Friday, November 16, 2012

Star Climber by Kenneth Oppel

Okay, I admit. I have a prejudice against space elevators. I read a space elevator book in fourth grade and found it dumb and boring and completely foreign to anything I had real experience with. So I had declared for a long time since then that I liked books that happened on planet earth. Then my husband starting writing science fiction and they didn’t take place on Earth. So, I had to be a bit more open minded, so I could be supportive and read his books, some of them multiple times. Cause that is what a good wife does.  Surprise, surprise, I really  liked Wolfhound.  So, I started reading more “doesn’t take place on Earth stories.”

So, I am sort of proud of myself for continuing on with this book because inside the front cover there is a large, although cool, sketch of a space elevator. Skeptical, I read on because I really enjoyed Skybreaker and because I’m married to a science fiction writer, right? So, I have some kind of obligation to get over these prejudices.  

To make the long story short I really enjoyed StarClimber and thought it was an excellent novel. After their adventure aboard the Hyperion Matt and Kate go back to business as usual. Except mankind is now determined to reach space. France is building a huge tower up into the atmosphere so they can be the first to claim that they reached space. Canada however has choses a different tactic. As Canada is both Kate and Matt’s home they are both invited to join the space program. Kate is automatically accepted as their zoologist expert, to see if there is really life in space. Matt however is merely accepted for the training program. He has to compete with dozens of candidates in order to be accepted on the space crew. The competition is extremely tough and the first half of the book is about the training regimen that Matt and his fellow astralnauts have to go through. This is actually pretty entertaining stuff seeing how they have to pass impossible tasks and be pushed to the limit.
The second half of the book deals with the space trip and the adventures there. Matt and Kate find that there are some type of strange creatures in space. When  unexpected circumstance place the entire crew in an emergency situation and it will take the entire crew’s mental and physical talents to return to earth alive. This one is an excellent space adventure.  

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