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(Junction #1)

3.82  ·  Rating details ·  77 ratings  ·  43 reviews
When Japanese nature show host Daisuke Matsumori finds himself on an alien world, he hopes to rekindle his passion for his work. Traveling through a newly-discovered wormhole in the Papuan highlands, he joins biologist Anne Houlihan on Junction, a patchwork planet of competing alien ecosystems. When their exploratory party crashes in the alien wilderness, Daisuke and Anne ...more
Hardcover, 240 pages
Published January 10th 2019 by Flame Tree Press
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Average rating 3.82  · 
Rating details
 ·  77 ratings  ·  43 reviews

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Junction is a fast-paced, erudite novel, which turned out to be not quite my cup of tea, as explained in the final note below.

The other notes contain some of the moments I really enjoyed.

~ Already at the start, I'm wowed by the international cast. We have Japanese, Indonesian, American, Australian, Russian characters ... did I miss anyone? It's an ambitious scope, and I'm looking forward to learning more about these cultures--besides xenobiology. ;) (Daniel has lived in Japan, so I will trust h
Jan 30, 2019 rated it liked it
Shelves: sci-five, ebooks, arc-s
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Nov 27, 2018 rated it it was ok
It appears I’m in a dissenting minority here, going by all the other glowing reviews…I just didn’t care for this book at all. Which is disappointing, because it’s such an intriguing concept and I was due for a good sci fi story, but these adventures on the alien world that randomly appears in Papua New Guinea just didn’t work for me, tried as I did to get into it. For one thing…not that original. From the first chapter of a make multinational shift team, meant to reflect the geopolitical complex ...more
Meradeth Houston
Nov 23, 2018 rated it it was amazing
This novel did my nerdy, sci-fi loving heart good! As someone who has always had a weakness for alien biology and physiology, I completely adored the different biomes in this book, as well as the fascinating patchwork planet of Junction. I wanted to keep exploring it, with Anne and Daisuke in tow. The story was a whole lot of fun, filled with intrigue and mystery, along with just the right amount of romance. Anne was by far my favorite character, which is probably because I could completely iden ...more
Eric Fischl
Dec 04, 2018 rated it it was amazing
JUNCTION is a deep dive into exobiology and mystery, full of twists, strange creatures, and adventure. I expect big things from Dan Bensen.
Kate Heartfield
Nov 23, 2018 rated it it was amazing
I was lucky enough to read an early version of this book and provided this blurb: "Reading JUNCTION is like diving into a tropical bay, where the water's warm, there's some new bright creature everywhere you look, and you're having so much fun that you hardly notice the impending doom. A travelogue of all-too-real characters in unreal places, and a perfectly constructed murder mystery that will keep you turning pages." ...more
Nov 23, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Came for the cool aliens, stayed for the plot! I love the way this book handles the different aliens it portrays with respect to their biologies! But even if that's not your thing, and you're in it just for the adventure, this book had a couple of plot twists that really took me by surprise. Thoroughly enjoyed. Hope there will be a sequel! :3 ...more
Red Lace Reviews
Mar 22, 2019 marked it as did-not-finish  ·  review of another edition
Daisuke Matsumori gets the opportunity of his career - to be one of the first to explore a new world with unknown terrain and wildlife. A wormhole has been discovered in Papua New Guinea, and humanity's curiosity and possessiveness urges them onward, yet to explore the uncharted brings with it nameless dangers.

(WARNING: This review contains minor spoilers.)

I received this book in exchange for an honest review. I thank Flame Tree Press for giving me the opportunity.

DNF: page 100.

I wanted to chang
Emil Minchev
Nov 25, 2018 rated it it was amazing
All sci-fi should be like this: clever, inventive, engaging, exciting and, above all, character-driven and full of heart. Highly recommended!
Jan 06, 2019 rated it it was ok
This book was a review copy from Flame Tree Press.

Daisuke Matsumori, is a Japanese nature show host who gets to be one of the first to visit a new world through a wormhole. As people start dying in this newly discovered planet, is it all the aliens fault or is something sinister going on in the group Daisuke is traveling with.

