I get most of my books recommendations from blogs, the LibraryThing (forums) or award/best-of lists. For some books that are just (going to be) released you kind of take a chance if a book will be good. I found ‘The Explorer’ through one of the blogs I read, and purely based on the enthusiastic post and the description of the story on the back of the book, I fell for it. And I am so glad I did.
Journalist Cormac Easton is selected to join a manned space flight into deep space. The mission is basically to see how far they can go and then come back. Cormac’s job is to document the journey for Earth, to make space exploration popular (and thus receive funding). They leave Earth and immediately members of the mission start dying, but mission control orders them to continue. Pretty soon (and I mean soon, after not even one-third of the book) Cormac is left on his own to face his inevitable death.
But then the book gets really interesting, in a way I can’t really put in my summary without spoiling everything I loved about this book. I was curious what James Smythe, the author, was doing by killing everyone off in such a rapid pace, but in the end, it was just brilliant. Cormac is as confused as I was, and this makes it even better, because like us, he knows the ‘rules’ of science fiction. A simply brilliant book with a great twist, a must SF-read. Five out of five stars.