Books, Review

Review: Kraken Mare

I read yesterday (sort of) even though I didn’t really have the time to read. I’d actually started it the night before, when I was having trouble sleeping, which was a mistake and I had to force myself to put it down after about 3 chapters.

Really. I was looking for a book to put me to sleep. Kraken Mare is not that book. Jason Cordova and Chris Smith have woven an action-packed book with pacing that won’t let you put it down, which is why I wound up using it as a carrot to the stick of exam studies yesterday. Make it through class, get 30 min of reading. Make it through exam prep with 20 min to class start? Read another couple chapters. I know this is just me, but if you enjoy improbable science fiction suspense with action heroes, this book may suck you in, too. Just remember your self-discipline and don’t let it keep you up all night. kraken mare

Kraken Mare is, finally, the book I have been expecting from Cordova. I’m not discounting Chris Smith, but I know that he’s a relatively new writer, and Cordova has finally come into his maturity with this book. It’s rare I can get this sort of perspective, but I know both the authors, and I have read enough of Cordova’s books to see behind the lines, as it were. Some of his earlier work with a co-writer was not the best, and I’d been avoiding picking up Kraken Mare because I was under the impression it was co-written with that earlier co-auther (so many co’s…). It wasn’t, and it’s like seeing a view through the camera lens as it snaps into focus. This is the book I’d been waiting for from Cordova, and I hope to see many more like it. I’m looking forward to seeing what he and Chris can do with the sequel to this one, too!

Kraken Mare is the story of a veteran marine who is hired on for security at a top-secret station – on Titan, the moon of Saturn. There, he finds that not all is as it seems on the surface. I’m not going to spoil it for you, but I will say that I wasn’t expecting the story to unfold in the direction it went, the villain I expected turned out to be the opposite, and the character was well-formed and fun to read. That being said, this is one of the goriest books I’ve read in a while. It is very much an action-suspense book, and that might not be right for all my readers. Still… it’s like a roller coaster to the end. The ending is a little more facile than I would have liked, but I’m not sure it could have been deepened without losing the tension of the climax.

Oh, and this book? This book is Human Wave. Kaiju Apocalypse was not, and disappointing, but this book is pro-humanity and reaching for the stars, and honor and duty… It’s the good stuff.

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