This book was an ok read. It's a hard scifi action adventure with a twist. This book just didn't pull me into the story as much as I would want it too. The action and vario
Melissa Walshe
Nov 28, 2018 rated it it was amazing
As if compelling characters and solid plot weren't enough in a debut novel, Bensen's ingenuity with creature and ecosystem creation shoots Junction to the top of the list for new science fiction where biological world-building is concerned. Top that with a fierce, smart scientist heroine who will use her knowledge, compassion, and anger to save lives and kick butt? This book is worth your time. ...more
Amber Royer
Nov 30, 2018 rated it really liked it
Benson takes you on a survival journey through a truly alien landscape — but it’s also a journey into the human heart where motivations aren’t as clear as they seem. His endearingly awkward characters make Junction come alive. I really enjoyed the mystery elements of the book, and his world building.
Joanne Rixon
Dec 31, 2018 rated it really liked it
I was lucky enough to read an advance version of this book, and I think it's a great book for fans of biology-oriented hard SF. Here's my blurb: "It’s been a long time since I’ve seen such inventive, strange, and plausible aliens. Every biome is unique from both Earth and the other biomes, and Bensen's descriptions of alien organisms are clear and beautiful. I found myself leaning into the introduction of each new creature and ecology, because it was fascinating to imagine encountering these var ...more
Jan 24, 2020 rated it liked it
I received a free copy via Netgalley in exchange for a honest review.

A refreshing take on Aliens.
This was a really different read with different aliens all on the same planet.
A good read.
Wayne Santos
Feb 20, 2019 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Daniel Bensen shows an incredible amount of imagination and research with Junction. It's an unusual choice to go with a Japanese nature show host as your protagonist, but Bensen brings an endearing, introverted warmth and introspection to the character that also helps to flesh out the different biomes on display here, and the lifeforms that inhabit them.

It's a wonderful balance between the shaky politics of different factions with different interests thrown together to explore a wormhole to anot
Patrice Sarath
Nov 25, 2018 rated it really liked it
Junction is a thrill ride! When a ragtag group of adventurers crash lands on an alien planet, accessible by a wormhole in one of the most remote regions on Earth, they are endangered at every step by alien fauna and flora in a series of inhospitable and highly dangerous worlds. But protagonist Daisuke suspects that the most dangerous specimens are his companions.

Adventure, romance, and weird aliens -- what's not to love? I thoroughly enjoyed this science fiction travelogue/adventure tale.
 Reading Reindeer 2021 On Proxima Centauri
What an enthralling, entertaining, and educating novel! Science fiction plus contemporary comment plus deep characterization, shades of Star Trek's Prime Directive and of colonial imperialism, contribute to making this such an enthralling novel. I was thrilled from beginning to end and couldn't set it aside. An Australian biologist's accidental discovery in New Guinea of a Wormhole, with a civilization living on "the other side," impels governments of all sorts to intrude. And the selected "hero ...more
Nov 27, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Junction is a science fiction odyssey brimming with aliens and intrigue. Bensen excels at describing creatures and habitats that would make Wayne Barlowe jealous. Fans of Larry Niven's Ringworld or Arthur Conan Doyle's The Lost World will find a welcome addition to the genre.

Franz Anthony
Nov 23, 2018 rated it it was amazing
As a person native to the region where the book is set, I'm impressed by the way the author portrays the local characters. Their personalities, pattern of speech, and even personal motivations suggest that the author put a lot of effort into understanding our language and political history.

On top of that, Junction's world is alien yet strangely believable. The speculative wildlife is based on a solid understanding of how nature works—I feel like the creatures could pop out of my backyard anytim
Dec 26, 2018 rated it really liked it
A good sci-fi with an interesting world building and an engaging plot.
i loved the style of writing, the plot and the setting.
I look forward to reading other books by this author.
Many thanks to Flame Tree Press and Netgalley for this ARC
Anna Szabó
Dec 10, 2018 rated it really liked it
A wormhole is found on the Papuan highlands. This caught my attention immediately. I’m mad about good sci fi and Junction by Daniel M. Bensen gripped me from the start.

