June 17, 2005


I finished reading Chindi by Jack McDevitt last night. It is a page-turner, but I really can't say that I thought the novel was that great.

The majority of characters lacked depth, and the few that had more presence were superficial in their characterization. McDevitt also seems to lack a descriptive imagination; the only things described in any form were those things which are based off known reality. Anything new was often given a single word description, like horrible or terrific or unrecognizable.

Plus, the science behind the things didn't always make sense. For example, releasing mass during flight will not increase your forward velocity, unless the mass is pushed away in the other direction. Simply letting go of it does not do anything. And in a vacuum, with no fluid matter surrounding a ship, sticking your arm out of the window should not slam your arm backwards. Your arm does not lose momentum or skip out on the total acceleration. It is, after all, still attached to your body. And your body is still moving with the ship.

Simply put, I think the plot was captivating, but the characters and science mediocre.

Posted by josuah at June 17, 2005 4:02 AM UTC+00:00

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