers around two brothers - Travis is a veteran and former pastor turned farmer and his brother, Cale, is a successful businessmen. Both react to the phenomenon in different ways, but are intimately entangled with one another. It's a slower-paced book, working at a very human level even as the world changes...perhaps too slowly, but the change is definitely there.

The book is 'clean' (I only recall one typo, and that a very forgivable one) and easy to read, the characters are well put together and their motivations remain very consistent throughout. My only quibble is that I found the ending less than satisfying, although I can't quite put my finger on why, or explain further without spoilers. With that caveat, it's worth a read if you like your science fiction 'soft' and human-centered.

It's available here direct from the publisher in PDF, ePUB, Mobi and PRC. (The pdf at least is DRM-free).