I get to explore this new world with our heroes, Daisuke - right pronunciation is Dice-Kay not Dye-Sue-Key - who is a japanese nature show host and Anne, who is an australian biologist.
I have met with a lot of crazy, amazing creatures.

The story behind this exciting field trip didn’t move that much but I started this book for the
Feb 18, 2019 rated it it was amazing
I’m not generally a SciFi fan, but I love politics, and this book has its fill of otherworldly political intrigue! Daniel Bensen’s Junction is a remarkable blend of romance, diverse characters, cultural contrasts, excitement, and adventure.

The plot is 100% science fiction exploration — a suspenseful journey to an alien world, called Junction. Each chosen for a different role and reason, a cast of characters from a variety of nations on Earth find themselves traveling through a newly discovered w
Lesley Ann Campbell
As much as I love horror, I also love and adore science fiction. One of my first loves was Stargate, right from the film starring James Spader and Kurt Russell, through to the Stargate Universe. The mere mention of Wormholes, this took me back to a good place. I couldn’t wait to get into Junction.
First things first, I would like to thank the author, Daniel M. Benson, and Flame Tree Press for an ARC of Junction to read in exchange for an honest review.

This is fun filled book of weird and bright
Adam Stone
Jul 07, 2019 rated it liked it
This book was recommended to me by my wife and after the first couple of chapters, I put it down and asked her why. I did that because the writing style was a little unusual and the author used a lot of sentence fragments and the occasional unusual dialogue tag, which made it difficult for me to get into the flow. I'm not patient with odd writing styles. My wife is a much more patient person than I and she said if I stuck with it I would enjoy it. She was correct.

It doesn't take long to get used
Leo McBride
Mar 04, 2020 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Junction is the debut novel from Daniel Bensen - and it's a riproaring delight. Japanese nature expert Daisuke Matsumori gets an unexpected call - a portal has opened to another world, and the powers-that-be want him on an exploration team venturing off into the planet beyond.
It turns out that world beyond is a patchwork quilt of strange biospheres, with more and more portals branching off to yet more worlds. As his party move through strange new ecosystems, they face a struggle for survival fr
Jan 31, 2019 rated it really liked it
Daisuke Matsumori is a very unhappy man. Frustrated over his recent divorce and disillusioned with his job, he just wants to finish his last show and try to forget. Then his government send him to New Guinea because a wormhole to another world has been discovered there.

He ends up in a multinational group that is tasked with exploring this new world. The world they find themselves in is full of alien landscapes and beings. On their first trip to explore the planet, their plane crashes. They must
Henry Lazarus
May 13, 2019 rated it really liked it
The planet Junction (trade from Flame Tree Press) has wormhole gates from many different planets linked long enough so that the area around the gate duplicates the world it is connected to. Hidden from most human eyes, in the jungles of New Guinea, there is a gate to Junction that’s been around long enough that people have settled habitable areas close to the gate. Daisuke Matsumori is a Japanese survival host known for wrestling alligators. Biologist Anne Houlihan told the world about the gate ...more
Apr 07, 2019 rated it liked it
Dan said in the acknowledgements that what he really wanted to write was a field guide to alien life, and that was honestly what I really wanted to read. That said, this book was entertaining throughout; the setting was evocative and underpinned by deep world-building, the story was full of unexpected twists and turns, and Daisuke and Anne especially were a pleasure to spend time with. Dan has a talent for writing romance, which gave the story a warmth that’s uncommon in hard sci fi.

A fun book
Will Nomikos
May 01, 2021 rated it it was amazing
Really great characters. Such a wonderful read.
Yolanda Sfetsos
Jan 31, 2019 marked it as dnf
Shelves: sci-fi
DNFd after 3 chapters.

It's unfortunate, because I found the blurb intriguing, but I couldn't get into the story or the characters.
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Daniel M. Bensen writes alternate history, science fiction, and fantasy. He teaches English in Sofia Bulgaria, where he lives with his wife and daughters in the Balkan Tower of Matriarchy.

Other books in the series

Junction (2 books)
  • Interchange (Junction #2)

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