Tuesday, 26 July 2011

Book Review#4. - Explorers of the New Century

This short story or novella by Magnus Mills should have been so much more; a wonderful title and a premise that saw two teams of explorers attempting to reach the "agreed furthest point" from civilisation before the other.

At one level it reads as a good old fashioned adventure yarn with the make up of the two teams, apparently intrinsic to the plot, forming part of its charm.  On one side we have Johns' volunteers, an eclectic and eccentric band armed with little more than old fashioned derring do pitted against Tostig's professional, well equipped, dare one say automated, team.  Both exist in a fictional world where religion has been replaced by scientific  rhetoric and where strength of will and power determine policy.  So many intriguing plot lines, but that is part of the problem, there just isn't time to explore them fully resulting in a curtailed development of the plot and formation of the characters.  There are genuinely exciting and humorous moments but all too often we are left wanting more particular when the final twist, that you will probably have already guessed, is revealed.

At the core of this book are the themes of ethnic cleansing and racism, I can't go into further detail without spoiling the plot, but again we almost stumble upon them in the closing stages of the piece without giving them the depth of understanding they require.  I desperately want to give this more from the point of view of a rating but ultimately I was a little disappointed by it; a frustrating two crowns.

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