Friday, February 15, 2013

Review: "The Ripple in Space-Time" by S.F. Chapman

The Ripple in Space-TimeThe Ripple in Space-Time by S.F. Chapman

My rating: 4 of 5 stars

Book Info: Genre: Science Fiction
Reading Level: Adult
Recommended for: Fans of character-driven science fiction.
Trigger Warnings: Violence, piracy, (implied) drug use

Please note: This is also part of a blog tour. A guest post from the author can be seen here on the 15th. A giveaway for this book will start on the 16th and can be viewed here on or after that date. Additionally, this book will be free through a KDP promotion on Amazon from March 1-3, 2013, so if you’re interested in picking up a copy and don’t win through the giveaway, you can pick it up from Amazon then.

My Thoughts: This is set a bit over 400 years in the future on Earth, and things have become quite dismal. I was interested by the idea of the world breaking up into fiefdoms, but would have liked to have explored that a bit more, and had a better understanding of the current setup of the world. Since this is either a short novel or long novella, there probably wasn’t much room to do that, but there were a couple places where information was obviously thrown in for the reader’s information on other things (“Remind me again why you’re called CRAMP?” and “I know you are aware of this, but we are ...” and such like things), so why not a brief geography/history lesson somehow?

The editing on this is really sloppy. The punctuation is a hot mess, and there are missing words and a lot of misused words. I obviously didn’t keep track of them all, but just to give you some examples, “seating” is used for “sitting,” “in route” is used for “en route,” “and “repeal” is used for “repel.” Another instance of misusing a word came up fairly early in the book when something is described as “ubiquitous” in one paragraph and “one of a kind” in the next. Since ubiquitous means “so common it should be expected at any time,” anything that is ubiquitous cannot, by definition, be one of a kind.

For the first half of the book, I was pretty well set on a three-star rating at the most. The first half is sort of slow moving, and I never did feel particularly connected to the characters, but the second half made up for that. The pacing speeds up and I started to have a better feeling about the characters and action. I think fans of character-driven science fiction tales will enjoy this story. I will likely watch for the upcoming sequel to this, and also take a look at some of this author’s other books in the future.

Disclosure: I received a free e-book copy of this book from JKS Communications (the author’s publicists) in exchange for an honest review. All opinions are my own.

Series and Author Information: This is the first book in the Free City Series. The second book, Torn from on High, has not set date for release, but is listed as “coming soon.” This author has another other book available, if you like his style, called I’m Here to Help, which is listed as literary fiction. There are a number of books scheduled for release in addition to the one already listed, so we can look forward to a lot of works from this author.

Synopsis: When the huge lunar Ultra Energy Laboratory is destroyed by a mysterious blast, Inspector Ryo Trop of the Free City Inquisitor's Office is called in to sort out who is responsible for the disaster. Early reports imply that rogue moon miners are to blame, but Ryo quickly discovers that a far more complex and sinister scheme is afoot.

With the help of a promising young Liaison Agent and a faltering Grad student, Ryo searches for clues and culprits in the corrupt and moldering feudal fiefdoms of the Warlords that dominate human affairs in 2445. Ryo’s longtime friend, Biology Professor turned spy Malcolm Evans, suggests that the wave of space piracy that has recently vexed the Solar System could be connected to the obliteration of the lunar lab.

But why would reckless and marauding space raiders have an interest in a research facility?

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