Sunday, July 28
Book Review: Wildcatter
Author: Dave Duncan
Summary: Throughout human history wildcatters, the first great explorers and prospectors to lay claim to newly discovered lands, have marched to the beat of a different drummer — motivated by a deep yearning to be the first to walk on uncharted land and benefit from treasures yet to be discovered. In the future, wildcatters in space will travel to exoplanets, located in The Big Nothing, to search for new chemicals which, when transformed into pharmaceuticals, might bring untold wealth and fame to the individuals and corporations that stake their claim for exclusive exploitation rights. Such is the quest of the crew of the independent starship Golden Hind, whose mission is to travel a year and a half to “Cacafuego”, beat the larger corporations to the exoplanets’ resources, and strike it rich for themselves. But will a yellow warning flag, already planted above the planet, stop them? Or will the Golden Hind’s prospector foray to the planet’s surface, possibly never to return alive? Wildcatter is a raucous tale of mystery, greed and passion, told by master story teller Dave Duncan, once himself a real wildcatter!
My Rating: 7/10
What I liked/disliked about the book: I enjoyed aspects of the book and felt it to be both very creative and odd world the author created.
One of the major issues I had with the book was that while there was a lot of interesting and unique aspects to this world, there wasn't a lot of details or explanation to what everything is, how it's tied together. Things are mentioned, but only slightly touched on and then the author moves on to the next part of the book. Nothing, including the characters, were properly fleshed out. As a reader, we never got beneath the surface of anything in the book. I would have loved to gone deeper into this "universe" as the stuff I did read about and there was potential for a lot of interesting pieces to the story there.
I did enjoy the overall story, it's odd in many ways - like with a new race called Herms. Although it did add some interesting pieces to the book, their creation and description was very odd. Character interactions was also done fairly well, although again, it was very odd. I think that's the best way to explain the book as odd, a good odd, but it was odd. It wasn't like other Sci-Fi books I've read in the past, but it was refreshing. There were some interesting twists in the story to, and for such a short book, the author did manage to execute those fairly well, although I still wish more time was spent on explaining everything properly and not rushed through.
Overall, it was an a good read and well worth the chance I took when I grabbed it of the shelf.
This book was a library book, but when I picked it off the shelves, I didn't know what book it was. It was part of a program called "Blind Date with a Canadian Author" so all I got was a quick little blurb about what the book is about and what kind of readers may like it. All of which were fairly vague. It was interesting, but got me to read a book I may have never read before. (Click here to see a picture of the covered book)
Would I recommend it to read: I suppose I would recommend it to Sci-Fi readers. I don't think it's a book for someone who doesn't read a lot of sci-fi, but if you enjoy Sci-Fi, than it is a good choice.
What to read next: I'd try the author again as he does write some good science fiction.
Challenges: 100 Books Challenge, 2013 Category Challenge, 7th Annual Canadian Book Challenge, New Author Challenge