Review: Other Hands by Thomas James

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Publisher: North Loop

Publishing Date: June 2016

ISBN:9781634139953

Genre: SciFi

Rating: 1.5/5

Publishers Description: The distress call is only a fragment, but it is clear that the starship Telemachus needs help. Well-known pilot and astronaut Jeremy Crane is sent to rescue–or recover–the stranded crew. Ninety-two light-years away on Earth-like New California, Crane finds not one, but two intelligent humanoid species. There he discovers a new love, a new faith, and a secret “Message” that could save humankind. He also runs head on into deception, intrigue, and murder, all the while confronting his own personal demons.

Review: This was a pretty good idea yet was truncated, perhaps by design. The story-line is rather abrupt and fails to develop in any meaningful way. We are quickly brought into an alien landscape where everyone readily accepts an alien culture and language without reserve. There is no sense of discovery within this alien sphere and the world building is discarded for a mundane mystery.

The characters were woefully underdeveloped due to the sporadic movement, and whatever ills befall them leaves you unconcerned as you never cared about them in the first place. Crane as a character fails on every level and never lives up to being a space hero.  The sinister plot is simplistic and lacked credibility. Additionally the ending is abrupt and leaves a lot of room for a sequel but you won’t give a shjt as the novel taken in its entirety is as boring as contemplating Lent.

This novel needed a big re-boot with a universe expanded to encompass this alien addition.  An in depth immersion in an alien culture would have built an incredible storyline coupled to intense movement (sinister plot building). With little effort in building this world the characters would have been pulled along and developed admirably.

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