I don’t think I have ever read that much in that little time. I already finished the next book; Adrift by Rob Boffard, and again, I must say that I really loved this book, but maybe not as much as the others that I’ve read before.
The story follows a group of tourists, who are stranded in space after Sigma Station, a space resort, is blown up by a mysterious ship. I loved the combination of the survival and SF genres. Rob Boffard was able to execute upon this premise expertly.
However, the book had clear ups and downs. Sometimes, the book pulled me in unlike many others but sometimes I was getting bored of the ever-same story that seemed to be repeating itself.
I still really recommend Adrift as a unique book, which I enjoyed a great deal. I’ll recommend it to everyone, who is looking for a great space adventure, featuring a survival story. It is a great book all around and if you are a fan of SF (like me) then you’ll find joy in reading Adrift by Rob Boffard.
I will rate Adrift a 7,5 out of 10. It features authentic characters and an intriguing storyline and combines the thrills of being stranded in space with a genuinely great characters study.
Rob Boffard was born in Johannesburg and has worked as a journalist for different magazines. He published several SF books, including Adrift.
Date of release: 07.06.2018
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As per usual, I will start my review by briefly summarizing the story at hand:
Adrift follows a group of space tourists. They are stranded in space as Sigma Station, the luxury resort, where they had booked their rooms, gets blown up by a mysterious ship. Thanks to Volkova, the very experienced pilot of the vessel they are currently on, the group manages to survive the initial attack. However, soon they realise that there are no other survivors, and they do not have a lot of food left.
Therefore, they try to figure out a way to survive, which proves to be more difficult than expected, because soon they start to turn on themselves and different fights start to happen. Volkova and Seema die as a result. When they manage to blow up the enemy ship and capture on of the soldiers, everything changes. The soldier, Roman, promises to help them, as a second recue vessel is on the way to get Roman out. Somehow, the group is able to capture the bridge of this ship and they can travel safely back home.
I already mentioned that I loved the book and I will try to break down exactly what it was I liked so much and also what were some things that I did not like about the book.
First of all, when I read the book’s blurb, I thought it was a really interesting premise and it proved to be even better than I expected. Rob Boffard was able to create a feeling as if I were with them on the Red Panda and was also stranded in space. I felt for and with them and especially felt the death of Volkova, who I thought was a really likeable character.
Generally, the characters were described incredibly authentically, their actions seem very appropriate (most of the times) and I thought to myself multiple times; “Yes, it makes sense that he does this particular thing”.
One thing that I struggled with was the constant fighting. I can understand that there are differences between the characters, and I can see that in such an extreme situation, there is potential for big fights, but it bothered me that they seemed to fight constantly, everyone executing their own plans and only towards the end everyone started to pull together.
I also liked that Rob Boffard tried to bring a little bit of a political thriller into the mix. The reason why Sigma Station was blown up, was because some people were not happy with a treaty. Also, in the end, Senator Daniels is trying to threaten everyone to shut up about what happened, even though they managed to trick him, and I suppose that eventually he will be brought to justice. I liked what he tried to do, and I think he pretty much exhausted the potential there was to integrate this into the story. Still, I would have loved to see more of this political thriller aspect in the book, although I know, it would be very hard to do that coherently and in a way that makes sense.
The main problem that I had with the book, is Rob Boffards style of writing. He tries to incorporate different angles and perspectives into his narrative by switching characters almost every chapter. I can certainly appreciate his effort; however, I had a very hard time really getting to know the characters and it took a while until I got really involved with the story.
But I admit that I can see the merit of him doing this. Looking back, I understand that it helped me identify even more with the characters in the long run. He built every character carefully, which takes a lot of time but eventually, you can relate to them even more.
The last point I want to mention has to do with what I already talked about. In almost every chapter, the character changed. For example, in one chapter we are following Hannah, while in the next we observe the situation through the eyes of Jack. He did this very well in the first part of the book. Unfortunately, I felt like the more the book went on, the less he cared about clearly separating the chapters. I noticed this while reading that he seems to switch mid-chapter. So, we are apparently following Hannah, when we get a piece of information that could not be known to her. For example, a thought that another passenger had. This started to happen towards the end of the book. It did not really bother me, but it was something that I noticed. I also noticed a little bit of an inconsistency regarding the concept of AI. At first, it is stated that the AI on board the Red Panda is only rudimentary and not of much use, however, at the end, it is suddenly able to understand and perform complex tasks, like communicating with Hannah and even analyse Volkovas speak pattern to adjust itself and sound like the pilot.
After this short review, I will give you my recommendations as to who I think could be interested in this book. For me, Adrift was a really fascinating space adventure that included somewhat of a character study, as we saw people react very differently to them being stranded in space.
I think anyone with a flair for SF will find something to like about this book. I also think that people who read a lot of survival novels might enjoy this book, as it clearly falls into this category as well.