Radiate (Book Three in The Lightless Trilogy) by C.A. Higgins (book review)

May 15, 2017 | By | Reply More

C.A. Higgins’ novel ‘Radiate’ is now twice removed from the first book in the series, ‘Lightless’, where there was a revolution brewing in our Solar system’s populated planets and moons. Even further then the sequel, ‘Supernova’, where the leader of the revolution faces her apparent demise. None of this is helped with no proper recap of events to remind you where you left off last time. I had to read my previous reviews for that which isn’t a helpful sign if you want to step in on the third book.

What we have here is the key characters flying the spaceship Copenhagen around the Solar system and evading the System forces. None of which is helped by jumping between an assortment of characters and having to work out new associations and who’s involved with who, let alone who are blood relatives.

From a Science Fiction point of view, there is a total disregard for the laws of motion in space or the different natures of the various planets and moons that beggars the question as to whether one should sub-let the book into space fantasy. Having the trappings of SF doesn’t make it SF.

Something you spot from reading a lot is if a book feels like too fast a read and still picking up what is going on, which isn’t much really, is there being far too much dialogue. I’ve gotten away with it, as one of my friends tells me, in my short stories but a novel needs a bit more depth. Novels can’t live by dialogue alone. When there are texted scenes, they are written in past tense which doesn’t allow any immediacy or drama. Indeed, this also contributes to the lack of emotional impact on events because you don’t care what happens to the characters. Understanding the dramatics of a story is what differentiates the quality of any written material. If it’s not there and it’s not being effective, then the writer hasn’t learnt enough to pull it off.

Part of me thinks Higgins might have run out of ideas where to take this trilogy but I’m sure anything she’s learnt in doing this trilogy will serve her in good stead in the future.

GF Willmetts

May 2017

(pub: Del Rey/Ballantine Books. 317 page hardback. Price: $27.00 (US), $36.00 (CAN). ISBN: 978-0-553-39448-1)

check out website: www.delreybooks.com

Category: Books, Scifi

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About UncleGeoff

Geoff Willmetts has been editor at SFCrowsnest for some 21 plus years now, showing a versatility and knowledge in not only Science Fiction, but also the sciences and arts, all of which has been displayed here through editorials, reviews, articles and stories. With the latter, he has been running a short story series under the title of ‘Psi-Kicks’
If you want to contribute to SFCrowsnest, read the guidelines and show him what you can do. If it isn’t usable, he spends as much time telling you what the problems is as he would with material he accepts. This is largely how he got called an Uncle, as in Dutch Uncle. He’s not actually Dutch but hails from the west country in the UK.

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