11 Jan 2009

The Far Reaches, Homer Hickam

The first half of this novel, the third in Hickam’s Josh Thurlow series, failed to ignite my interest in the way his previous books have. I didn’t particularly like Josh in this tale. Indeed, his presence seems less important than some of the supposed secondary characters. This novel belongs more to them, Ready O’Neal (familiar to anyone who has read the previous novels) and Sister Mary Kathleen, a nun with a secret and possibly Hickam’s least interesting character to date, than it does Josh, virtually unrecognisable here from his previous outings. I hope Hickam revisits the series again, but this diminished return perhaps suggests he set it aside for fresher projects or at least until inspiration strikes. Still, it would be a pity if the series ended on a ‘medium’ rather than a high. Worth reading if you’re a fan, but by the incredibly high standards set by the author’s previous work, this was a little disappointing.

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