Joshtafari's Reviews > Infinity Beach

Infinity Beach by Jack McDevitt
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Nov 30, 2010

it was ok
bookshelves: tbb-2010
Read from November 30 to December 28, 2010

** spoiler alert ** And so my quest to read 52 books in 52 weeks ends in a whimper with a miserable failure (with only 31 books read) and an extremely mediocre book to top the year off. I kept leaving the book at home accidentally instead of taking it on my commute to work, which I think was my subconscious telling me to read something worthwhile, like "Monster Hunter International".

I toyed back and forth between 1 and 2 stars for the rating as I was reading this. It should be a story worth reading, all the ingredients are there, but something went wrong during the cooking. Start with a base of the author's ability to make blowing up a star boring, giving us the perspective of a bureaucratic functionary. Stir in the ham-handed setup, "Oh no, I will not investigate my sister's disappearance", to suddenly going after it like a starving dog with a T-bone. Add a little of a monster straight from a Scooby-Doo or Johnny Quest episode. Tack on a ridiculous action sequence where the protagonist suddenly is able to be a barnstorming pilot. Add a predictably tragic romantic subplot. Then add a moving, melancholy coda where you begin to doubt that you've tasted all the awful stuff you just finished.

Spoilers below:




There's actually a decent premise to the book - a first contact fucked up so royally that it's covered up by the people involved - and there's some interesting questions posed by the narrative - What if we expanded into the stars and it was largely empty? How would that affect our psyche? I don't think this book does the answers justice, unfortunately.
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Reading Progress

12/01/2010 page 20
4.0%
12/02/2010 page 77
15.0% "Riffing in the key of Clarke"
12/07/2010 page 213
40.0% "Slow ramp up. Not sure what I think about this book."
12/15/2010 page 331
63.0% "The alien is calling from inside the spaceship!"
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