It’s easy to tell when someone is dead, but what makes them alive? Is it the memories they keep, or the pain they feel, or the love they share? For Cecilio, the first colony of Proxima B, the answer could bring prosperity or crack the very foundations of society.
After a five-year leave of absence, Commander Mason Wyatt is sent to an antique starship with the chance to earn back his rank and bury his past. All he must do is uphold the answer: life is what Cecilio says it is. But as the starship nears Proxima B, Mason’s past boils to the surface and Cecilio’s answer begins to unravel.
Why This Book:
The author reached out via social media to see if I’d consider reviewing this book. The premise immediately caught my attention, so I decided to read the first page. The quality of the writing and the fact that I didn’t want to stop reading even though I had 1 million and 1 urgent tasks screaming for my attention sealed the deal.
The premise caught my attention, the first page hooked me, and the whole first scene had me thirsting for more. I could not stop reading. So fair warning: this is NOT a read-one-chapter-and-go-to-sleep book! You will not want to put this book down.
Mason and Carter awake from hibernation in a small pod in the middle of space, with no idea how they got there. To tell you much about them would be to give away too much of the mystery that kept me turning pages. What I can tell you is that both are complicated, well-developed characters that will engage your emotions. Mason is older than Carter, but both have endured tough lives and things only get worse from the moment they awake.
Emotional Engagement & Pacing of the Story:
I’ve said it already, but I’ll say it again: I could NOT put this book down! The mystery of this science fiction novel reminds me a bit of the television shows Lost or Legion in that it takes a long time to feel like you’ve got your feet on the ground and clearly understand what’s happening. BUT unlike those shows, this novel does give you logical answers and moves along to a thoroughly satisfying conclusion. And I want to be clear that this “waiting to feel oriented” is in no way frustrating as a reader. It’s tantalizing. It’s like the author is holding the box of puzzle pieces and he is handing you one piece at a time. Each time, the piece fits perfectly with the pieces you already had, but there are still huge gaps in the image and you have no photo to tell you what the end result will look like. But by the end of the book all the pieces are there and the picture is so complete and satisfying that your patience was completely worth it.
Elements I Especially Liked/Disliked:
I didn’t know whether to like or dislike, trust or distrust either Mason or Carter through a majority of the book. Yet not knowing who to root for, didn’t prevent me from caring what was happening in the story because there is so much more at stake than just those two (and I did care what happened to those two). This is one of those stories where basically the entire world will be changed by the actions of just one or two people.
The only thing I disliked is that there wasn’t even a hint of romance in this story. BUT I say that because I am a hopeless romantic, not because this story needed romance. In fact…okay if I’m really honest (*heavy dramatic sigh followed by pouty teenager monotone*) the addition of a romance subplot would have lessened the story’s impact and the message it was trying to get across. There, I admitted it. Not all books need romance to be excellent reads. Happy? (*plbth*) 😉
Christianity, faith, God… they are everywhere and nowhere in this novel. The author’s message is so integral to the story that it couldn’t be removed without obliterating the story, and yet not one bit of scripture is directly referenced, nor any sermon given, nor is faith discussed in any typical way. Instead, the author focuses on realistic discussions and situations that confront questions of right vs wrong, alive vs dead, and the responsibilities of power.
“It’s like you lost your head and they screwed it back on all twisted.”
Without giving anything away, all I can say is that I don’t think a single thing about the ending should be anything other than what it is. I came away thoroughly satisfied and glad I had taken a chance on this new-to-me author.
This novel is a RARE exception to my rule of not reviewing novels on this blog that have no romantic element. (In fact, I think the only other fiction novel I’ve reviewed on this blog that lacked romance was C.S. Lewis’s Out of the Silent Planet and even that wasn’t a full review, just an opinion added to a first line share.) However, Abort by C.D. Hulen is so well written, so entertaining, and the message so important, that I felt I would be doing you, my readers, a disservice, not to share my review here. That said, Abort is not a light read, but you will walk away with much to think about and a story that lingers in your mind.
5 out of 5 stars
How do you feel about novels that have zero romantic elements in them? What compels you to read outside your normal genre? Which books outside your normal genre have you really enjoyed?
Let me know in the comments below!
ENJOY CHRISTIAN ROMANCE?
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Note: I purchased my own copy of this book and was under no obligation to review it at all. You may read my full disclosure of materials HERE.