Thursday, 11 July 2013

Encounter With Tiber By Buzz Aldrin and John Barnes Review

Review By Patrick Challis

Written By Buzz Aldrin and John Barnes

Published By Open Road Media

Genre
Science Fiction, Drama, Adventure

Synopsis

“A classic. Its scope is astonishing, and it contains much wisdom and profound philosophy.” —Sir Arthur C. Clarke

A father and son go searching for the stars, but much more than gravity will hold them back

Born the year of the Moon landing, Chris Terence spends his life fighting to return humanity to that pinnacle. An engineering student with dreams of spaceflight, he finds upon graduation that the United States no longer has need for astronauts. Years of bureaucratic meddling have reduced the space program to a shell of itself, and it will take the greatest scientific find in history to send humanity skyward once more.

After years battling budget hawks, Chris finally gets his chance to walk on the Moon. While there, he finds evidence of an ancient alien civilization, the Tiberians, who visited Earth’s satellite eight thousand years before. Understanding what happened to those long-forgotten travelers will define the lives of Chris and his son, as they fight against all odds to unlock the secrets of the universe.

Review

The re-release of this novel comes with some very high expectations surrounding it.  That's understandable to some respect due to one main reason.  It's a science fiction book with the legendary name Buzz Aldrin attached to it.  That gives it some very high standards to live up to.

My one main worry about this novel is not only has it aged well, as it was first published in 1997, but would the name Aldrin be a help or a hindrance to it being a good book?

Well, yes and no.

Firstly, the book is a very good read.  The pacing is subtle and yet exciting, especially in the 'encounter' scenes.  It's there that the book finds it's biggest strength.  Barnes and Aldrin really team up well to make an exciting story with some really well rounded characters.  To some, the pacing I mentioned earlier might be a little bit of put off because science fiction novels seem to be mostly all style and little substance yet this one is the complete opposite.  You don't need constant battles all the time to make it an exciting book.  This novel comes across as more of an adventure novel instead of a science fiction one.  You could easily take these characters and put them in to a fantasy novel or an adventure one and they would be just at home as they are here.

The one part of the writing that I didn't like so much was the fact that it would come across as a bit tech heavy in places.  While the tech side of things is actually quite an important part of the story yet because it can come across as a little heavy handed at times, it can take you out of the story a little bit.  However, if you a tech geek then you will be in absolute heaven.

While not a perfect book, I definitely would recommend this to science fiction fans out there.  It has a real classic science fiction feel to it.  That's one of the main things that I liked the most about the novel.  It really feels like it could stand up next to books by legends such as Arthur C. Clarke and the like because of the writing style and the easy flow of the novel itself.  The long length really works as well because it gives the adventure and characters room to breathe and grow. That's why while it isn't a perfect novel by any stretch of the imagination, I really would recommend to classic science fiction fans.

Story 4/5
Characters 4/5
Recommended 4/5
Overall 12/15

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