So I mentioned this book in my list of books that I loved and hated and wanted to read. Just to let you know, every book on that list that I labelled as being a recommendation or to avoid, I have read. I will not bash a book or gloat about it until I have read it and decided for myself. So, onwards to the review!

I wanted to mention Robert Heinlein’s Orphans of the Sky. It’s one of his short novels, but that makes it all the better. Personally, I’ve found his full-length novels drag on with a lot of filling, but not much plot. His shorter books are an afternoon read, but they keep you well entertained. The plot of this book is fantastic, and it gets 5 stars from me! If you have any used book stores in the area (especially such as Half Price Books in the US) try and pick up an older copy of the book. I paid 35 cents for mine. A great use for pocket change! Oh, and just another note, I use short books like this to clear my mind when I’m in the middle of a huge series that seems to be dragging on forever. A quick afternoon read to escape somewhere else, and you won’t have to worry about juggling books or plots. Plus it gets your mind out of the rut and makes the series easier to get through. Because face it, no matter how much you love reading, 14 1,000-page books is a bit of a challenge. So, onto the book. You can safely read the minor spoiler section… I’m just covering the premesis of the book. But make sure you don’t read the major spoiler section below! That’s my review and has info in it you won’t want to know beforehand!

**Minor Spoiler**

The back of the book (at least my edition) reads: The Universe was five miles long, and 2000 feet across. Men scoffed at the legends of such things as stars, or the demented idea that the Ship was moving… for the Ship was the Universe, and there could be nothing outside. Then one man found his way into a forgotten room, and saw the stars – and they moved….

The premesis of the book is that the crew of a spaceship, traveling to Alpha Centauri, mutinied and killed all of the officers and crewmen. Several generations down the line (it was supposed to take 2-3 generations, but when the crew was killed, the spaceship was shut down and simply drifted through space), the people aboard had forgotten that it was a spaceship, and believed that the ship was the entire galaxy.

I find the idea absolutely fascinating. I have never read anything even remotely similar to this, and it caught my attention from the get-go. If you’re interested in the book, don’t read on. It has spoilers. So go buy it! If you already have, read on to the bottom to see if you agree with my review.

**Major Spoilers**

Don’t read this until after you’ve read the book, or don’t plan on reading it. But seriously, go read the book.

Throughout the book, Hugh is talking to mutants and discovering more and more about the stars and the ship he’s on. It was really well written, and the characters were fantastically created. I loved the pace of the book; very little downtime or boring, dry chapters. My only complaint is the ending of the book seemed rushed (probably because at the length of the book, the end is only about 15-20 pages) and also a tad ridiculous. How is it that after magically escaping in a pod on the ship, they just magically happen to land on the one moon that can sustain life? How? I mean, come on. I would have been happier if they had all died! But aside from this mediocre ending, the book was amazing. Well written, and well worth the short read.

Advertisements