Thursday, 12 May 2011

Reviewlette - Stone Spring by Stephen Baxter

It's roughly 7,300 BC, life is hard but nature provides and the people of Etxelur are proud that their daily lives hardly touch the landscape.

Vast quantities of the Earth's water have been locked up in the ice-caps but now they're starting to melt, and unfortunately, the sea wants its land back.

The land in question lies between modern England and the European continent smack dab in the middle of, what is now called, the North Sea.

We follow Ana and her people as she fights back after a devastating tsunami: building dykes to hold back the sea. So setting the seeds for an alternate history for Europe which will lead ... well, as this is the first in a trilogy, I don't know yet.

We're also introduced to ancient peoples from other parts of Europe along with individuals who have travelled far in their quest to trade or simply to survive.

It's a fascinating read, well written and absorbing, and the characters mature well as the story unfolds.

If I've one small issue with this book - as with most of Stephen's books - it's that it can be very dry. But then again, this is Mr Baxter's style. His works are always superbly researched and easy to read. I just wish there was a little more ... I want to say, ironic levity. Is there such a thing? It's just that everything is so damn serious. I'm thinking that, in other works, lines like, "We're going to need a bigger boat" give us a human perspective I think is lacking in this tome. (That may just be the inappropriate-quipper in me.)

But it's still a very good read. I'll be looking for the second in the trilogy next time I'm at the library.

You read it. Tell me what you think.

In the meantime I'm starting on Greg Bear's Quantico. Based in the near future, the strap-line is, "Three FBI agents. One Armageddon."


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1 comment:

  1. The setting of this book sounds intriguing! I'll have to check it out--although I do agree, that "ironic levity" can be nice once in while. Helps to break up all the seriousness; and it follows human nature.