The Unique Creation by Heath A Hague
|The Unique Creation by Heath A Hague|
|Category: Science Fiction|
|Reviewer: John Lloyd|
|Summary: An innocent man is sent on a galaxy-spanning journey, chased by powerful alien races at war. This is an old-fashioned space opera, but one with a lot of charm to carry it beyond some clichéd elements.|
|Buy? Yes||Borrow? Yes|
|Pages: 488||Date: December 2008|
Terrorism – a happenstance where one might truthfully say an unwitting heroism can be born. But never as in this book.
Steve Westerman is in a malaise after a car crash killed his wife and children, when a nuclear bomb is set off in the centre of London. It all appears to our eyes to be a mysterious techno-cult, but the act has caused a big change to Westerman, and launched him as one of the Uniques.
These ungrammatically-named Uniques (all the many thousands of them) are able to telepathically transport themselves across the universe, and with Westerman's individual Quantum DNA, and said nuclear blast, this talent has kicked in, sending him halfway across the galaxy. It won't be the only move he makes as he lands in the middle of a power struggle between various sides – none of whom he can deem trustworthy.
The prologue to this book shows Hague can certainly write – I grinned with recognition at his telling descriptive details twice in the opening two pages; but leaving the modern world for genre fiction things change. We see Star Trek-style replicators for the food and clothing supply, and you can pick out sci-fi stereotypes galore in what follows – ring-shaped space dwellings, men with blaster guns strolling alien plains with alien buildings wondering where they are, implanted neural language translators, and more. The whole thing of a man being forced to discover his latent powers is nothing new, either.
Luckily there's a potent freshness to the telling. I for one certainly fell into the agreeable traditional sci-fi opera on offer, just as easily as Westerman falls into bed with the first helpful female alien he comes across. If one doesn't expect anything too outlandishly creative from Hague, he does absorb one fully in his worlds. I could dismiss the fact that the science of the Quantum DNA just didn't work for me, and among copious plot-holes were the aliens that did just what the humans were relying on, and find both some scientific and emotional honesty in the writing, both with Westerman and the alien that becomes his lover, Zalar.
It appears to be a huge undertaking by a novice author – a chunk of novel that is flagged immediately as the first book in a trilogy. The large print does disguise things, but it is not only that that makes the pages flash by in an agreeable, personable rush.
The biggest fault, beyond the contrivances and déjà vu (which, to repeat, I could more than live with), is the production of the actual book. I could wring the neck of whoever it is punctuated it, with what seems at times to be a majority of the commas in the wrong places, dialogue assigned to paragraphs in a way that's not the regular style, and so on. It was noticeably making the book harder to sail through than the pacing, energy and talent of Hague were deserving.
I could have knocked half a star off for that alone, but a mark that low is on the whole unjustified. For a pleasant, if unchallenging genre read, this book is recommended, and I would not dismiss being invited back for a second helping of uniqueness.
We at the Bookbag must thank the author for sending us a review copy.
For more men (literally) adrift before encountering bewildering alien forces, we can recommend Saturn Returns (Astropolis) by Sean Williams.
You can read more book reviews or buy The Unique Creation by Heath A Hague at Amazon.co.uk.
You can read more book reviews or buy The Unique Creation by Heath A Hague at Amazon.com.
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