DE­PAR­TURE Lost in the apoca­lypse

SFX - - Re­views -

re­leased OUT NOW! 322 pages | Hard­back

Author aG rid­dle

Pub­lisher Harper Voy­ager

A mix of big ideas and epic thrills is of­ten what peo­ple ex­pect from their sci­ence fic­tion, and taken on those terms, De­par­ture – pre­vi­ously a self-pub­lished suc­cess story – cer­tainly de­liv­ers. It’s packed full of mind-ex­pand­ing con­cepts and re­lent­less ac­tion – but un­for­tu­nately, it’s so packed that it ends up an odd, credulity-strain­ing novel that ul­ti­mately bursts at the seams.

The story opens as if it’s go­ing to be a post-apoc­a­lyp­tic spin on Lost, as the sur­vivors of a plane crash find them­selves cut off from civil­i­sa­tion and strug­gling to sur­vive in a world that’s been strangely trans­formed. From there, things get pro­gres­sively nut­tier, pulling in ev­ery­thing from deadly plagues and quan­tum me­chan­ics to or­bital space colonies and time travel.

Author AG Rid­dle gets away with some of this by keep­ing the pace light­ning-fast (bar­ring a se­lec­tion of clunky in­fo­dumps and an un­ex­pect­edly low-key fi­nale). He also pulls off some ex­cit­ing ac­tion set­pieces, but his di­a­logue creaks and his char­ac­ters are twodi­men­sional. There’s a cer­tain amount of pulpy fun to be found in this ad­mirably bonkers main­stream-aimed thriller, but for ded­i­cated SF fans, this kind of thing has been done bet­ter many times be­fore. Saxon Bul­lock

The movie rights for De­par­ture have al­ready been snapped up by Twen­ti­eth Cen­tury Fox.

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