Science Fiction and Fantasy Association of New Zealand

The Explorer The Explorer
by James Smythe

Supplied for review by Harper Collins New Zealand

Reviewed By: Simon Litten

The Explorer, James Smythe’s second book, is the story of a disastrous space mission as told by Cormac Easton, the mission’s sole survivor. Not only has the mission become a lonesome trip but as the journey unfolds Cormac comes to realise he was never really a trusted part of the team anyway.

Yet surprisingly, after such a down beat precis, I enjoyed this book. Cormac relates the harrowing experience that is the mission, but that at the same time doesn’t dwell on the disturbing fact, that he has watched each of his travelling companies die and is now living with the corpses and is facing the real likelihood of death himself. Despair has to be kept at bay. Mr Smythe has managed to turn the story of a disaster into something worth the read.

This story is told in small reveals and dawning personal insights. This means that Cormac grows as a person the closer the crux comes and he has to cease being an observer and be a participant. Will he have the strength of character to take the necessary great leap?

Unfortunately, to say more would involve plot spoilers. You’ll just have to read the book.

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