Gary's Reviews > The Affinities

The Affinities by Robert Charles Wilson
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Robert Charles Wilson has long been one of the most skilled craftsman in science fiction, and the ease with which he demonstrates his skills are enviable. He can develop characters that are complex, sympathetic, flawed individuals quickly and convincingly. Building suspense is second nature, and he is a master at dropping an unexpected whammy on a reader. Best of all, he delivers the science in his science fiction very economically, without lecturing or cramming his research down your throat.
If he has one major flaw as a writer, it's that his skill at stitching together a well-paced plot becomes a little too transparent over the course of his novels. By the time I got to the final act of The Affinities, I began to notice how tidy the various machinations of the plot were, how conveniently things were fitting together. I had this same problem with his last novel, Burning Paradise, as well. That book ended rather abruptly, as did The Affinities, and as a result I felt as if I'd read a good novel that wasn't ambitious enough to be a great one.
My reaction to The Affinities can be termed as such: Five stars for the first act of the book, which establishes its fascinating premise and wonderful characters with style and panache; Three stars for the middle section, which is thrilling at times, but jumps too far ahead in time, leaving some of the more interesting developments from the first act to be explained away through exposition; Two stars for the final act, which ties everything together neatly and convincingly and kind of boringly.
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Reading Progress

April 13, 2015 – Shelved as: to-read
April 13, 2015 – Shelved
May 7, 2015 – Started Reading
May 8, 2015 –
page 60
May 16, 2015 –
page 109
May 18, 2015 –
page 148
May 19, 2015 –
page 198
May 21, 2015 –
page 245
May 22, 2015 – Finished Reading

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