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Tracing The Stars

I read mostly science fiction and romance, and often a combination of the two.

A literary sci-fi noir that needs some polishing

The Forever Man: A Near-Future Thriller - Pierre Ouellette

This sci-fi noir reads like a movie script – which was both a good and a bad thing. The book is written in the odd, seldom used present-3rd person, which makes it sound like a director on set giving direction to both the camera man, the effects crew and the actors. It leads to a whole lot of telling and very little showing. What ‘showing’ there was, however, was excellent.

This book has diamonds in it. Gold nuggets of literary magic. It’s a shame they are hidden under a somewhat large pile of debris.

I refrained from saying ‘a large pile of rubbish’, because this book isn’t rubbish. That would be much too harsh a word. It has the makings of something grand, but somewhere along the way it got lost. It is, at its heart, a literary science fiction noir. Unfortunately, it felt as if the author was trying too hard to fit more pieces into the puzzle than were needed to create a magnificent picture.

There is a lot of back and forth. Between characters. Between memory and present. Between literary style and blatant stage-direction writing. Step by step, the characters are told what to do through the odd 3rd-person present, and every little detail is mentioned. This creates a well-built world for the imagination, yes, but it was all simply too much. Then, when the characters themselves proceed to give detailed accounts of previous events through memory, I had a hard time staying awake.

There is good mystery here. Good intrigue and some unique ideas. Many of the brush strokes are beautifully penned to paper, and it was the search for this mystery and those occasional moments of brilliant writing that kept me reading. I would recommend this for readers who enjoy sci-fi noir or literary science fiction.

I received a copy in request for an honest critique