Monday, December 7, 2009

Flashforward by Robert J. Sawyer (review)

Title: Flashforward
Author: Robert J. Sawyer
Illustrator: N/A
Pages: 6,433 Kindle locations
Genre: Fiction
Dewey Decimal: F Saw
ISBN: 978-0-7653-2413-9
Cost: $7.75 on Kindle

A while back I picked up Flashforward based on the previews of the ABC television series. And I'm glad I did. But let the reader beware, there are some stumbling points.

First, readers need to know that the book differs from the TV show. And the difference is large. The characters are quite different and the plots and the locations and, well, you get the idea. Granted, I do not know how the TV series will end, but I would guess that it is different than the book.

Second, the book has a tendency to fall into the Star Trek black hole of techno-jargon. There are pages and scenes stuffed into the book that make your head want to explode. Maybe there are physicists out there that enjoy the veracity of the scene (I assume it is all correct), but the general reader is completely lost at times.

Finally, the overall plot is a bit shallow. There are scenes that are good mind you, and there are topics and theories that make you wonder and think about how things could be. I think for me, it was the lack of some important ingredient. I cannot quite put my finger on it, but something was missing. And at times I felt like I was reading a short story that was stretched just a bit to make it a novel.

Now, despite all of these shortfalls, the novel is a decent read. It does not hold water to a lot of the other stories I have read lately, but it was still a fun adventure. I think for me the key was the main idea. What would happen if we all lost consciousness? What would happen if we all got a glimpse of our future? It is this kind of thinking that makes me want more books like this.

So in the end, it was an average read. Nothing too great to scream and holler about, but good enough to keep you entertained. Now it is just a matter of time to see if the TV show can keep up with the book or surpass it.


Gutenbergsson said...

Flashforward is a good book by Sawyer, but not one of his best. You really need to try "The Terminal Experiment." It's a far superior book by my fellow Canadian.

TK42ONE said...

Thanks for the recommendation!